Overall Rookie Grade: 84.6 (Rank: 1/22)
Principal Opponent: Greg Dulcich
Week 13 Snaps: 29
Over the season, Hamilton has settled into a role in which he covers tight ends in sub packages for the Ravens’ defense. Earlier in the season, he was an every-down safety, but lately, the majority of his snaps have been covering tight ends over the slot. This week, he had two defensive stops and allowed two catches for 12 yards.
Overall Rookie Grade: 69.7 (Rank: 1/4)
Principal Opponent: D.J. Jones
Week 13 Snaps: 72
Linderbaum gave up another pair of pressures this week in pass protection, but they came across 50 such snaps, given the game situation. Linderbaum’s run blocking has been excellent in Year 1, but pass protection has been an issue at times, and he has now surrendered 19 pressures, sixth-most among centers.
Ravens Sign DeSean Jackson to 53-Man Roster - Ryan Mink
Jackson has caught five passes for 100 yards in his three games so far. He had a 62-yarder against the Jaguars that gave the Ravens a chance to win the game late. He reached 21.48 mph on the play, the third-fastest speed in the NFL by any ball carrier this season.
With clearly more juice in the tank, Jackson will play a key role in the Ravens offense down the stretch as a big-play threat. The Ravens tried a couple times to get him the ball deep in Sunday’s win over the Broncos, but he and Tyler Huntley didn’t connect.
While Demarcus Robinson leads the Ravens’ receivers in targets since Rashod Bateman was lost for the year due to foot surgery, Jackson is taking on a bigger role. He had a season-high 25 snaps (35%) against the Broncos, up from 14% the week before.
The Ravens were 8-4 through 12 games last year and were in first place in the AFC North, although an improving Cincinnati Bengals team was lurking. The Ravens’ offense wasn’t playing well and was held under 20 points for four straight games from Week 10 to Week 13. In a Week 14 loss at Cleveland, scuffling quarterback Lamar Jackson went down with an ankle injury that was initially billed as week to week but not season-ending.
A year later, the Ravens are again 8-4 with five regular-season games remaining. They are in first place courtesy of a head-to-head win over the Bengals (8-4) in early October. However, their position feels tenuous with the Bengals having started their late-season surge with four straight wins, including consecutive victories over the division-leading Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Ravens’ offense is again an issue, having found the end zone just four times over the past three games. And Jackson is again hurt and expected to miss some time with a knee injury, meaning it will be up to backup Tyler Huntley to keep the Ravens in the hunt.
Tomlin, Steelers ready to face Ravens, Huntley again - Lolley & Varley
But despite Huntley making just his fifth career start, the Steelers have familiarity with him. Huntley started the regular season finale against the Steelers here in 2021 with Jackson out with an ankle injury. The Steelers won that game, 16-13, limiting Huntley to 141 yards passing and picking him off twice and forcing one fumble.
“They’re one of the few teams that have major quarterback mobility that have done a consistent job of making sure that mobility isn’t lost when they’re quarterback goes down, whether it’s Huntley, (Trace) McSorely or RGIII (Robert Griffin III),” Tomlin said. “You think about the last four or five years, they’ve always got quality backups that are capable of delivering the schematics they choose to employ. Quarterback mobility is going to be an issue in this game, no matter who is playing. We had better be sharp in that area. We had better minimize that component of play. It’s a signature of the Ravens’ attack.”
The Steelers have done a good job overall this season limiting quarterback running, allowing just 188 yards on 47 attempts. That ranks as the ninth-fewest rushing yards allowed to opposing quarterbacks this season.
“Andrews is going to be significant regardless of who is playing quarterback,” Tomlin said. “His ability to dominate the game down the field, it goes beyond his position. He’s a No. 1 receiver in the National Football League in the way (Travis) Kelce is a No. 1 receiver. You’re boxing him in describing him as a tight end. We had better work to minimize his impact on the game.”
The Ravens (8-4) were initially favored in the Week 14 matchup entering this past weekend, but quarterback Lamar Jackson left the team’s narrow win over the Denver Broncos with a knee injury. Even before coach John Harbaugh said Monday that Jackson was unlikely to play against Pittsburgh, the betting line had flipped, with the Steelers (5-7) now favored by three points.
Pittsburgh has won three of its past four games and is in the middle of its first winning streak this season. After beating the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12, the Steelers won their second straight road game, holding on to top the Atlanta Falcons, 19-16, on Sunday.
The Ravens have struggled to live up to expectations at home this season, but they’re 4-2 against the spread in road games this season. According to CBS Sports, they’re also 5-2-1 against the spread in their past eight trips to Pittsburgh.
The Steelers lead the all-time series 32-24 and have won four straight meetings.