Week 12: Steelers Key Matchup
Steelers LB James Farrior vs. Ravens RB Ray Rice
STEELERS — LB JAMES FARRIOR
James Farrior leads the team with 80 tackles this season and has added two sacks and a fumble recovery. Farrior had led the Steelers in tackles in each of the past three years. The two-time Pro-Bowler, who will turn 35 in January, hasn't lost a step when it comes to stopping the run as he is the main reason why the Steelers lead the league in run defense. However, he has had some troubles covering running backs out of the backfield. Cincinnati's Brian Leonard caught a critical pass in a Week 3 game against Farrior that led to the game-winning score. The Steelers have allowed running backs to catch 39 passes this year.
RAVENS — RB RAY RICE
Ray Rice has turned into one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the NFL in his first year as a starter. Rice is 11th in the league in rushing with 733 yards and eighth in the league with 56 receptions for 515 yards. His 1,248 all-purpose yards from scrimmage rank third in the league only behind Tennessee's Chris Johnson and St. Louis' Steven Jackson. Rice has accounted for 25 percent of Baltimore's first downs this year, only Reggie Wayne's 58 and Maurice Jones-Drew's 53 are more than Rice's 51. Last week against the Colts, Rice produced his seventh consecutive game with at least 100 total net yards from scrimmage. He caught 7 passes for 64 yards.
ADVANTAGE: RAY RICE
Nobody has stopped, or even slowed Rice this year, so there is no reason to believe the Steelers will have any luck. Rice, who is small in stature, has been a pleasant surprise in the run game, but has done most of his damage in the pass game as quarterback Joe Flacco's checkdown receiver. Rice had a monster game against the Vikings earlier in the season, when he caught 10 passes for 117 yards. The Steelers have to find a way to control Rice, and Farrior will get the challenge for most of the game to try to locate and then defend against him out of the backfield. Rice will also be matched up at times against the other three linebackers in James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Robinson: Study shows NFL troublemakers don’t get hurt in wallet
- Steelers notebook: Panthers LB Kuechly making an impression
- Starkey: Can Steelers’ Mitchell find Carolina cure?
- Play to watch: Inside zone read slant/bubble
- Moore hopes to see red (zone) in Steelers debut
- Value of nickel rising in NFL
- Steelers’ Polamalu relying on smarts as physical skills decline
- Steelers not receiving big returns on their offseason investments
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger still hurting after hard hit from Ravens’ Upshaw
- Steelers defense a long way from ‘greatest of all time’
- Steelers notebook: Ravens DL fined for hit on Roethlisberger