The staff here at Baltimore Beatdown are all eagerly awaiting the start of the Baltimore Ravens at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football. It should be a tough game as just about all AFC North matchups end up being slugfests where both teams come away exhausted and sore.
So without further adieu, here are the staff's thoughts on the game with their predictions.
Ravens-32 / Steelers-28
The Ravens get off to a fast start using Steve Smith and Maxx Williams in the passing game going up against a bad secondary. Sadly for the Ravens, their secondary is also abused by Antonio Brown all night much like A.J. Green did on Sunday.
In the end, the Ravens capitalize on a Michael Vick turnover and finally hold a team on their last drive.
Ravens-24 / Steelers-14
I think the defense will rebound. Even though it is a short week, I expect the defense to play with pride in front of a nationally televised audience and bring some of that quality play they had back in week 1. The offense has made some progress in the last 2 games and I expect them to play efficient. It will be a close game, I have the Ravens beating the Steelers.
Ravens-24 / Steelers-23
Ravens jump out to an early lead with a turnover from Vick and some early drives. But the Steelers start getting some pressure in the 2nd half and Bell starts getting some running room before ultimately falling short.
Ravens-21 / Steelers-17
The secondary has struggled giving up big plays and getting off the field on 3rd down, but the run defense has been solid. I expect the Steelers to try and run the ball a lot and throw short passes (slants, curls, outs) in an effort to protect Vick from taking hits in the pocket. I think that plays into the strength of the Ravens's defense.
Ravens-27 / Steelers-20
It's a Ravens-Steelers game, and while we haven't seen a defensive battle lately in this series, we might (sort of) be in for one Thursday. The Ravens offense will be solid, they aren't going to set the league on fire, but they can put up points. For the Steelers, I also expect a sort of mediocre offensive attack, especially on the heels of last week's 12-point performance. Michael Vick will certainly be the biggest variable, but he can probably get through the Raven secondary for a touchdown toss or two, but also might throw a key pick or two. Perhaps Le'Veon Bell adds one touchdown on the ground too.
With all of that said, I have the Ravens coming out on top 27-20. These teams are both currently pretty mediocre on defense, but a Vick-led Steeler offense will fall short against Joe Flacco's cannon.
No matter what happens, you know it's going to be good when these two teams meet.
Ravens-21 / Steelers-13
The loss of Roethlisberger is really going to sting for the Steelers. They will look to feed Bell early and often, and I think the Ravens will continue to hold up strong in the run game. When Vick is forced to throw, I believe the Steelers will make a critical turnover, leading to a score. Justin Forsett gets back on track this week, going for 80+ yards and a touchdown. Flacco throws for two scores, one to Steve Smith and one to Maxx Williams.
Rest of SB Nation
We also looked at what some of the head honchos at SB Nation were predicting for the game and a majority are siding with the Ravens on this one. Even PFT Commenter thinks that Mr #Elite himself is going to nab a victory.
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