Pittsburgh Steelers look to take 1-0 series lead as they head into Baltimore

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 25: Mike Mitchell /

The Pittsburgh Steelers need to bounce back from their Week 3 loss to the Chicago Bears with a win at M&T Bank Stadium.

At 2-1, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers control their own destiny in the AFC North early in the season. With the Cincinnati Bengals off to a surprisingly slow start and the Cleveland Browns still in the rebuilding stage, the division seems to be open for one of two teams.

As the first game of the 2017 series between the Steelers and Ravens, this one is going to be intense. Probably the most heated rivalry in all of sports, this game should feature all of the hard hits, big plays and smack talk it could jam into 60 minutes.

For Pittsburgh, they should have the upper hand as the more well-rounded team in this one. Baltimore has started hot, but their 44-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week proved they’re full of wholes the Steelers can take advantage of.

The Steelers could be without two stars this week which could hurt them on both sides of the ball. Marcus Gilbert should be a scratch in Week 4, meaning Pittsburgh will be a man down on the offensive line. With Le’Veon Bell hoping to build momentum, missing starters on the line could stahl him from finding his breakout game this season.

On the other side of the ball, Mike Mitchell is most likely going to miss the team’s first meeting with Baltimore. As a limited participant in practice this week, we could see No. 23 take the field Sunday, but chances are Pittsburgh will rotate between J.J. Wilcox and Robert Golden at safety for this one.

Next: Projected inactives for Week 4

At the end of it all, there’s no predicting the outcome of this one. Steelers vs Ravens is the most intense matchup of Week 4 and like always, you can expect smash mouth football.

Nothing more, nothing less.