While there is still a lot of talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday night win over the Cincinnati Bengals going on, it’s now time to start looking seriously ahead to the team’s Week 14 Sunday night matchup against the Baltimore Ravens that will be played at Heinz Field. Not surprisingly, the 10-2 Steelers opened up has 7-point-home favorites over the 7-5 Ravens, according to vegasinsider.com. That line, however, has now shrunk to as low as 5-points at a few online betting sites.
The Ravens enter their Week 14 game against the Steelers on a three-game winning streak that includes them beating the Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions. In their Week 13 home win over the Lions, the Ravens scored a season-high 44 points.
The Ravens offense is of course still led by quarterback Joe Flacco, who has completed 65.1% of his pass attempts this season for 2,144 yards with 11 touchdowns versus 11 interceptions. Flacco has also been sacked 23 times this season.
Flacco’s primary receiving targets this season have not been wide receivers. Instead, tight end Benjamin Watson currently leads the Ravens in receptions with 45 for 347 yards and three touchdowns and he his trailed closely by running back Javorius Allen, who enters Week 14 with 42 receptions on the season for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Ravens wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace have 36 and 34 receptions on the season, respectively, and the two have combined to catch 6 touchdown passes.
The Ravens running game revolves around running back Alex Collins, who enters Week 14 with 705 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 144 total carries. The aforementioned Allen is second on the Ravens in rushing with 422 yards and two touchdowns on 121 total carries.
Defensiveluy for the Ravens, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs currently leads his team in sacks with 10.5. Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley leads the Ravens in total tackles with 101 entering Sunday night while safety Eric Weddle leads Baltimore in interceptions with 5. Rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who is now startling in place of the injured Jimmy Smith, has registered eight total pass breakups this season in somewhat limited playing time.
The Ravens defense curretly leads the NFL in takeaways with 29. 20 of those have come via interceptions while 9 others have come via fumble recoveries. Their defense has also registered three shutouts so far this season.
The Ravens special team units are led by kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch, who are arguably the best kicker-punter duo currently in the NFL. Tucker is currently 26 of 29 on all field goal attempts this season with five of his makes coming from 50 yards or longer. As for Koch, he enters Sunday night with a net punting average of 41.3 yards. 31 of 66 total punts this season have been inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line and only three of his punts this season have resulted in touchbacks.
While the Ravens have scored a total of 280 points this season, which is one fewer than the Steelers have scored in their first 12 games, 42 of them have come courtesy of their defense and special team units.
While the Steelers have won their last two games against the Ravens, they are 3-6 against Baltimore in the last 9 meetings between the two teams and that includes one playoff game. The Steelers are, however, 3-2 against the Ravens in the last five games played against them at Heinz Field and that once again includes one playoff meeting.
The Steelers can clinch the AFC North division Sunday night with a win over the Ravens, who enter this Week 14 meeting as the No. 6 seed in the AFC.
The over/under point total for the Sunday night game is currently at 43.5 at most sportsbooks after opening at 41.steelers-ravens-week-14-2017