Steelers-Ravens II: Different month, same pressure to win


Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is reportedly coaching for his future with the franchise. But starting with Week 5, a once-maligned Steelers defense hasn't allowed more than 21 points in a game.

"I don't think there would be any player that would say they felt like they played their best game", Steelers' offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said. Pittsburgh increased the margin to 14-3 on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown with 7:18 left in the half.

But the Ravens are in the midst of a serious dry spell, and owner Steve Bisciotti acknowledged last February that firing Harbaugh after the 2017 season "was certainly a consideration".

"We were doubted early in the season, but now that we found our rhythm, everyone's healthy", Hilton said. James Conner, who has been by far the biggest star for the Steelers, is playing at an All-Pro level in 2018.

"It's a tough place to play", Fichtner said. Their last loss came September 30 against the Ravens at Heinz Field, as the Steelers converted 2-of-12 third downs and rushed for just 19 yards in that game.

"We have to make sure, as much as we can, that we keep the ball in front of us", Butler said. The Steelers have given Conner the ball 108 times over the last four matchups, and he's produced almost 700 yards with that faith. They get excited playing in their crowd. "It's an exciting place to play".

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After Friday's practice, Roethlisberger's equipment bag was packed with two pairs of cleats - one for the pregame tribute, one black-and-gold pair for game action. No Steeler has ever reached 10 touchdowns this quickly. Baltimore likely needs to go 6-1 the rest of the way to earn a spot in the postseason. Roethlisberger enters Sunday's game against the Ravens with a broken index finger on his non-throwing hand.

One of the hottest teams in the league looks well-positioned for winter football - and a playoff run - after controlling the pace in a physical 23-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Roethlisberger fully practiced Thursday and Friday.

"A lot of guys are banged up", safety Eric Weddle said.

Brown hopes the Steelers can pick up an important victory on Sunday at a place where wins and yards have been hard to come by. "Every man in here believes in him", said Brown of Dobbs. "It's one of those environments you love to excel in". Lauten relayed a notice from CBS Sports that several of Pittsburgh's upcoming games on their network would be protected against prime time flexing, including their game against the Saints in the regular season's final weeks. Matt Feiler will start at right tackle for the second straight week if Gilbert can not play.