Game two is quicker than most would imagine, as the Steelers take on the rival Ravens in Baltimore coming in at 1-0 after a 30-27 win over the Browns in the opener.
The Ravens lost in week one to the Bengals at home, and another home divisional loss would be devastating this early in the year.
Today we take a look at the big matchup as well as the keys as the Steelers look to get to 2-0 on the year with time to spare before game three at Carolina.
1. Win the Turnover Battle – This rivalry is all about close games, as the past 12 games between the Ravens and Steelers have been decided by three points or fewer. With that, it means any turnover on your side of the field could be critical if you want to stay in the game. The Steelers had just one turnover last week, and tonight have to be sure to hang on to the ball.
2. Keep Ringing the Bell – Le’Veon Bell was a huge factor in the opener against the Browns, and it looks like in year two he’s going to be dominant. In the opener he put up 197 yards combined on the ground and through the air, and last year vs the Ravens on Thanksgiving he was very good as well. Look for another 25 to 30 touches tonight as the Steelers find ways to get him in space early and often.
3. Beat Up Flacco – Last week Joe Flacco was not very good in week one, getting beat up early as the Ravens fell behind 15-0 to the Bengals, and while he threw for 345 yards, he had to throw 62 times to do it. On the day he was 35 of 62 for 345 yards and an interception, with 80 of those yards coming on a TD to Steve Smith. Flacco is the key to a Ravens win, and if the Steelers can beat him up like the Bengals did, they should win.
Prediction – It’s been a week of distractions for the Ravens, and the Steelers have every chance to walk into Baltimore tonight and get a win. Will they? That’s the $1 million dollar question. Part of me thinks no matter all the stats pointing towards the Ravens, the Steelers should win this game. I am worried about the run defense, and for some reason, I see a huge mistake late costing the Steelers this game. Ugh. Baltimore 19 Steelers 14
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