Ok, let’s be real – at this point, the Steelers beating Baltimore on Sunday night with a third string QB that has never started an NFL game is a stretch.
Yes, it’s going to be tough to win with Dennis Dixon, a guy that was holding a clipboard a week ago, under center. But before we all throw in the towel on this game, let’s see if we can find some silver linings for this matchup.
1. The Ravens are unprepared – Think about it, all week long the Ravens were looking at facing Big Ben, and now just over 24 before the start of the game, their whole game plan of attacking Roethlisberger is out the window. If Dixon can use his feet like he did at Oregon, he could catch the Ravens off guard.
2. This isn’t the 08 Ravens – No Rex Ryan, the secondary isn’t very good, the linebackers are older. Yes, the Ravens of a season ago are gone. Bart Scott and Ryan are in New York, and the secondary can be thrown on. It’s now going to be up to Dixon to make it happen.
3. How about a play the other way on special teams? – The kick unit is awful for the Steelers, but how big of a lift would it be if they could do something the other way? Stefan Logan needs to give Dixon and the offense a short field with some good returns, and the kick coverage has simply got to find a way to stop the Ravens.
In the end, I can’t bring myself to think the Steelers are going to win this game. With Big Ben it was going to be tough, without him – impossible. I hope I’m wrong, but in the end, Mike Tomlin will have his first three game losing streak as a head coach, and the team is going to have to win out to make the playoffs after this loss.
Baltimore 20 Pittsburgh 6