Steelers Scouting Report: Ravens fighting for AFC North

Steel City Underground’s “Steelers Scouting Report” is a preview of each opponent Pittsburgh will face throughout the 2022-23 NFL regular season on a weekly basis, with analysis, injury news, and potential key matchups.

The first time the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens met during the 2022 NFL regular season was in Week 14. Although not a lot has changed for the divisional rivals as they prepare to meet on Sunday night, the Ravens are already in position to enter postseason play, and fight for the AFC North title. The Steelers need to beat the team they lost by just two points to three weeks ago to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The NFL recognized the potential battle this game will be on the gridiron, flexing it into the primetime spot and setting the stage. In this Steelers scouting report, we preview the Ravens and areas where recent shifts may turn into the tipping point for both teams as the regular season winds down.

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Ravens won’t have Jackson at QB

There have been some tight lips from Baltimore’s front office and head coach John Harbaugh regarding quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s injury recovery status ahead of the game. Zipped-up, that is, until a social media firestorm was sparked off on Wednesday by a clip featuring Jeremy Conn of 105.7’s The Big Bad Morning Show that made mention of Jackson allegedly not being present for treatment on an injured knee (sustained in Week 13).

The speculation machine went into full gear that Jackson’s upcoming contract situation may be playing a part in how his recovery is going. The blitz left Harbaugh questioned for clarity, especially since Jackson had missed ten straight practices. Harbaugh didn’t make anything any more clear.

A report from The Baltimore Sun then revealed, through an unnamed source, that Jackson has been present for mandatory rehabilitation but Jackson’s recovery timeline is “four to six weeks” per a league source.

The Steelers have stated numerous times that they practice based on all possible scenarios opponents present, so the media hoopla likely had zero effect on their preparation.

Tyler Huntley will be the Ravens’ quarterback on Sunday barring any injury or strange circumstance popping up.

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Can the Ravens still run on the Steelers?

Pittsburgh’s run defense has shored itself up since it was gashed by Baltimore; they held the league’s leading rusher, Josh Jacobs, to just 44 yards in Week 16. Running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards combined for 186 rushing yards in the two-point victory three weeks ago. Whether they’ll find that level of success again is key to Week 17’s outcome.

If the Steelers are able to slow down the run, the question will turn to who will step up, outside of tight end Mark Andrews, to catch passes from Huntley. Baltimore is averaging less than 112 passing yards per game entering this weekend’s matchup.

“That two-headed monster of Dobbins and Edwards really do a good job of falling forward with that big offensive line… We’re looking forward to attacking it.” – Steelers DE Cameron Heyward

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Expect physical battles

The biggest battle on Sunday is expected to be in the trenches. Both defenses are determined to dominate. Both offenses want to be effective and efficient moving the ball down the field and getting into the end zone.

These rivalry games are always physical, but fans can expect some big hits and more than just a battle of wills this weekend.

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Ravens injury report

Participation/Injury Report, Week 17

Thursday, December 29

Wednesday, December 28

  • DE Calais Campbell (Knee) – DNP
  • OL Trystan Colon (NIR – personal) – DNP
  • OLB Justin Houston (NIR – rest) – DNP
  • WR DeSean Jackson (Illness) – DNP
  • QB Lamar Jackson (Knee) – DNP
  • T Morgan Moses (NIR – rest) – DNP
  • CB Marcus Peters (Calf) – DNP
  • OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (Illness) – DNP
  • CB Kevon Seymour (Ankle) – Full
  • T Ronnie Stanley (NIR – rest) – LP
  • S Geno Stone (Hamstring) – LP
  • G Kevin Zeitler (NIR – rest) – DNP

Note: “NIR” designation means the reason for the absence was “not injury related”


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