Flacco To See Greater Test In Steelers

Ravens QB Joe Flacco hasn’t performed well in Pittsburgh throughout his career.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Ryan Mink, Week 4 at Steelers

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco showed his resilience by beating the Cleveland Browns.

But duplicating that success against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense would be an entirely different feat.

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Flacco will face a team he owns a 1-4 record against, in a stadium where he has struggled against the NFL’s top defense in terms of points allowed.

“You can’t look at that defense and say, ‘Well, you know what? That’s the weak link,’” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “There’s no weak link in that defense.”

Flacco has a regular season career quarterback rating of 52.9 versus Pittsburgh, the lowest against any team he has faced multiple times. It would be worse if counting the 2008 AFC Championship in Pittsburgh, where Flacco posted a career-low 18.2 rating with three interceptions.

He did improve against Pittsburgh in his second season, however.

In the first meeting in Baltimore last year, Flacco completed 23 of 35 attempts for 289 yards and a touchdown, good for a 100.8 quarterback rating and a 20-17 overtime win.

When he traveled to Pittsburgh, Flacco’s rating dropped to 83.1. He completed 13 of 25 attempts for 166 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers won the rematch, 23-20.

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was absent for both of those games. The last time Flacco saw him on the field, Polamalu was returning an interception for a touchdown in the AFC Championship game.

“Troy kind of makes a big difference back there because he – I’m not exactly sure what he’s being taught – but he’s got a great knack for changing everything up all the time,” Harbaugh said. “It’s hard to find him and where he’s at, and you’ve always got to be aware of where he’s at.”

As tough as Pittsburgh’s defense is, its secondary hasn’t been impenetrable this season. The Steelers rank No. 17 in the NFL in average passing yards allowed per game (219). The Cleveland Browns, by comparison, rank 12th with 199 yards per game.

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