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Mike Preston's key matchups for Ravens at Steelers

Mike Preston's key matchups for Ravens at Steelers
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is tackled by Ravens cornerback Lardarius after catching a pass at M&T Bank Stadium in their Nov. 28 meeting last season. (Rob Carr / Getty Images)

Steelers WR Antonio Brown vs. Ravens CB Lardarius Webb: If starting cornerback Jimmy Smith were healthy, Brown would be his assignment. It will be interesting to see whether the Ravens have Webb shadow Brown all over the field. Brown is a game changer with 60 catches for 852 yards and seven touchdowns. Webb has made significant progress in rebounding from a back injury, but he might not be able to keep up with Brown. The Ravens might have Webb press Brown to disrupt the timing between him and Roethlisberger. Edge: Steelers

Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell vs. Ravens LBs Daryl Smith and C.J.Mosley: Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees considers Bell one of the best in the NFL. Shutting him down is the top priority because his runs set up Ben Roethlisberger and the play-action passing game. Bell has 141 carries for 691 yards and one touchdown. He has outstanding vision to cut back and great power. Mosley, a rookie, has 76 tackles to lead the team; Smith has 70. They must be aggressive in pursuit of Bell but not overpursue. Smith and Mosley excel at running sideline to sideline but don't shed blocks well. Edge: Even

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Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. Ravens FSs Darian Stewart and Terrence Brooks: Roethlisberger threw for more than 500 yards last week against the Indianapolis Colts. He has completed 206 of 301 passes for 2,380 yards and 16 touchdowns. Stewart and Brooks can't allow big plays like the 53-yard pass the Ravens gave up in the final minutes against the Bengals last week. Brooks and Stewart need to improve their technique and communication. If they can't keep receivers in front of them, it could be a long night for the defense. Edge: Steelers

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