PFF Preview: Ravens @ Steelers, Week 9
The Baltimore Ravens (5-3) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) are set to collide on Sunday Night Football, as the Ravens attempt to sweep the season series and the Steelers look to avenge the 26-6 Week 2 beatdown the Ravens handed them.
It’s no secret that Ben Roethlisberger has led a red-hot Steelers offense as of late, but I believe the key components for this week’s game start on the ground with Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley.
If the Steelers are able to get Bell going early, they will be able to attack an already-vulnerable Ravens’ secondary that will be without their top cornerback, Jimmy Smith.
Bell (+5.0), who currently owns the fourth-best run grade among all running backs, also ranks third in attempts, yards, and yards after contact. Furthermore, Bell has proven to be a shifty back, forcing 22 missed tackles on rushing attempts and 15 missed tackles after a reception, earning him an Elusive Rating of 53.1, Top 15 among running backs with at least 52 carries.
Bell, who has a season-long run of 81 yards (second among all running backs), has proven to be just as explosive as he is shifty. His eight runs of 15+ yards in which he has produced 238 yards, rank fourth and third among all running backs, and have earned him a Breakaway Percentage of 34.4%.
The man responsible for stopping Bell, C.J. Mosley, has put together an impressive season of his own.
The recently named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month not only owns the highest defensive run grade on the Ravens, but also of all inside linebackers. Mosley has certainly impressed in his rookie season, as he has currently racked up the second-most tackles (33) and stops (23) in the run game of all inside linebackers, a Run Stop Percentage of 12.5%.
If Mosley is indeed able to limit Bell on the ground, this will hinder Roethlisberger’s ability to throw out of play action, at which he has been very successful this year, tossing a league-tying six touchdowns and registering a quarterback rating of 120.1.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Joe Flacco – Flacco has registered seven touchdowns off of deep balls (20+ yards), second-most behind only Nick Foles.
Brandon Williams – Williams has logged 14 total stops against the run, tied for second among all defensive tackles.
Lardarius Webb – Without Jimmy Smith, Webb is likely to be Baltimore’s top cornerback. Webb has allowed a quarterback rating of 100.9.
Kelvin Beachum – Beachum has been exceptional in pass protection, earning a grade of +9.0, fifth among all tackles.
Antonio Brown – Brown leads all wide receivers in targets (84) and receptions (60).
Jason Worilds – With a grade of +14.1, Worilds has currently graded out as Pittsburgh’s best defender.
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