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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Who I like, Baltimore version Part II

Coming down to Baltimore today, I couldn't help but think about how much this trip was like the  Steelers' visit to New York last year to face the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.

Because of the storms that ripped the New York/New Jersey area last November, the Steelers were unable to get in for the game until that morning. They met in their hotel after the short flight and headed off to the stadium, where they beat the Giants, 24-20.

It's much like the scenario this year, only the storm that has rolled through is the NFL.

The Steelers are the first team to have to play on the road on Sunday, then have to turn around and travel for a Thursday night road game four days later. And they're playing the defending Super Bowl champions to boot.

Baltimore is a three-point favorite in this game and the Ravens have only given up three touchdowns at home all season. Of course, they've also played the Jets, Browns and Texans in three of their five home games, so maybe it's understandable.

The winner of this game is going to be in good shape in the AFC playoff race, where six teams currently are vying for the sixth and final playoff spot, tied at 5-6.

And if the Steelers win this game, they could be in solid position to make a run at winning the AFC North. Current division leader Cincinnati (7-4) comes to Pittsburgh in two weeks, and with a victory Thursday, the Steelers would guarantee themselves a non-losing record in the AFC North, along with a regular season split with the Bengals.

I've looked at this game a hundred different ways and keep coming back to this: The Steelers are 10-5 against the Ravens with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Included in that record is a 7-2 record against the Ravens when Joe Flacco is Baltimore's quarterback.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley won't play, but Brett Keisel will be back for the Steelers.

Remember, too, that rookie Le'Veon Bell had his best game - 19 carries for 93 yards - against these same Ravens at Heinz Field.

I like the Steelers to pull out a close one, 16-13


Anonymous Brian said...

Ravens in a heartbreaker with controversial call that goes against us, 21-17.

(My other thought was that, don't we get to blow them out once in a while? It's our turn. They did it to us in 2011, week one. And we did in 2007 to them. Nah, it'll be close, late turnover by somebody decides, again.)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

As much as I'd like the Steelers to win, I think it's going to be difficult winning back to back road games.

Patrick said...

this really does have the feeling of a gut wrenching lose that makes us wonder at the end of the season - what if we won one of those games against Ten, Oak or Min.

I'll go Ravens 26-20 in OT with a Tebow style quick TD that ends it.

If the Steelers can manage a pick six/turnover near Ravens endzone or a return for a TD they win by 3.

mv7267 said...

The defensive backs need to play smart on the deep jump ball that has become Flacco's "claim to eliteness". His WRs will either make a catch or draw the DPI, they seem to never just fall incomplete. I'm also concerned about the middle of the defense, Woods needs to stand Gradkowski up on every run so Timmons, Williams & TP have clean views on Rice. Kiesel being back is huge, he eats the Ravens up, turning plays back to the middle.

Low scoring, kicker will be the winner, 19-17.

George said...

I have no clue....This game worries me. Ravens D line seems healthy also Ben being named AFC player of the month will give them extra incentive to pressure Ben and tear down Ben's meat house.
I can only hope we don't get a set of those refs that call a lot of pass interference or holding

Ridoy Ahamed said...

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