The Ravens take on the division leading and undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium in front of 4,000 paying customers. How will this rivalry game shake out? Here are our Bold Predictions!
There was a time, thankfully short-lived, when the Ravens v. Steelers rivalry faded a bit. Part of that had to do with the individual struggles of both teams. Now, with both squads flying high in the AFC and seeking to win the North’s crown, the rivalry once again is in full bloom.
This game marks the 25th meeting between John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin. Harbaugh holds a 13-11 advantage and most games are generally one score affairs. In fact, 18 of the last 24 bouts v. Pittsburgh have come down to one score and shockingly, 14 games have been decided by 3 points or less.
So how will round 25 shake out between these two head coaches?
• The Ravens are known as a run first offense while the Steelers are generally carried by the arm of Ben Roethlisberger. In this game, the script is flipped. Lamar Jackson will throw for more yards than Ben while the Steelers out-rush the Ravens.
• Lamar’s star receivers will be Mark Andrews and J.K. Dobbins. The Steelers LB’s will be targeted in coverage. Andrews will flirt with the century mark while Dobbins hauls in 4 passes for 75 yards and a score.
• A welcome to Baltimore moment will happen for Yannick Ngakoue when he drops Ben to the turf in a convincing way. Roethlisberger will feign an injury. #Shocker
• James Connor will outrush all Ravens. He’ll eclipse the 100 yard mark.
• Marcus Peters will have a pick. He’ll beat a Steelers receiver to the ball on a slant route late in the game that will set the Ravens up for the winning score.
• And that winning score will take place, courtesy of Justin Tucker’s right foot. Tuck will put up 14 points on the afternoon.
Make it 14-11 for Harbs, 11 of 13 after the bye, 19 of 25 games decided by one score and 15 by 3 points or less.
Ravens 26, Steelers 23
This is the type of showdown that has made the Ravens-Steelers rivalry the best in the NFL. The winner will take over sole possession of first place in the AFC North before they meet again Thanksgiving night.
The Ravens need to get their offense revved up early in the game, but they struggle when they have to play from behind. That will be a challenge against a Steelers defense that is the best in the league.
— Lamar Jackson was sacked a career-high fives times the last time he played the Steelers. He’ll face an even more formidable pass rush this week. Pittsburgh leads the NFL with 26 sacks. This will be a game where Jackson will have to use his legs to make plays.
— Ben Roethlisberger is back in the lineup after missing both games against Baltimore last season. He’s playing at one of the highest levels of his career and the Ravens linebackers are going to have a busy day in pass coverage.
— The Ravens and Steelers rivalry has been highlighted by close games, hard hits and some uncanny plays. This game will not be much different. The overall series has the lowest margin of victory among all division opponents since 2008 at 7.3 points.
— The Ravens are coming off a bye and had an extra week to prepare. The Steelers had a hard-fought 27-24 win over the previously undefeated Titans in Week 7. This game could come down to a field goal and Baltimore has the best kicker in the business with Justin Tucker.
Ravens 24 Steelers 21
This is the most meaningful Ravens vs Steelers game in a long time. The Steelers were expected to be decent this year but I don’t think anyone expected them to be 6-0 at this point. The Ravens have had a couple of things go their way in the last two weeks with the trade for Yannick Ngakoue and the early bye week. John Harbaugh is 10-2 after bye weeks. This will be the first time Lamar and Ben face off as the starters.
– Calais Campbell will get two tipped passes at the line of scrimmage and one sack.
– Ngakoue will record his first sack as a Raven but not until the 4th quarter.
– Marcus Peters will get another interception.
– Patrick Queen will get picked on in coverage by confusing the young linebacker.
– Lamar will struggle early facing a tough defense that knows him well. He will be forced to play from behind and make a comeback. His rushing yards will be kept below 25.
– Gus Edwards will look like the best back of the day but Ravens fans will scratch their heads as to why he didn’t get more carries.
– Devin Duvernay will end up with over 60 yards for the day and a touchdown.
Steelers 24 Ravens 21
The Ravens lucked out having their BYE week just before this game. The Steelers have been on an absolute tear, and while their only knock is that they haven’t beaten any elite teams, they did just hand the Titans their first L of 2020. By the way, the Ravens haven’t really beaten anyone proven either.
– Pittsburgh’s defense is well-equipped to stop a Baltimore attack that has left a ton to be desired thus far. They’re strong in the trenches and perhaps even stronger in the secondary. The Steelers will be very difficult to score on this Sunday.
– Their only weakness is in an injury-depleted linebacker corps. If the Ravens can get into the second-level running the ball, that’ll be massive for a win. Expect Mark Andrews to be worked heavily too, even if Minkah Fitzpatrick takes him on.
– Luckily, Baltimore’s defense should have little trouble holding down the Steelers’ attack, as well. Personally, I can’t see Pittsburgh putting up over 24 points, barring mistakes on the Ravens’ end.
– This is going to be a hard-fought game that hinges on field position and the turnover battle. I feel Baltimore is the better team on paper and should normally have the advantage in those areas, when not overthinking things. That being said, I’ve been overthinking this game all week — the Steelers have been consistent and the Ravens haven’t. I don’t know if Baltimore has what it takes the first time around this year.
Both offenses struggle, but Lamar Jackson makes one more mistake late than Ben Roethlisberger.
Steelers 24 Ravens 20
The rivalry may have fell a bit flat in recent years, but not anymore. Both the Ravens and Steelers are regarded as top-5 teams in the NFL by most analysts. The stakes are HIGH, as the result of this game could likely be the deciding factor between who wins the division and who is the wild card seed at the end of the regular season. After the bye week, there is no better game to make a statement to the entire league that the Ravens shouldn’t be doubted.
Hollywood Brown TORCHES the Pittsburgh secondary and catches eight balls for over 120 yards and at least one TD. One of those TD will come from a 40+ yard catch and run for the score.
It will seem like JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t even suit up, as Marlon Humphrey continues to make his case for DPOY. JuJu will finish the game with ZERO catches and Marlon snags an INT on his way to being defensive player of the week.
Eric Ebron will lead the Steelers pass catchers in receptions and yards, as Big Ben attacks the only plus matchup he has with an oversized Ebron matched up primarily with rookie LB Patrick Queen.
Lamar Jackson returns to MVP form as he passes for 250 and 3 TD and rushes for over 100 yards and a TD with no turnovers.
Ravens 30 Steelers 27