Baltimore Ravens vs. Steelers: Uncle Pauly’s Keys to the Game


Oct 20, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs after a catch against Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham (24) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Uncle Pauly. Born and raised in Baltimore. Lived north, east, and now west of the  695 Beltway. He likes Natty Bo … The quintessential Baltimore Ravens Fan.  Enough said. For the Ravens to have their pie and eat it too, they’ll have to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers – winners of five their last seven games. For Uncle Pauly to have a good Thanksgiving Day …

1.  Ravens need 100+ yards from their running backs. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce have to make the 23rd-ranked run defense work harder than a bank executive.

2.  Keep Ben Roethlisberger in the pocket with the edge rushers. Make him step up in the pocket where the lineman can stunt and confuse the Pittsburgh interior linemen; thus, not giving time for receivers to get open on broken plays. The Ravens are tied for first in sacking the QB.  Pittsburgh is 27th.

3.  Stop the run. Shouldn’t be too hard considering that the Steelers have a 30th-ranked rush offense.

4.  Everyone talks about converting third downs, but the real issue is what happens on first down. So far this year it’s been as pretty as the Yak Woman. “You ever seen her? Ugly as sin, but hell of a good cook,” Eddie says.

5.  The Steelers-Ravens games always come down to a key turnover late in the game.  Whoever gets the key turnover wins the game.  And with this game and both teams’ seasons on the line, whichever cat loses will have lost all nine lives right there.

Look for some key individual match-ups as well:  Haloti Ngata vs. center Fernando Velasco, William Gay vs. whoever is in at the #2 receiver position, and Gino Gradkowski vs. Gino Gradkowski.   Velasco currently has a -7.3 grade for the season (per  Ngata should be able to pass Parliament and go straight to Big Ben.   William Gay has more coverage issues than Janet Jackson. As for Gradkowski…we’ll quote Kermit the Frog here, “It’s not easy being green.”

So guys – give Uncle Pauly a good day…he deserves it!