Defense will be abundant in Pittsburgh this weekend as the Steelers set to host the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field in an AFC Wild Card matchup. The Steelers welcome the Ravens in the midst of a four-game win streak and is arguably the AFC’s hottest team, but they’ll be without star running back Le’Veon Bell after suffering a knee injury in Week 17’s game against the Bengals. Without Bell, the Steelers will need to fill a big void in their rushing game and lack the depth needed to make a stir offensively.
The average ticket price for Steelers vs Ravens tickets on TicketIQ is $201.63, which down 28% this week and 40% below the 2011 playoff game between the two teams, which saw an average price of $337.70 on the secondary market. The get-in price for this weekend's Wild Card game is also down this week, from $106 to $83.
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Without Bell in the backfield, Ben Roethlisberger will have to put more emphasis on the Steelers’ passing offense on Sunday. Following Bell’s early departure against the Bengals, Roethlisberger threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns en route to 27-17 win at home. He’ll have to rely on wide receiver Antonio Brown, who led the league in receptions and receiving yards and looks to put up even more numbers against the Ravens secondary.
The Steelers took down the Ravens 43-23 on six Roethlisberger touchdowns at Heinz Field on November 2. Five different receivers caught touchdowns for Pittsburgh, so fans can expect the Steelers to hit a series of targets to exploit the Ravens secondary on Sunday. The Ravens will set to welcome nose tackle Haloti Ngata back to the field after serving a four-week drug suspension and he’ll serve as a dominant force up front for the Ravens in Pittsburgh.
Both teams are just three wins away from this year’s Super Bowl, where average ticket price has exceeded the $2000 average on the secondary market. Hospitality packages will also be provided for tried and true fans traveling to Arizona on February 1. Just four weeks separate the season from the Super Bowl and plans should start coming to fruition for those hoping to watch two of the NFL’s best teams compete in the biggest game of the year.
Not many playmakers make up the Steelers’ defense, but they didn’t have much trouble getting to Joe Flacco in their last matchup in Week 9. Flacco was sacked four times and was hit a total of eight times. Such numbers haven’t boasted great results for Baltimore this season, either. Without their starting tackles in tow this season, the Ravens have had a knack for losing when Flacco is sacked multiple times. He’ll need to rely on a dominant performance from Justin Forsett, who took over the reigns behind Flacco following the Ray Rice controversy earlier this season.
Wherever the chips fall on Sunday in Pittsburgh, one team will move one step closer to representing the AFC in the Super Bowl in February.