MIKE PRE­STON’S KEY MATCHUPS

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

McDon­ald has 23 catches for 321 yards and a touch­down and James has 19 for 283 yards and a score. Both are big, mo­bile and can work the mid­dle of the field. Mean­while, teams have been drop­ping a lot of passes over the heads of Ravens lineback­ers, who don’t get deep drops, and in front of Wed­dle and/or Jef­fer­son. The Ravens have strug­gled this sea­son in their one-on-one matchups against tight ends.

The Steel­ers rank 22nd in rush­ing of­fense with 100 yards per game, but they have got­ten bet­ter in re­cent weeks. The Steel­ers of­fen­sive line is healthy, and there aren’t many cen­ters in the NFL bet­ter than Pouncey. The Ravens are 11th in run de­fense, al­low­ing 98.1 yards per game, but they’ve had trou­ble in the past two games against the New Or­leans Saints and the Carolina Pan­thers. A big key will be up front. Pitts­burgh was get­ting burned for long passes al­most every game early in the sea­son, and Brown had three catches for 116 yards in the first game be­tween the teams, in­clud­ing one for 71 yards. Ravens quar­ter­back Joe Flacco loves to go af­ter Haden, and Burns was get­ting toasted a lot ear­lier in the sea­son. Pitts­burgh likes to bring a lot of pres­sure, so ex­pect Flacco to take some shots to Brown down­field.

WINSLOW TOWNSON/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Steel­ers tight end Vance McDon­ald col­lides with Cleve­land’s Der­rick Kin­dred.

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