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Ravens News 10/30: Familiar Confrontation and more

PITTSBURGH STEELERS VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS Doug Kapustin/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Matthew Judon Welcomes Yannick Ngakoue With Open Arms - Ryan Mink

“The front office assessed where we were and they got us some more help. Eric and those guys up there, Ozzie [Newsome], they did a great job. They saw an opportunity and they seized that opportunity,” Judon said in a one-on-one interview for Ravens Report.

“We got Yannick in here. I think that’s just going to propel our defense to where we want to go. I think we were playing good football, but I also think we can play a lot better – more four-man rushes, getting more pressure on the quarterback and making more negative plays.”

As Judon made clear, the Ravens were already playing at a high level. They’re No. 1 in the league in points allowed per game and have the second-most sacks in the league (22) among teams who have played six games, only trailing Pittsburgh (26). Judon has two sacks and 11 quarterback hits thus far.

“He’s a great player. He demands attention,” Judon said. “That’s just going to help us as outside linebacker and edge rushers be better. I think our room got a lot better. Teams are going to have to pick their poison.”

NFL trade deadline 2020: One trade every team should make, 32 different scenarios - Cody Benjamin

Baltimore Ravens

Acquire: Lions WR Marvin Jones

Trade: 2021 sixth-round draft pick, 2022 seventh-round pick

Baltimore is only making a serious run if Lamar Jackson steps up as a passer, but giving him more proven production out wide wouldn’t hurt. Jones is older and more like WR3 material, but for a low cost, why not take the gamble? He could start immediately.

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin, Baltimore Ravens’ John Harbaugh to face off record 25th time - Jamison Hensley

In Sunday’s clash for first place in the AFC North, the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin and the Ravens’ John Harbaugh will become the first pair of head coaches in the Super Bowl era to face off 25 times in the regular season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Harbaugh holds a 13-11 edge over Tomlin in the regular season since their first meeting in 2008. It has been a closely contested series that has resulted in two-thirds of the games being decided by four points or fewer, including four overtime games.

“You know what the Ravens games are about,” Tomlin said. “They are a top-notch organization and football team. They have talent across the board. They’re familiar with us. We’re familiar with them. There’s continuity within schematics and both staffs and core players and things, and I think that’s what adds to the intrigue. We should anticipate it being a physical and rough-and-tumble game because history tells us that, and how the two teams are playing this year also gives you that indication.”

Pittsburgh Steelers: Make-Or-Break Matchups vs. the Ravens - Noah Strackbein

Terrell Edmunds vs. Mark Andrews

Terrell Edmunds has become a factor within this defense. It took three years, but he’s here, and he’s playing well.

“I do enjoy being able to play safety some and go down into the box, because I feel comfortable in the box,” Edmunds said. “That’s where I can see things faster, react faster. There’s more so playing football for me.”

Without Devin Bush, Edmunds is now the primary cover for an opposing tight end. Jonnu Smith was the defense’s first team, and one they held strong covering. This week, it’s Mark Andrews.

Lamar Jackson vs. Everyone

This season, Jackson has thrown for 1,135 yards and 10 touchdowns while rushing for 346 yards and two scores.

“There’s a lot of things he can do,” defensive coordinator Keith Butler said. “He’s fast. He’s quick. He’s hard to get on the ground. He’s extremely athletic. He can throw the ball just as good as he runs the ball. He’s going to be a hard time for us to defend and try to win this ball game.”

NFL Week 8 game picks: Panthers best Falcons; Steelers top Ravens - Gregg Rosenthal

Pittsburgh Steelers 26, Baltimore Ravens 24

These teams are so good that it’s hard not to focus on the imperfections. The running game should be the foundation of the Ravens’ attack, but it’s hard to imagine it working consistently against a Steelers defense that represents Baltimore’s toughest challenge this season by far. The way to beat Pittsburgh is over the top, with big passes against some vulnerable cornerbacks. Lamar Jackson and friends are capable of exploding at any moment, but I haven’t seen it enough yet to trust them this week. Pittsburgh’s formula of young wideouts making plays after the catch buoyed by an improving James Conner feels more sustainable.