View Full Version : Ravens-Steelers scouting report

09-29-2008, 12:03 AM
Ravens-Steelers scouting report
Monday, 8:30 p.m., Heinz Field, Ch. 13, ESPN
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/foot ... .htmlstory (http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-ravensscout0928,0,734965.htmlstory)

By Jamison Hensley | jamison.hensley@baltsun.com | Baltimore Sun reporter
9:17 PM EDT, September 28, 2008

Ravens run offense vs. Steelers run defense: The Ravens are eating up yards on the ground and minutes off the clock, but the NFL's second-ranked ground attack has dominated two soft run defenses. It will be a steeper challenge against the Steelers, the league's No. 2 run defense. Pittsburgh won't be as strong up front because it will be without nose tackle Casey Hampton and end Brett Keisel. But the Steelers have handled the Ravens at Heinz Field, holding them to 81.8 yards rushing and 3.4 yards per carry in the past five meetings there. Ravens running back Willis McGahee is expected to start, but he could be affected by an eye injury. EDGE: STEELERS

Ravens pass offense vs. Steelers pass defense: Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco will be facing a hostile crowd and a blitz-happy defense. The Ravens' offensive line has been surprisingly strong in pass protection, giving up one sack on 49 dropbacks. The Steelers will attack the Ravens where they are the most suspect. Outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley are tough matchups for Ravens tackles Jared Gaither and Adam Terry. The Ravens gave up six sacks last season at Heinz. Bryant McFadden, who has made an interception in his past two starts, will continue to start at cornerback in place of Deshea Townsend. EDGE: STEELERS

Steelers run offense vs. Ravens run defense: Rashard Mendenhall will make his first start, replacing injured Willie Parker (sprained knee). The rookie first-round pick struggled in the final two preseason games, fumbling three times. This change doesn't affect the Ravens because they have owned Parker and Pittsburgh's rushing attack. The Ravens haven't allowed a Steelers running back to gain more than 42 yards in the past four meetings. Inside linebackers Ray Lewis and Bart Scott have set the tone physically. EDGE: RAVENS

Steelers pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense: The Ravens have the top-ranked pass defense, but this is where they could be vulnerable. With Samari Rolle out with a shoulder injury, the Ravens are expected to start either Corey Ivy or Frank Walker, both of whom struggled mightily in the preseason. Fabian Washington, who is day-to-day with a neck injury, could play on third downs. Pittsburgh could spread out the Ravens and test their depth. If the Ravens can't exploit Pittsburgh's offensive line (nine sacks allowed last week), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could repeat his five-touchdown performance from last season. EDGE: STEELERS

Special teams: The Ravens' Matt Stover is off to a surprisingly slow start (1-for-3 on field-goal attempts). The Steelers' Jeff Reed was 10-for-17 on field goals at Heinz last season. Pittsburgh hasn't gotten much out of its return game this season, ranking near the bottom of the NFL. The Ravens are unsure about their return game. Dangerous returner Yamon Figurs is questionable with a hamstring injury, and his backup, Jim Leonhard, will start at safety. That means the Ravens might have to go with their third options, Ray Rice on kickoffs and Tom Zbikowski on punts. EDGE: EVEN

Intangibles: The Steelers haven't lost a Monday Night Football game at home since 1992, going 13-0. The Ravens have flopped in the national spotlight, losing their past six prime-time games. That includes a 38-7 loss last season at Heinz, where the Ravens are 2-6 all-time. The Steelers have the best home winning percentage (.722) in the NFL since 1970. The Ravens have lost eight of their past 10 road games in the AFC North. EDGE: STEELERS

Prediction: The Ravens appear to be the chief threat to the Steelers in the AFC North, but they are not there yet. Without Parker, the Steelers will spread out the Ravens and attack their banged-up secondary. It will be a painful reminder of last season. STEELERS, 20-6

Matchups to watch
by Mike Preston

Ravens QB Joe Flacco vs. Steelers S Troy Polamalu

Flacco hasn't seen a defense as physical or as active except in practice. Pittsburgh likes to use a lot of different fronts, and the Steelers will blitz from anywhere on the field. The key is locating Polamalu. He dictates the coverage, and Flacco has to know where he is at all times. It will be an interesting game of chess between Polamalu and Flacco. Edge: Polamalu

Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs vs. Steelers OT Marvel Smith

Smith has played well against Suggs in the past. He is big, physical and has really quick feet. His upper-body strength allows him to handle most opposing players. Suggs had a slow start because he missed most of training camp, but he had two sacks against the Browns on Sept. 21 in what could have been his coming-out party. Suggs has an exceptionally quick first step, and deceiving strength. Edge: Even

Steelers WR Hines Ward vs. Ravens CB Chris McAlister

The Ravens hate Ward, and Ward hates the Ravens. There is no love lost between Ward and McAlister. Ward is a great blocker, and he never stops playing. He can find holes in defenses. McAlister is responsible for shutting down the other team's top receiver. Physically, McAlister matches up with Ward better than fellow cornerback Samari Rolle. McAlister hasn't been challenged deep much this season. Edge: Ward

Projected starting lineups

When the Ravens have the ball

Ravens offense
Pos., No., Player
WR 89 Clayton
LT 71 Gaither
LG 66 Grubbs
C 60 Brown
RG 73 Yanda
RT 78 Terry
TE 86 Heap
WR 85 Mason
QB 5 Flacco
FB 33 McClain
RB 23 McGahee

Steelers defense
Pos., No., Player
LE 91 Smith
NT 76 Hoke
RE 93 Eason
OLB 56 Woodley
ILB 51 Farrior
ILB 50 Foote
OLB 92 Harrison
CB 24 Taylor
CB 26 Townsend
SS 43 Polamalu
FS 25 Clark

When the Steelers have the ball

Browns offense
Pos., No., Player
WR 86 Ward
LT 77 Smith
LG 68 Kemoeatu
C 62 Hartwig
RG 73 Simmons
RT 74 Colon
TE 83 Miller
WR 10 Holmes
QB 7 Roethlisberger
FB 38 Davis
RB 34 Mendenhall

Ravens defense
Pos., No., Player
LE 90 Pryce
NT 94 Bannan
RE 92 Ngata
OLB 95 Johnson
ILB 52 Lewis
ILB 57 Scott
OLB 55 Suggs
CB 21 McAlister
CB 41 Walker
SS 36 Leonhard
FS 20 Reed

Staff picks: Ravens vs. Steelers

Jamison Hensley: Steelers

David Steele: Steelers

Edward Lee: Ravens

Peter Schmuck: Steelers

Ken Murray: Steelers

Mike Preston: Ravens

Rick Maese: Steelers

09-29-2008, 01:07 AM
It is hard to argue with anything in this article, other than the "The Steelers' Jeff Reed was 10-for-17 on field goals at Heinz last season" tidbit that they pulled out of their @$$. Reed's only miss at Heinz was the 40+ attempt against the Dolphins when they brought the Okefenokee swamp with them from Florida. His only other miss all year was from 65 freaking yards at Denver.

09-29-2008, 09:23 AM
I gotta add a couple extra intangibles to the list, just 'cause I'm the Jooser...

http://img112.imageshack.us/img112/8660/19110pk0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/8294/27361925ou9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

(sorry, but Mr. Poopypants is classic :lol: )

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/8282/20071106pdsteelers1105dep1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
(Bring the Nastiness)
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/5072/img9928646lq7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
(Reference the first pic, you understand.......)

Discipline of Steel
09-29-2008, 10:01 AM
Dude, those two little videos at the bottom of your post are awesome! I laughed and laughed. Anything Lambert makes me proud and Harrison slamming the Brown fairy is hilarious. Thank you :Clap :Clap :Clap

09-29-2008, 10:12 AM
Don't forget this one:


09-29-2008, 10:42 AM
Happy I made ur day....... :Clap

09-29-2008, 10:51 AM
This is the first time that Flacco has not had 2 weeks to prepare for a game and his first start on the road. I think the Ravens are replacing the Browns as the popular medias flavor of the week.

After tonight that flavor should be tasting pretty bad when they are exposed as a good defense no offense pretender. Just the opposite of the Browns. They still lose 7-8 games this season.