2. Get up fast, protect the football:
One thing the Steelers do phenomenally is take the football away. The Steelers have eight interceptions but they have only forced one fumble. What does that tell you? It tells you that Jackson has to protect the football. The Ravens can’t turn the football over. That’s what fuels Pittsburgh. They have to be efficient, they have to score and they have to limit the chances of Ben Roethlisberger.
The good news for the Ravens is that this is one area Jackson has flourished in this season. He has 10 touchdowns and two interceptions on the year. The bad news is the last time Jackson played the Steelers he had three interceptions. The Ravens scraped out the win last year, however the margin of error is much simmer in 2020.
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One thing the Ravens do poorly is adjusting when things don’t go well in the game. That’s not something you need a reminder of, so I’ll spare you the play by play. The key here is that the Ravens have to get off to a fast start. This is not a game where you want to see the Ravens get behind and start to panic. John Harbaugh’s Ravens may need to learn how to win those kinds of games but this isn’t the week to make it a test. The Steelers are tough enough, Baltimore can’t beat themselves. The sloppy football that kept the Eagles in the Ravens’ last game will give the Steelers a win. That sloppy football cannot happen.
The Ravens have to control this game. They have to loosen up the run defense by taking shots down the field. They have protect the football and avoid a great Steelers’ pass rush. Getting behind makes this the kind of game where the Steelers can stay in their comfort zone. Getting off to a fast start has never been more crucial. Getting off to a fast start means the Ravens could control the terms of this brawl.