The Pittsburgh Steelers square off versus the Baltimore Ravens in a crucial AFC North showdown from M&T Bank Stadium today. A Steelers win clinches the division title and a first round bye in the playoffs. The Ravens are in a must win situation just to make the playoffs. Baltimore is 7-1 over their last eight games, including a 24-10 win over the Redskins last week that clinched a winning season for the Ravens just one year after a 5-11 debacle.
The Steelers look to get the running game on track against on of the top rated defenses in the league. The Steelers also have rushed for less than 70 yards, 5 times this season and will not win this game with those type numbers. Running backs Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore must get on track and will have to do so between the tackles. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians must stay committed to the run throughout the day and control the ball. The Steelers have to stay out of third and long situations and always can not turn over the ball.
On defense the Steelers look to confuse rookie quarterback Joe Flacco and bottle up running back Le\’Ron McClain on the ground. Look for the Steelers to keep eight men in the box and force Flacco to win the game with his arm. The Ravens receiving core is not much of a threat and can be controlled with zone and man coverages.
This game will be a war on the ground and the team with the most rushing yards will likely come out the victor. The Steelers have lost the last 5 in Baltimore and look to break that streak today. Steelers pull out a late field goal on the games final drive to clinch the division.
Prediction: Steelers 16 Ravens 13