The Pittsburgh Steelers won their 7th game in a row Monday night, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 on a last second field goal by Chris Boswell. It came at a heavy price as they lost their best defensive player, linebacker Ryan Shazier to a severe back injury. JuJu Smith-Schuster was also suspended due to a vicious block to Vontaze Burfict. This week they face another rival, the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are 7-5 , have won 3 in a row, and are holding onto a playoff spot. When these 2 teams get together, the cliche ‘throw out the records’ applies. How will this game go down? Let’s look at the matchups:
Ravens offense vs Steelers Defense
Joe Flacco has not had his best year. He has 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions so far, but he had his best game of the season last week, going 23 of 36 for 269 and 2 touchdowns. He always does well against the Steelers, and he could have a big game.
The Steelers will have to learn how to deal with losing their best defensive player, inside linebacker Ryan Shazier. They plan on replacing him with having outside linebacker Arthur Moates switch to inside linebacker. They also picked up former Steeler Sean Spence and he should see some action at linebacker this week. Expect the Ravens to take advantage while the Steelers learn to adjust to their new lineup.
Steelers offense vs Ravens defense
The Ravens are having injury problems of their own, losing Jimmy Smith to an Achilles injury. Marlon Humphrey was drafted in the 1st round so there shouldn’t be a drop-off there. The Ravens lead the league in interceptions, takeaways and turnover differential so the Steelers will have to be careful not to give the ball away. Also expect the run defense to be much better than when they first met.
The Steelers will have to deal with the loss of wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who was suspended for one game. The burden will fall on Martavis Bryant, and I’m done predicting he’ll rise to the occasion. He’s officially a disappointment. Vance McDonald should come back from injury though and could help in the passing game.
Yes the Steelers have problems to overcome, but 1) they’re are home 2) they are great in prime time and 3) they love beating the Ravens. Games against the Ravens are always close so don’t expect a blowout.
Steelers 24, Ravens 20