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Friday, October 18, 2013

Who I like, Ravens version

When you look at the Ravens and Steelers, there are, as usual, a lot of similarities.

This season, many of those similarities are for bad things.

Plenty of turnovers? Check.

Trouble protecting the quarterback? Check.

No running game? Check?

The differences? Pittsburgh's defense has been more stingy in terms of yards allowed, while Baltimore's pass rush has been better.

Other than that and a 1-4 record for the Steelers compared to a 3-3 mark for Baltimore, they are nearly identical.

So who to pick in this game?

Baltimore has won three of its past four games in Pittsburgh, while the Steelers have won three of five in Baltimore. Go figure.

The Steelers are also 0-2 at home this season. But Baltimore is 1-2 on the road.

The Steelers are also 9-5 against the Ravens when Ben Roethlisberger starts at QB, while the Ravens are 5-5 with Joe Flacco at quarterback against the Steelers.

I think this is the year that these two teams flip-flop their home/away splits, with the Steelers beating the Ravens in Pittsburgh and Baltimore winning the rematch at home.

The Steelers are 1 1/2-point favorites in this game. I don't see the Steelers dropping to 0-3 at home, especially considering that even at their worst, a 6-10 record in 2002, they still went 4-4 at Heinz Field, their worst record at their new football-only stadium.

Take Pittsburgh in a close one, 20-17


marc said...

this is such a tough one to pick. the ravens have wins against poor QB play in weeden, schaub and tannehill. losses against manning, manuel (who didn't play well in that game), and rodgers. which category will #7 reside for this game?

if the steelers find a way to thwart the pass rush (however that may be) and they keep the ravens from hitting the big plays (which they are living and dying on this year) then i see the steelers winning by 10.

nothing irks me more than flacco being hailed as a great QB for throwing 60 yard hail mary jump balls downfield and his WR's doing all the work. ughhh!

Dale Lolley said...

Just reminded me of the other stat I wanted to throw out. Roethlisberger completed 65 percent of his passes. Flacco 57 percent. With no running game, 57 percent is going to stall a lot of drives.

Anonymous said...

Have you picked the Steelers to win 6 times in a row now?

Dale Lolley said...

Uh, no.
Picked against them in Cincinnati.

Will probably pick against them in Oakland. Definitely in New England.

And, as I said here, I'll pick against them when they're in Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

It was obvious that someone got the message last game, get rid of the ball quickly:

"His first 10 attempts were all quick throws: 0.97, 0.96, 1.81, 1.71, 1.41, 1.76, 1.67, 1.01, 2.79 (sack), 3.40 (pump fake) and 1.81 seconds."

Same thing has to happen this week and if Ben can continue playing turnover free ball, I like the Steelers 24-17.

phil said...

this is going to be an ugly game, and for once its wont be because of the rivalry

Anonymous Brian said...

I don't know what to expect. During the week I found myself excited that "we" beat a probable 7-9 team and looked OK doing it. Pretty low bar.

Also, special teams hasn't cost "us" a game yet. I'll say Ravens 18-17, with a big punt return and, er, blocked field goal or something freakish.

After the euphoria of finally winning cleared, I still find it tough to think about "Maybe the division winner only has to be 9-7" scenarios until "we" get to .500.

Patrick said...

I like the Steelers 23-17 in this one.

Running the ball will be critical.

I really think Troy is due for a big pick. He seems healthy this year and when hes healthy he just doesn't go this long without making an interception.