Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Baltimore Sports Blitz
Sports Baltimore Sports Blitz

What's the big key to beating Big Ben and the Steelers?

The Ravens and Steelers won’t be tiptoeing into the water at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon. They are taking the plunge into the season with one of the most critical games on the 2011 slate for each squad.

That’s not to say the season opener is a make-or-break game for either team, though there is more pressure on the Ravens to win and put the pressure back on the Steelers to defend their home turf later in the season.

So what do the Ravens need to do to beat Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers on Sunday?

Based on history, it will probably be a close one, so the Ravens must prevent those momentum-swinging plays the Steelers always seem to produce in crunch time. The reconstructed offensive line has to hold up against James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley (and Troy Polamalu). Unproven cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams need to keep Roethlisberger’s wide receivers under wraps. And Joe Flacco has to play better against his nemeses from Pittsburgh.

The Steelers have their concerns, too. The offensive line is again a question mark. Some pigskin pundits think their defense is ancient. And their secondary was exploited in their loss in the Super Bowl.

Your turn: What’s the biggest key to sinking the Steelers? And what’s your score prediction for Sunday’s AFC North showdown?

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Should the Ravens show interest in David Garrard?

    Should the Ravens show interest in David Garrard?

    The Ravens enter Sunday's showdown against the Steelers with two quarterbacks on their active roster: Joe Flacco, a four-year veteran who has never missed a start, and Tyrod Taylor, an untested rookie who is coping with a minor shoulder injury. Hunter Cantwell is running with the practice squad,...

  • Are the Ravens better than they were last season?

    Are the Ravens a better team than they were a year ago?

    The Ravens continued to tinker with their roster over the weekend, signing Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode to bolster the offensive line. It was the third significant roster move the Ravens have made since the start of the preseason; they also addressed areas of concern by bringing in wideout Lee...