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Steelers Have Little Clue on Ravens Plans as Playoffs Hang in Balance



steelers playoff ravens Tyler Huntley

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ playoff hopes loom in a critical matchup with the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. That game is a must-win for Pittsburgh, though they can get in with some help even in a loss. However, the fact that neither Lamar Jackson nor Tyler Huntley have been declared the starting quarterback throws a wrench into things for the group. So, they are planning on facing the scheme with two dynamic players.

“We prep for the system and we prep thinking they are going to play their guys. That’s how you have to do it and then we go from there,” Austin said. “…I don’t think they do much different with either of them in there. It’s about preparing for the system more than anything.”

Mike Tomlin said the Steelers do not care what the Ravens do, but they will prepare for the base schematics and general personnel they use, whether Jackson-led or Huntley-led. The variables around the rest of the gameplan will be decided later in the week.

“We prepare for what they’re capable of. We prepare for their best,” Tomlin said. “And so that makes that conversation less significant. We better be prepared to defend the best of them or stop the best of them in a component of what they do is schematics and is not necessarily people. And so we better be ready for the schematic component of what they do. And so that’s not a big deal for us, to be quite honest with you.”

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that they would know who will play once they started practicing. For the Steelers playoff hopes, that is an important thing to watch, and with Harbaugh scheduled to talk to the media later in the week, that clarity will come soon enough.

“I have not made a decision on any personnel yet,” Harbaugh said. “We have to work through the injury part of it first, and that will take us 24-48 hours. We’re not going to keep it a secret. We’ll let you know what we’ll do once we start practicing.”

The Ravens are the top seed in the AFC, but have already clinched a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, so they have nothing to play for against Pittsburgh.

The Steelers beat the Ravens, 17-10, in Pittsburgh in Week 5. They were 4.5-point underdogs to the Ravens in that game. All of the players and coaches are embracing the idea of playing the system and mentality rather than the players that will be across from them with the doubt.