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Steelers notebook: No reminders needed that Ravens are next foe

Nobody needs to tell the Steelers what this week is.

“It’s Baltimore and the Steelers. It’s going to be big, and everybody’s ready to go,” David DeCastro said Monday. “There’s just a little extra … it’s hard to put into words.”

It also was for Ravens coach John Harbaugh when asked the significance of wrapping up the season series against the Steelers with nearly half a season remaining.

“They give you a schedule,” he said. “It’s just (a) waste of energy to even think about stuff like that, so I don’t think about it.”

• Ben Roethlisberger’s 18-1 record in October is the best of any QB on his home field in the Super Bowl era. Tom Brady is 24-3. Terry Bradshaw was 19-3 at Three Rivers Stadium.

• The Ravens will face the Steelers on Sunday without one of their starting cornerbacks. ESPN reported Jimmy Smith will be sidelined for at least a few weeks with a sprained left foot. Smith, the Ravens’ 2011 first-round pick, suffered the injury during the opening drive Sunday in Baltimore’s game against the Bengals. The Ravens have three healthy cornerbacks on their active roster: Ladarius Webb, Dominique Franks and Chykie Brown.

• Martavis Bryant is the first Steelers rookie wide receiver to catch three touchdown passes in his first two career games since Louis Lipps in 1984. By comparison, Lynn Swann (two), John Stallworth (one) and Hines Ward (zero) had only three TD catches combined during their rookie seasons. “He’s doing some really good things, but like I said, we’re not going to be too high to praise him because there are some things he needs to do. But the plays he makes are pretty special,” Roethlisberger said.

• Roethlisberger wasn’t sacked for the first time in his past 12 starts dating to the Thanksgiving loss at Baltimore last season. He also was hit only once in 49 passing attempts. “He’s so talented,” DeCastro said. “If you give him time, don’t let him get hit, let him do his thing, (let him) get in a rhythm and keep in that rhythm, he can look at receivers downfield rather than looking at where the pressure’s from.”

• The Steelers’ 81 points against the Colts (51) and Texans (30) are their most in a two-game span since they scored 83 against the Chiefs (45) and Falcons (38) in 2006. Their 34 first downs tied the Saints (versus Tampa Bay) for the most in the league this season.

— Alan Robinson


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