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Steelers Vs Ravens Prediction

As we’ve done in the past, the keys to the Pittsburgh Steelers winning (or losing) today’s game. Three things that need to happen for them to end up on the right side of the score and vice versa in today’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

My prediction is at the bottom.

THE STEELERS WILL WIN IF…

1. The Run Game’s Streak Continues

The Steelers have run for 100+ yards in five straight games. They don’t have to go for 170+ like they have in some of those games but I’ll make 100 the bar. Baltimore comes into this game with one of the top rushing defenses and easily the #1 unit since trading for LB Roquan Smith. Pittsburgh’s done a great job finding traction on the ground but this will be their biggest challenge. What a test for this unit.

2. So Does The Turnover Streak

As we wrote earlier in the week, the Steelers haven’t turned the ball over in four straight games, the longest streak in franchise history. If they make it five, it’ll be one of the longest streaks in NFL history. But the Ravens are an aggressive, ball-hawking unit with 20 takeaways on the year and getting healthier with pieces like S Marcus Williams returning.

The stat I keep touting is a simple bit true one. Pittsburgh’s 5-1 this year when they don’t turn the ball over. They’re 0-6 when they do.

3. WR Desean Jackson Doesn’t Get Loose

At 36 years old, Jackson remains one of the fastest players in the league with a 60+ yard reception this season already. Since entering the league in 2008, Jackson has an incredible 26 receptions of 60+ yards. The next closest over that span is Jordy Nelson’s 16 and they’re the only two players with more than 15.

Baltimore doesn’t have much help at receiver, certainly not much over the top, and Jackson is that boost. He’s already averaging 20 yards per catch in his handful of games this season and he’s a guy who can take a close game and make it wide-open.

The Steelers Will Lose If…

1. Baltimore’s Offense Goes On A Bender

The Ravens run a ton of “bender’ routes, especially inside the red zone, deeper crossing patterns especially to TE Mark Andrews. They try to defeat leverage and use their size to box smaller defenders out. Baltimore’s red zone offense hasn’t been very good this year, it’s somewhat surprising, but this is one way in which they win. Andrews is always a headache and they have a rookie TE Isaiah Likely who is capable too. So gotta defend those deep crossers/benders,

2. The Ravens Have The Ball In The Final 90 Seconds

Sort of a copout but given how close these games are, you feel like whoever has the ball last will win. But the Ravens are especially a threat with Justin Tucker, the best kicker in the game and a future Hall of Fame. As Mike Tomlin said earlier in the week, if the Ravens have the ball at midfield, they’re in scoring range. So in a tight game and the ball at say, their own 30 with 90 seconds left, Baltimore just needs two first downs to be in range. That’s awfully tough to defend. One Tyler Huntley scramble is all it takes.

3. LT Dan Moore Doesn’t Get Better Versus Power

Moore’s biggest issue right now is dealing with power and bull rushes. And defensive ends have taken notice in recent weeks. Since the Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson in Week 11, Moore has been tested with power and struggled with his punch and anchor. He’ll see a lot of Justin Houston this week, a veteran with nine sacks this year. You can bet he’s studying Moore well and understands his weaknesses. Moore will have to be better in that regard.

Prediction

Ravens: 17
Steelers: 13

Season Prediction Record

6-6

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