Steelers – Ravens Week
The Pittsburgh Steelers embark on a crucial showdown in a week 13 matchup against the 8-3 Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night at M & T Stadium.
A win puts the Steelers in position to win the division, with games remaining against Cincinnati, New York Jets, Carolina and Cleveland to close out the season.
A loss puts the Steelers behind the eight ball as the Steelers will basically be two games behind the Ravens as the Ravens will have the head-to-head tiebreaker, if they prevail Sunday night.
Here are some tidbits from Mike Tomlin’s Press Conference
TOMLIN’S ASSESMENT OF BUFFALO GAME
Tomlin said what stood out to him was the Steelers making critical plays in all three phases.
“Thought we had critical playmaking at criticial times, Tomlin said.
On offense, Tomlin pointed to Ben Roethlisberger’s scrambling on third down and third down playmaking in general, saying the Steelers “delivered necessary plays.”
Defensively, Tomlin pointed to Troy Polamalu’s interception and what the defense was able to do in overtime under the circumstances and better part of overtime, given the good field position Buffalo had in OT.
On special teams, Tomlin praised Shaun Suisham who kicked four field goals and Daniel Sepulveda’s punt in overtime, which according to Tomlin changed the complexion of the game.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown, worked out this morning and had a really good workout according to Tomlin. Brown is likely to be available to play this Sunday.
There is good news on the injury front for Nick Eason and Bryant McFadden.
Tomlin said Eason looks pretty good to play and is expected to play. The fear on Sunday is that Eason would be out for 1-to-2 weeks with an MCL sprain.
The Steelers also optimistic on cornerback Bryant McFadden, who has a hamstring injury, however, with these injuries it’s wait and see.
Defensive end Brett Keisel will be a full participant on Wednesday. He has missed the past five games.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has some discomfort with a sprained right foot. According to Tomlin, he might be limited on Wednesday but he’s fully expected to be ready for later in the week, even though he’s wearing a protected boot on his foot right now. It’s concerning but he should be able to go.
If Roethlisberger were surprisingly unable to play this weekend, Byron Leftwich would start, per Tomlin.
Aaron Smith continues to progress and is a “week better”.
Steelers will limit Troy Polamalu on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
Tight end Matt Spaeth will take a post concussion test on Wednesday morning to determine his availability for practice tomorrow.
STEELERS DID NOT COMPTEPLATE BENCHING KEMOEATU
Starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu had 4 holding penalties against Buffalo and struggled mightily against defensive lineman Kyle Williams who got constant pressure to Roethlisberger.
Tomlin said today he did not think about benching Kemoeatu.
“Reason I didn’t, is I liked the way we collectively responded to the adversity, ” Tomlin said.
*Tomlin appeared very pleased with William’s Gay play against Buffalo who stepped in to replace Bryant McFadden. Tomlin said that Gay specifically responded to the challenge and his breakup on Troy’s interception was just as important as Troy’s interception.
*Tomlin didn’t want to touch the James Harrison subject but said Harrison has to change the way he plays since the league doesn’t agree with it.
*The Ravens have opened up at 3 point favorites
*In the John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco era, the Ravens are 2-4 against the Steelers and 0-4 against Ben Roethlisberger.