The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: What odds do you give the Browns to beat the Ravens?
The Steelers’ season at this point pretty much depends upon the Browns beating the Ravens on Sunday. Without that, Pittsburgh will have an exceedingly difficult time getting into the postseason, and it would have to be as a wildcard.
Fortunately, the Browns are significantly better this season than they have been in years, so the idea of depending upon them to win a game doesn’t sound as farfetched as it would have just a season ago—during which they won zero games.
Still, the Ravens have been playing very good football lately, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, and the infusion of Lamar Jackson into the starting lineup has ignited their running game, along with rookie running back Gus Edwards.
Jackson is far from finesse from the pocket throwing the football, but he did show off his arm last week on a 68-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews, another rookie making an impact for Baltimore this year on the offensive side of the ball.
Both the Ravens and Browns come into the game on winning streaks and have won five of their past six. Baltimore’s future kind of depends upon a win, but Cleveland is also playing for something big too, even if they can’t get into the postseason. They’re playing for a winning record, which they haven’t had in over a decade.
And they have an interim head coach trying to interview for the permanent job. Getting them to a winning season by knocking off the Ravens in a must-win game would look good on his resume.
The Ravens, however, are ultimately the more talented, more experienced, and better-coached team. Their edge is particularly evident on defense. It’s more likely than not they will be able to win, but how good are their odds? A Browns win wouldn’t be an upset, all the same.