Can the Baltimore Ravens bounce back and beat Pittsburgh for the fifth straight time in Baltimore? RSR Staff give our predictions here:
— Both teams are looking to rebound from brutal losses in Week 3. Baltimore will get a boost by playing at home, where the Steelers have not won since since Dec. 2, 2012.
— The Steelers gave up 220 yards on the ground to Chicago last game. Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said this week that running back Alex Collins could get more opportunities. Collins will seize the opportunity and finish with 80 yards and a touchdown.
— Joe Flacco will go back to managing the game and have modest numbers. His streak of nine straight games with an interception will come to an end.
— The Ravens will keep the pressure on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will be sacked twice and have an interception. In 19 career games against Baltimore, Roethlisberger has 31 touchdowns passes and 21 interceptions, going 10-9 over that stretch.
— Twelve of the past 18 matchups between Baltimore and Pittsburgh were decided by three points or fewer. This one won’t be any different.
Ravens 24, Steelers, 21
I know Ravens fans are feeling down in the dumps after that beating we took in Jacksonville, but how do you think Steelers fans are feeling? They lost to Chicago last week, and the Bears looked like a Division III squad in Green Bay last night.
That’s today’s NFL, man. A whole lotta mediocrity. I’m not convinced that the Ravens are anywhere near as bad as they played last week. Toss that one out, and hopefully they won’t provide any more evidence that they’re 44-7-loss-to-Jacksonville bad.
Steelers fans are nearly as dismayed by the play of Roethlisberger so far this season as we are at Joe’s mishaps. On top of that, Fat Ben is pretty much always bad on the road, and pretty much always bad in Baltimore. Le’Veon Bell hasn’t gotten untracked yet after holding out through training camp.
I think this will be an ugly one, but give me the Ravens and the under.
Both the Ravens and the Steelers have had uneven starts to the year. Pittsburgh barely beat a Browns team in Cleveland that the Ravens handled fairly easily, then they beat up on a pretty good Vikings team at home before losing to a pretty bad Bears team in the Windy City. Notice a trend? The Steelers aren’t the same team away from Heinz field. Meanwhile, us Ravens fans were feeling pretty good before last weeks debacle.
I expect the Ravens to rebound. The sense of urgency they had entering the season took a brief hiatus last week but this is a make or break year for some players and coaches in the Ravens organization. Even though they got a little cocky and forgot that last week I think we’ll see the offense play better and the defense more closely resemble the one we saw weeks one and two.
Alex Collins leads the team in carries and yards and sets himself up to be the starter going forward. He grinds out 75 tough yards on about 15 carries and scores his first touchdown.
The receivers get more involved and Mike Wallace finally gets the rock. He finishes with 80+ yards including a touchdown of over 30 yards.
The Ravens defense still stewing off its London let down return to its dominant self. They’ll get just enough from their run game to keep them on schedule, a run game where Alex Collins takes over as the early down grinder. Out of necessity, Buck Allen catches a TON of check downs and Mike Wallace slips behind the Steeler defense for a big play. The Ravens pull out a typical hard fought game in the teens behind Justin Tucker’s leg.
Ravens 19 Steelers 16
Both the Ravens & Steelers can’t play any worse than last week; the question is who has the better ability to bounce back.
For the Ravens:
-Joe Flacco will bounce back with 2 scores (and the usual pair of picks), hitting Buck Allen twice in the end zone.
-The Ravens will total only 250 yards of offense, with the running backs accounting for 180 of those yards.
-The Ravens defense will steal a pair of Big Ben picks to shorten the field for Baltimore’s anemic offense.
For the Yinzers:
-Big Ben will find Antonio Brown for 2 touchdowns, and a third from Jesse James.
-Le’Veon Bell will be held in check, with under 75 total yards.
-The Steelers defense won’t do anything special, but the Ravens’ decimated offense will be held in check all day thanks to mediocrity.
Unfortunately, the Steelers have the lead in the 1-score game come 4th quarter, and manage to milk to clock to end it, as they steal one from the Ravens who fall to 2-2 and the fans go bonkers asking about top-5 draft picks, whether the Ravens will take a quarterback early, and how soon we can fire everybody.