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Ravens News 1/6: Rivalry Revenge and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

2021-22 NFL Power Rankings - Sam Monson

AVERAGE

16. BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Ravens are a better team than this ranking — when healthy — but few NFL squads have been as battered by injuries as them, starting in preseason when they lost their entire backfield in a matter of days. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has missed time. The entire secondary has been taken out. And late in the year, they were calling players up days before having to cover the best receivers in the NFL. It’s a testament to coaching and the players who remained that Baltimore is able to remain competitive.

With the Ravens’ playoff hopes slim, Sunday could represent the end for many players as change beckons - Jeff Zrebiec

Bradley Bozeman, C

Age: 27

How acquired: A sixth-round pick in 2018

Seasons with Ravens: Four

Contract status: Pending UFA

One of the team’s best Day 3 draft picks, Bradley Bozeman started every game at guard the previous two seasons and then moved to center, where he started the first 15 games this year before sitting out Sunday’s contest against the Los Angeles Rams with a stomach illness. Bozeman has been tough and durable, a steady performer on the field and the organization’s most charitable and active player in the community. The Ravens have interest in extending him, but ongoing contract talks that started over the summer have not bridged a significant gap and the closer Bozeman gets to free agency, the harder it will become to keep him.

Brandon Williams, NT

Age: 32

How acquired: A third-round pick in 2013

Seasons with Ravens: Nine

Contract status: Pending UFA

For nearly a decade, Brandon Williams has been a fixture in the trenches for the Ravens, playing in 122 career games while often battling double teams. He’s still an effective run stopper and the Ravens have been vulnerable against the run in recent years when he’s out of the lineup. However, he’s missed nine games over the past three seasons and he’s essentially a 50 to 60 percent snap guy. Williams told the Ravens website that he wants to keep playing and he has plenty of support in the building, but the Ravens need to get younger up front and finding interior pass rushers should be a priority.

NFL QB Index, Week 18: Matthew Stafford remains a roller-coaster ride, while Joe Burrow hits top three - Gregg Rosenthal

18. Tyler Huntley

2021 stats: 6 games | 67.5 pct | 940 pass yds | 6.0 ypa | 3 pass TD | 2 INT | 222 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 3 fumbles

He is so obviously an NFL quarterback and would hold up as a starter if ever asked to run the Ravens for an extended stretch. The Rams tape will be painful for Huntley to watch because he played a strong game overall that could have been great if he just executed a few plays near the goal line better. I love his ability late in the second quarter to respond to an interception with a stellar hurry-up drive, and I love the faith John Harbaugh shows in his young QB. Huntley’s been a revelation.

Week 18: Ravens Vs. Steelers Preview, Where to Watch, Prediction - Todd Karpovich

In the previous meeting with Pittsburgh, the Ravens allowed seven sacks. Steelers defensive end T.J. Watt has managed 21.5 sacks on the season and he’ll be a disruptive force again. Watt is one sack shy of Michael Strahan’s single-season record. Pittsburgh is ranked 31st against the run so the Ravens need to take advantage of that weakness.

Baltimore’s defense played well for three quarters in the first matchup but showed its age late in the game. The Ravens allowed 17 points in the final quarter. Baltimore also dropped three potential interceptions that could have changed the course of the game. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger deftly avoided Baltimore’s pass rush and did not have a turnover, which was the difference in the game.

Prediction

The Steelers want to win this game for Roethlisberger, who could be retiring after the season. The Ravens are looking to snap a five-game losing streak — the longest skid under coach John Harbaugh. The Ravens have also lost three straight against Pittsburgh. The

Ravens will get some measure of revenge in this one.

Ravens 24, Steelers 21

NFL Week 18 picks: Chargers prevail in win-or-go-home showdown, 49ers miss out on playoffs - Pete Prisco

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)

The Steelers are still alive for a playoff spot, but it’s a long shot. The Ravens are done. But any time these two get together, it’s a physical battle. The don’t like each other. That’s why I think the Ravens will find a way to pull this game out to end the Steelers’ season, especially with the Steelers on a short week.

Pick: Ravens 28, Steelers 21