The Pittsburgh Steelers finally got into the win column on Monday by taking down one division rival and finding a way to get around another will give them their first winning streak. The Steelers will pull whatever tricks they need to get the ball moving when they host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
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Pittsburgh lost franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending injury in Week 2 and watched backup Mason Rudolph struggle in Week 3 before dusting off the wildcat formation with some success in Monday's 27-3 triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals, and switching things up is the new normal for the team. "We're given circumstances and the players available to us," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters. "We'll shape a plan that puts us in a position to win this one with the current mix of players and under the circumstances, and I acknowledge that it could be different. We're just in a fragile state right now. We need to do whatever it is we need to do to move the ball and win football games." Moving the ball has proven to be easier of late against the Ravens, who allowed a total of 73 points in back-to-back losses to Kansas City and Cleveland the last two weeks. "We're not a defense that gives up big pass plays," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh told reporters. "We just never have been, not consistently. And we're not going to be that this year, and it's going to get fixed. It should have been fixed last week."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Ravens -3.5. O/U: 44.5
ABOUT THE RAVENS (2-2): Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson is in his first full season as a starter and enters the week fifth in the NFL in passer rating (109.4) while leading all NFL QBs in rushing yards (238). The 22-year-old threw his first two interceptions of the campaign in last week's 40-25 loss against Cleveland and is striving to improve as defenses adjust to his unique skill set. "I did well in some parts of the game, but I could've done a lot better," Jackson told reporters, referring to the lost against the Browns. "Could've helped my team more. We got stopped like five times. The game would've been totally different. We've got to be better and it starts out here (in practice)."
ABOUT THE STEELERS (1-3): Rudolph completed 24-of-28 passes in Monday's win but averaged only 8.2 yards per attempt and Pittsburgh elected to rush the ball 25 times despite limited success to take some pressure off the young quarterback. "When you've got a young quarterback, sometimes you can assist them by turning a 70-play game into a 50-play game," Tomlin told reporters. "I thought it was good for him to chew up some of those snaps to limit some of his exposure to the defense while putting the ball in the hands of some capable men and being able to produce some plays." Running back James Conner led the team with eight receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown in the win but suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and is questionable for Sunday after being limited in practice.
1. Steelers DT Cam Heyward (quad) left last week's game and is questionable for Sunday.
2. The Ravens signed LB Josh Bynes and waived LB Tim Williams.
3. The visiting team took each of the two meetings last season, with Baltimore earning a 26-14 triumph in Pittsburgh.
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News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
- HamstringOut indefinitely | out
Watt sustained a Grade 2 hamstring pull and will miss an undetermined length of time.
- ConcussionQues Week 5 | questionable
Johnson left the last game and has been placed in the concussion protocol. His status for Week 5 against the Eagles is in question.
- FootDoub Week 5 | doubtful
Allen has plantar fascitis in his foot and is unlikely to play against the Eagles in Week 5.
- KneeProb Sun | probable
DeCastro has sat out the previous two games with a knee injury, but it is likely that he will play against the Texans on Sunday.
- ShoulderProb Sun | probable
Dupree has a shoulder injury, but it is anticipated that he will play Sunday versus the Texans.
- KneeProb Sun | probable
Alualu is tending to a knee injury, but he is expected to face the Texans on Sunday.
- ToeProb Sun | probable
Johnson is managing a toe injury, but it is likely that he will line up against the Texans on Sunday.
- KneeProb Sun | probable
Smith-Schuster is bothered by a knee injury, but it is projected that he will take the field Sunday versus the Texans.
- FingerQues Sun | questionable
Moore has missed the past three games due to a broken finger, and it is uncertain if he will return versus the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
- ShoulderQues Sun | questionable
Stanley is dealing with a shoulder injury, and it has yet to be established if he will be active against the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
- KneeQues Sun | questionable
Madubuike has sat out the previous three games with a knee injury. It is unknown if he will return to the fold Sunday versus the Washington Football Team.
- ThighQues Sun | questionable
Hill has been held out the last three games with a thigh injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut against the Washington Football team on Sunday.
- AbdominalProb Mon | probable
Levine Sr. has an abdominal injury, but he is likely to play against the Chiefs on Monday.
- ShoulderProb Mon | probable
Fluker is saddled with a shoulder injury, but he is projected to be in Monday's lineup versus the Chiefs.
- AnkleProb Mon | probable
Stanley left the previous game with an ankle injury, but he is expected to take part in Monday's battle against the Chiefs.
- KneeI-R | I-R
Young has been added to the injured reserve list due to a torn ACL in his left knee.