2012 NFL season: Baltimore Ravens favourites against AFC North rivals Pittsburgh Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers twice in the 2011 National Football League (NFL) season and a similar fate possibly awaits Steelers this year as the archrivals from the American Football Conference (AFC) North division
face each other for the first time in week 9 of the regular season.
A look at the squads of both sides shows that Ravens have improved at a number of positions, while their opposition Steelers are coming out on the field this season with many changes on the reverse.
First, Steelers will be without a number of veterans who have been a part of the team’s ups and downs in the past and helped it out at many occasions of crisis. They all were let go under the team’s austerity drive.
Steelers’ future is dependent on their young players. Although they have the energy and force, it will require a lot of work to get them perform up to their potentials.
Second, the team at the moment faces uncertainty and difficulties in learning new scheme of the new offensive coordinator, Todd Haley.
Ben Roethlisberger, the offence leader, has spoken of his displeasure over the new coach’s offensive scheme. It is not clear if Todd’s approach will benefit or have a negative impact on Big Ben’s form.
Ravens, on other hand, have brought some improvements in the outfit. For example, they have increased their reliance on the offence as much as they have traditionally done so on the defence.
Former Indianapolis Colts' head coach, Jim Caldwell, has joined Ravens as quarterbacks coach, and he expects to improve game of the offence leader, Joe Flacco, and backup crop of the players.
Also, the team’s has one of the most balanced squads in the league, a mix of experience and youth. In spite of having played for over a decade, almost all veterans remain intact in Baltimore, hoping they help themselves through to the
Super Bowl win.
The most recent record of Ravens against Steelers is also in the former’s favour. Ravens beat Steelers twice and took away the tiebreaker advantage last season. Steelers must be wary of the entire situation and try to topple their opponents
this season to settle their last year’s score with them.