Week 16: Steelers Key Matchup
Steelers S Ryan Clark and S Tyrone Carter vs. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco
STEELERS — S RYAN CLARK AND S TYRONE CARTER
The Steelers' secondary has been picked on a lot and that especially goes for safeties Ryan Clark and Tyrone Carter. Last week, the Steelers were burnt for pass plays of 83 yards and 49 yards. In fact, they have surrendered 11 plays of 30 yards or more this season, with eight of them coming with All-Pro Troy Polamalu out of the lineup. Polamalu will miss his 10th game today. Opponents have exposed the Steelers' deep coverage. Eight of the 11 plays of more than 30 yards in the last month alone - three to Kansas City, two to Baltimore, two to Green Bay and one to Oakland. The two have no interceptions and only seven pass defenses since November. They are expected to get help from veteran Deshea Townsend this week.
RAVENS — QB JOE FLACCO
The Ravens' offense has made a transition this year into throwing the ball down field more. And nobody has been as successful at doing such this season as Flacco. Flacco has completed 15 passes of 30 yards or more this year, including four of 50 yards or longer. He has 40 completions of 20 yards or longer. Flacco has thrown for more than 300 yards three times all of which were the top passing days of his career. Flacco has been particularly dangerous in the fourth quarter. He has thrown for 1,037 yards and seven touchdowns while having a 94.5 passer rating. Only Dallas' Tony Romo has better numbers. Flacco threw for 289 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting.
ADVANTAGE: RAVENS QB JOE FLACCO
Flacco has taken a big step from his rookie year until now and a lot of that had to do with coach John Harbaugh giving more responsibility to his quarterback. Last year, Baltimore was a run first team. This year, it passes more than it throws. Flacco attempted 428 passes for 2,971 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. This year, he has thrown the ball 27 more times for 374 yards and has five more touchdowns and one less interception with two games remaining. Last week against the Bears, Flacco threw four touchdown passes, setting a career high and tying the record for more touchdowns thrown in one game by a Baltimore Raven.
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.
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger still hurting after hard hit from Ravens’ Upshaw
- Steelers notebook: RT Gilbert not in danger of losing his job
- Steelers veteran defenders want young teammates to step up
- Steelers’ Brown combats disruptive defensive ploys
- Steelers not receiving big returns on their offseason investments
- Steelers film session: Missed tackles prove costly
- Steelers notebook: Defense sags in NFL rankings because of struggles against the run
- Heyward confident youthful Steelers defense will improve
- Steelers’ defense out of sync
- Robinson: There’s no telling when play of aging QBs will fall off