Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Keys to Victory

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Sep 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson (20) and Adam Jones (24) break up a pass intended for Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken (11) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals defeated Baltimore Ravens 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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Flacco and Steve Smith Sr. have been carving defenses apart to start the season, but they can’t do it alone. Baltimore desperately needs another playmaker on the outside to step up and make a few plays.

Smith leads the team with 25 receptions, and the only other players on the roster with 10 receptions or more are Forsett and Crockett Gillmore. Not only are receivers not making an impact, they’re not being looked at either. Kamar Aiken was targeted just once against the Bengals. Marlon Brown has just six catches on 11 targets this season. The Ravens receiving corps just isn’t as talented as many thought entering the season.

The Ravens are getting good production from Gillmore and rookie tight ends Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle. Gillmore has been the surprise of the season and the rookies have stepped up when their numbers have been called. The position looks promising for years to come.

Flacco needs someone to step up and be that guy opposite Smith. The Ravens have taken their time in getting first-round pick Breshad Perriman back on the field, but they desperately need him out there. They are lacking that presence to take the top off the defense and teams are going to start double teaming Smith if someone doesn’t step up. Perriman is getting close to a return, but the Ravens can’t count on him until he’s back on the practice field.

With 40 targets in three games, it’s clear Smith is the go-to guy in the offense. The Steelers will likely force Flacco to go to someone other than Smith on Thursday night. Someone besides Smith needs to make a play in the passing game.

Next: Jared Allen Would Have Solved the Ravens Problems

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