The Steelers have a short week, as they head to BMore for Turkey Day for the first time since 1998 to take on the Ravens.
It’s a monster game for the Steelers, as a win will put them at .500, and right in the thick of things for the playoff race and the six-seed.
They won in Baltimore last season with Charlie Batch – can they do it again with Big Ben? Here’s our keys to the game as well as a final pick.
1. Mistake Free Ben – In this three-game win streak, the Steelers have gotten near perfect ball from Ben Roethlisberger, completing 63.3 percent of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns to just one interception. These games usually comes down to what team turns the ball over less, and if it comes down to the QB play, Ben needs to play well and not give the Ravens short fields with fumbles and picks.
2. Don’t Get Gashed – Since that awful day in New England, the Steelers defense has stepped up to play its best football of the year. They have given up just 4.97 yards per play during their win streak and after a start of the season that saw them give up big play after big play, they have stopped that and have to continue to not give up big chunks of yards. Joe Flacco will look for a big play or two to WR Torry Smith, and the D has to make sure that doesn’t happen.
3. Red Zone Importance – The Steelers have still had their issues down close, and the Ravens are playing well at home this year, as they are 4-1 at home, allowing just 10.8 points per game in those contests. When the Steelers get to the Ravens 20, or even to the 30, they have to take shots for big plays and scores, and if they get close enough, they have to get TD’s and not settle for field goals.
Prediction – The Ravens are looking for revenge for a loss in Pittsburgh, are pretty good at home, and the Steelers you have to think will have a bit of a down game after a short week and still nursing injuries. All that to me adds up for a tough night for the Steelers. I think the Black and Gold will keep it close, but in the end, it’ll be too much Flacco, too much fatigue, and too much of that tough Ravens crowd. I hope I’m wrong. Baltimore 17 Pittsburgh 7