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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Who I like, Ravens part I

Oh the story lines for this game.

The Steelers will be playing without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger once again against the Ravens. It will mark the seventh time they've faced the Steelers without Roethlisberger since he became the starter in 2004. Baltimore has won five of the previous six matchups.

I think the Steelers will be OK in the long term with Vick at quarterback - and it will be long-term as Roethlisberger is expected to miss closer to six weeks than he is four - but this is a tough spot for the Steelers to get Vick prepared.

They had one "regular" practice on Tuesday and it was more of a glorified walk through. Considering Vick's talents do not mimic those of Roethlisberger, it's a lot to expect to have him be a finished product at this point.

But the Ravens have some issues of their own. In addition to having defensive star Terrell Suggs out for the season, Baltimore will be without tight end Crockett Gillmore, left tackle Eugene Monroe and defensive end Chris Canty.

Monroe is overrated in my opinion, but he is the starter, so anytime you get the backup out there, that's not a good thing.

The big loss is Gillmore, who has emerged as a secondary target behind Steve Smith. Justin Forsett is second on the team with 12 catches, but is averaging four yards a catch.

Does that even things out?

A bit. But not enough in my mind for the Steelers to win this one on a short week.

The Ravens are in circle-the-wagons mode right now at 0-3. I'm not surprised they are struggling. I thought they would be the team in the AFC that would take a step back this year to, say, 8-8. But I didn't expect them to be 0-3 at this point.

If the Steelers can exploit Baltimore's horrid pass defense - you think Pittsburgh's pass defense is bad, wait 'til you get a load of these guys - they can win this game. But I just don't think that Vick, on a short week, will be able to completely do that.

The Steelers will have more than a full week of practices before playing against in two Mondays against San Diego and I expect Vick to be better prepared for that one.

The Ravens are 2 1/2-point favorites for this game and I expect them to cover that line and win, 23-17.

* A housekeeping note: The Steelers waived defensive end Caushaud Lyons Wednesday and elevated linebacker Anthony Chickillo to their 53-man roster.


36 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's Chickillo Time!

datruth4life said...

Dale, I think Flacco is the deciding factor in this game. You don't know what you're gonna get with Vick tomorrow. You do know what you'll get with Flacco. He plays well against the Steelers. He seems to always gets Steve Smith singled up against a defender and throws it up for grabs, which usually ends in a difficult catch for Smith or a long, field-flipping pass interference call. Blake still doesn't get his head around when defending deep throws so that worries me a bit.

Do you see Chickillo being active for this game? And lastly, has Cockrell overtaken Allen and Boykins as the 3rd CB on this team? If so, I think that is pretty noteworthy. Can't believe that Allen and Shamarko have fallen so flat on their faces to start this season.

Anonymous Brian said...

Would be great if Flacco is completely terrorized by a pass rush and / or he doesn't get a bunch of 3rd-and-3s.

Other thing is Steelers' O-line. Got their butts kicked after the first two drives in St. Louis (against a monster front, admittedly), but also got badly outplayed by the Ravens' front seven in the wild card game in January. Great performance needed from them. (Spaeth being out is not good on that front.)

Who knows, though. Not expecting much from Vick, but on the other hand he's kind of an unknown. I would be impressed if he only turned it over once (should have had two in limited action on Sunday).

ibygeorge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ibygeorge said...

I agree I don't see how Vick will be ready and even when he's ready he's not as accurate as Rothlisberger. He fumbles and gets intercepted more than Ben He could make the Ravens secondary look good. The Ravens are also a better offense than the 49ers & the rams. I see 3 steeler FGs to the Ravens 3 TDs.

Does anyone think we'll see any of Vicks running talents? Does he have anything left in those legs? Is there enough time for Haley to get running Plays for Vick in place?

Grw1960 said...

YE of little faith,
Steelers win 17 -13

Zeke R said...

I'm going for the homer pick, I just can't see how we let this one slip by us.
We have too much talent and Vick can still play, my only question mark is his
blind side.. But I think the whole team steps up and lays all out on the line
in this one..

28-17 STEELERS!!!

Anonymous said...

lol @ Dale

the Rayvens are awful. we should win easy

Tom said...

My prediction for this week are Steelers win 20-14. I have 4 field goals and 1 TD with a 2 point conversion.

