Sports

Steelers’ protection will clamp down on Ravens’ QB Jackson – Baltimore Ravens Weblog- ESPN – ESPN

1 p.m. ET | CBS

Matchup rating: 78.2 | Spread: BAL -3.5 (46.5)

What to watch for: How will Steelers’ pass rush try to contain Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson’s elusiveness? The Steelers have blitzed 46% of the time this season — their highest rate since Mike Tomlin’s first year as head coach (2007) — and have a league-high 17 sacks when sending more than four rushers. But few can avoid pressure like Jackson, who is 10-1 since the start of 2019 when rushing for 70 or more yards. — Jamison Hensley

Bold prediction: The Steelers will sack Jackson four times and hold him to under 50 rushing yards. In Jackson’s lone outing against the Steelers last season, he was sacked five times and intercepted three. He did manage 70 rushing yards against the Steelers’ defense, but this year, the Steelers are allowing just 68.8 rushing yards per game — an improvement from last year’s 109.6 mark. — Brooke Pryor

Stat to know: This marks the 25th meeting between Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh, the most between two head coaches in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) and the third most in NFL history (regular season only), according to Elias Sports Bureau research. But it also marks the fifth matchup in NFL history between a 6-0 team (or better) and the reigning league MVP. Advantage Steelers, as the unbeaten team won three of the previous four such meetings.

Injuries: Steelers | Ravens

What to know for fantasy: Pittsburgh receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster saw 14 targets last weekend against the Titans, matching his combined total from his prior three games. His floor games have garnered attention, but he does have more than 16 points three times this season. See Week 8 rankings.

Betting nugget: Pittsburgh is the seventh team in the Super Bowl era to get more than three points as an underdog with a 6-0 or better outright record. Each of the previous six lost outright and went 2-4 against the spread (ATS). Read more.

Pryor’s pick: Ravens 30, Steelers 27

Hensley’s pick: Ravens 27, Steelers 20

FPI prediction: BAL, 67.0% (by an average of 6.0 points)

Matchup must-reads: Steelers prove they can start fast just in time for Ravens … Big Ben and the Heisman winners: Sizing up QBs in the NFL’s best division … Ravens upgrade pass rush with Ngakoue … Brady, Big Ben are about to become the most-sacked QBs ever: How they got here, and who’s next … What does Dez do for Ravens?

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