It’s one of the greatest rivalries in football, and both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will be seeking redemption in this Week 9 matchup.
The Ravens (4-4) and the Steelers (4-2-1) square off at M&T Bank Stadium with the Steelers leading the regular season series 24-21. Baltimore has won four of the last seven matchups, and under John Harbaugh, the series is tied at 12-12, including the playoffs.
Ahead of the matchup, here’s everything you need to know.
A must-win. It’s an overused phrase in the world of sports, but for the Ravens this game is just that. After dropping their last two and finding themselves third in the AFC North behind the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, a loss Sunday would have serious implications on the Ravens’ playoffs hopes.
After a stunning last second loss to the New Orleans Saints that was followed up by Cam Newton and the Panthers running all over the Ravens defense, shutting down the Steelers at home would provide the Ravens with a much-needed confidence boost.
On the other side of the field, the Steelers are seeking revenge after getting embarrassed by the Ravens on home turf during Sunday Night Football back in Week 4.
But this isn’t the same team we saw back in September. Since the 26-14 loss, the Steelers have gone for over 400 yards in total offense in back-to-back games, have averaged 34 points-per-game in their last three and have won three in a row.
With these two, throw history out the window.
Three-time Pro Bowler Le’Veon Bell has yet to show up for the season as he waits out a long-term contract agreement. But Pittsburgh doesn’t appear to be missing him.
James Conner has taken the opportunity he’s been presented with in Bell’s absence and literally ran with it. Last Sunday against the Browns, Conner put up 212 yards, 146 of them on the ground, and earned himself AFC Offensive Player of the Month.
Through seven games, the running back has nine touchdowns, 599 yards and is averaging 4.72 yards-per-carry. He’s also on pace to produce more rushing yards (1,369), more receiving yards (738) and more touchdowns (21) than Bell did in 2017.
“I think it’s like, since 2015, if you look at their stats, there are a lot of stats in different categories that the Steelers are actually better without him, that they’re better in those categories since 2015 without Le’Veon,” Ravens defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale said about Conner Thursday. “So, that might be why he’s riding a jet ski down in Miami right now.”
The Ravens’ 11th ranked rushing defense will have its hands full with Conner as he too will be seeking revenge for the 19 rushing yards they held the Steelers to in Week 4.
Injuries are mounting for the Ravens
The Ravens have made it through much of the season without any monumental injuries, but their offensive line is starting to crumble.
Guard Alex Lewis (neck) and center Bradley Bozeman (calf) returned to the practice field Thursday, but guard James Hurst (back) and tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. To add insult to injury (pun intended) the Steelers are tied for second in the league in sacks at 24. With the O-line potentially being shuffled around, the healthy men up front will have to work extra hard to protect their QB and new running back Ty Montgomery.
Safety Tony Jefferson (hamstring), inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (thigh) and outside linebacker Tim Williams (ankle) all did not practice Thursday.
For those of you who were hoping Ben Roethlisberger’s fractured left finger would limit him, you’re out of luck. The quarterback was a full participant at practice Wednesday.
Click here to see the updated injury report for Ravens-Steelers
Ravens vs. Steelers Week 9 How to Watch:
Who: Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
What: Week 9 regular season
When: Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV – Try free trial
Radio: WBAL New Radio 1090 and 98Rock
Weather: 59 degrees, sunny
Ravens 2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Week 1: Sun., 9/9. Ravens vs. Bills. Win, 47-3 (1-0)
Week 2: Thur., 9/13 Ravens at Bengals. Loss, 34-23 (1-1)
Week 3: Sun., 9/23 Ravens vs. Broncos. Win, 27-14 (2-1)
Week 4: Sun., 9/30 Ravens at Steelers. Win, 26-14 (3-1)
Week 5: Sun., 10/7 Ravens at Browns. Loss, 12-9 (3-2)
Week 6: Sun., 10/14 Ravens at Titans. Win, 21-0 (4-2)
Week 7: Sun., 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m. Loss, 24-23 (4-3)
Week 8: Sun., 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m. Loss 36-21 (4-4)
Week 9: Sun., 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.
Week 10: BYE week
Week 11: Sun., 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.
Week 12: Sun., 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.
Week 13: Sun., 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: Sun., 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.
Week 15: Sun., 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: Sat., 12/22 @ Chargers, 8:20 p.m. ET
Week 17: Sun., 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.