Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Steelers @ Baltimore: The Matchups

The Steelers go against an inferior opponent this week, one that they should beat handily -- stop us if you've heard this before -- but before anyone dismisses the Ravens as something something akin to a nuisance on the way to the playoffs remember this:
  • In the last eleven regular season meetings with the Ravens, the Steelers have a record of 6-5.

  • During that same period, on average, the Ravens have scored 19.45 points per game while the Steelers have scored 20.

  • The Steelers have not won a game in Baltimore since October 27, 2002; and have not had 100 yards rushing in a game played in Baltimore since that game.

  • Since then, in games played in Baltimore, the Steelers have been outscored, on average, 21.5-9 and have averaged 60 yards rushing (including 21 yards in the most recent game in Baltimore -- November 26, 2006)
With all of that in mind, here is a look at his week's matchups:

Baltimore Offense v. Steelers Defense
Average total yards per game: Baltimore offense 23rd (299.9) v. Steelers defense 1st (261.9).

Average net rushing yards per game: Baltimore offense 18th (107.8) v. Steelers defense 3rd (83.9)

Average net passing yards per game: Baltimore offense 22nd (192.1) v. Steelers defense 3rd (178.0)

Average points per game: Baltimore offense 25th (16.53) v. Steelers defense 3rd (16.13)

Steelers Offense v. Baltimore Defense
Average total yards per game: Steelers offense 17th (331.7) v. Baltimore defense 7th (304.1)

Average net rushing yards per game: Steelers offense 3rd (141.2) v. Baltimore defense 2nd (81.5)

Average net passing yards per game: Steelers offense 25th (190.5) v. Baltimore defense 22nd (222.6)

Average points per game: Steelers offense: 8th (24.8) v. Baltimore defense 24th (24.2)

Special Teams
Average yards per punt return: Baltimore 10th (10.0) v. Steelers 30th (6.3)

Average yards allowed per punt return: Baltimore 22nd (10.3) v. Steelers 16th (9.0)

Average yards per kick return: Baltimore 8th (23.8) v. Steelers 20th (22.1)

Average yards allowed per kick return: Baltimore 25th (23.9) v. Steelers 17th (22.9)

Net yardage punting average: Baltimore 27th (35.5) v. Steelers 10th (37.8)

Opponent net yardage punting average: Baltimore 19th (37.3) v. Steelers 26th (38.3)

Turnover differential: Baltimore 32nd (-19) v. Steelers 8th (+5)

Time of possession: Baltimore 12th (30:25) v. Steelers 1st (33:58)

Red Zone touchdown efficiency: Baltimore 28th (41.5%) v. Steelers 10th (56.6%)

Red Zone defense (touchdowns): Baltimore 3rd (40.0%) v. Steelers 23rd (55.9%)

Sacks allowed: Baltimore 22nd (37) v. Steelers 28th (47)

Sacks: Baltimore 16th (32) v. Steelers 13th (34)

Some Individual Numbers
Passer rating: Troy Smith 73.6 (5 TDs, 7 INTs) v. Ben Roethlisberger 104.1 (32 TDs, 11 INTs)

Leading rushers: Willis McGahee 1,207 yards (4.1 yards per carry, 7 TDs) v. Willie Parker 1,316 yards (4.1 yards per carry, 2 TDs)
In an unusual development each team's leading rusher -- numbers 5 and 2 respectively in the league -- is out for Sunday's game. The statistics for the projected starters are: Musa Smith 181 yards (3.4 yards per carry, 2 TDs) v. Najeh Davenport 472 yards (5.0 yards per carry, 4 TDs)

Leading receiver: Derrick Mason 97 receptions -- #3 in the NFL -- (1,015 yards, 10.5 yards per catch, 5 TDs) v. Hines Ward 71 receptions (732 yards, 10.3 yards per catch, 7 TDs)

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