3 Bold Predictions:
•Ravens score first.
•Scobee will be successful kicking short-medium length field goals and then miss a long-ish one.
•Flacco turns the ball over on the Ravens side of the field.

emac2 said...

34-17 Steelers

Vick doesn't have to be as good as Ben to win with this offense.

marc said...

Shazier's status?

Dale Lolley said...

Well, Allen is hurt, so there's that. But Cockrell is running ahead of Boykin, so there's that.

I don't see Chickillo being active. That seems to me to be a move they made to block another team from signing him.

I completely and totally disagree that the Ravens are better on offense than St. Louis. The Ravens are averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Smith has 25 catches, Forsett is second with 12, but is averaging 4 yards a catch. Gillmore is third with 10 catches and he's not playing.

This isn't the same Ravens front you saw in the playoff game. No Ngata, no Suggs, no Canty, not McPhee. I could go on and on. They had five sacks in the opener, two since.

Shazier won't play. Likely next week.

Anonymous said...

If Allen was healthy would he even be active on gameday? Had to think at this point he's slipped to 5th on the depth chart.

Marc said...

an opportunity to bury a division rival should be all the motivation the steelers need to win this game. I think even with the injuries, steelers are a better team. I hope they prove it on the field.

Anonymous said...

I think the Ravens are just that bad. I understand your comment about the short week and Vick and all, but the Ravens had a short week too, Dale.

The Steelers put another nail in the Ratbird coffin tonight with a final score of 24-10 pulling away late.

Anonymous said...

Underestimating the Ravens is a foolish thought, expect them to be prepared as always. Game will be close.

Birthday Boy said...

Obviously, the outcome never really comes down to just one player, but our Steelers have looked better than the ratbirds so far, and probably would win with a healthy Ben. I still think it all comes down to Vick. He's probably not prepared enough like Dale suggests, but if he plays well, I predict a Steelers win. If he plays poorly, ratbirds win. Qb is that important, especially since Baltimore doesn't usually allow us to run the ball efficiently. Go Steelers!

Patrick said...

20-12 ravens. Steelers score early but fail 2 pt try. Vicks mid game turnovers are costly and steelers deseperate late drive for thing td/2 pt conversion fails. Will be ugly game but hey who needs style points?

Patrick said...

*tying not "thing"

Anonymous said...

Tomlin trying to give this game away

idiot coach

marc said...

Replace scobee if there is any other legitimate option.

adamg said...

And they traded a draft pick for Scobee. I can't believe there aren't better kicking options out there.

Anonymous said...

Tomlin is an absolute fool!

Anonymous said...

Geez I can't be the ravens punted there!! Sarcasm.

marc said...

Run the effing ball!

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BlackNGold said...

Brown was open on the 4th down, Vick just missed an easy throw. I wouldn't have trusted Scobee either from 50 out.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

outcoached period

marc said...

Ugh, what a disgusting loss. Kicker blew it and questionable play calls at key moments.

Anonymous Brian said...

Well, that sucked.

McFadden 41 said...

I am a Tomlin fan. But he lost the game. He didn't get out coached. Harbaugh didn't do dick. Tomlin beat himself. Just terrible.

adamg said...

It wasn't a bad play call. Balt was probably looking for a run on 4th down. The Steelers stuffed 3 short yardage plays by Balt on 3rd and 4th down. I certainly don't blame Tomlin for not trusting Scobee for a FG. I don't think Scobee has centered a FG or PAT yet that I've seen. All the kicks have barely scraped inside one upright or the other. To me, that's not a good sign. I guess Scobee was the best of a bad lot when Hartley got hurt, but they'll have to look for someone better. They have 11 days to find one at least.

Patrick said...

guys this is Tomlin ball and its been this way since 2007 - where is the surprise?

marc said...

The two 4th down plays were horrible. How in the world are they putting the game in vicks hands with bell in the backfield. Terrible calls. I assume haley is making those calls, not Tomlin.

snarky said...

I don't care what play they call. Going for it on those 2 4th downs is inexcusable. You don't want to try the field goal fine, punt the darn thing and give your defense a fighting chance. Speaking of which, this defense gave up yards but came up big when it counted. I was skeptical of Butler being promoted but now I want to fire Tomlin and name Butler interim head coach.

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