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12/29/19 Ravens vs. Steelers

Ravens host the Steelers Sunday in a game that that will look more like week four of the preseason than it will game 16 of the regular season. The Steelers have to win Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive as they are fighting to get the number six seed in the AFC. The Ravens however, who have locked up their number one seed, have absolutely nothing to play for other than the sheer pride of beating the Steelers twice in a season. Advantage Steelers. Coach Harbaugh has decided to sit Lamar and most of the veteran players to rest them before heading into the playoffs. With the stars and veterans watching this game in their sweat pants it is hard to predict how things will go Sunday. We are going to see lots Ravens players that we are unfamiliar with, and you are likely to see several players that have not suited up until this game. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing McSorely suit up to see might do.

If this game counted for both teams, I think the Ravens win this by seven or more, but that is not case. Coach is smart to rest these guys because the Ravens have been playing really tough, physical teams and those games take their toll on their bodies. During that one offensive series with the Browns last week – we saw Ingram, Andrews and Jackson all hobble at some point. That one series alone was likely enough for Harbaugh to see to convince him to rest some of his stars.

The big question mark for Sunday is how well will RGIII do playing without some of their best lineman and possibly without some of their best receivers. RGIII is a pro and he is going to give his very best. He knows that there will be lot of eyes on him and this may be his best chance to prove to the other teams that he is capable of starting in the NFL. That said, without some of your best players on the field it is going to be challenging to say the least to run on all cylinders. I think Sunday’s game is going to be a low scoring affair and the punters are going to get a workout. I see a lot three and outs on both teams and suspect that it is going to be tough sledding on the offensive side of the ball.

The Ravens are 93 yards shy of breaking the all-time record for rushing yards in a season. Even though they have eclipsed the 3,000 yards on the ground this season, you have to think that they would love to break the all-time record. The problem is they will have to do it without Lamar and Ingram who account for the bulk of those yards. I may be wrong about this but it would not surprise me if they had to run 35 times to get to that 93 yards. And if it takes that many, I actually hope that they will do it. You can bet your &%# that the Steelers are going to do all that they can to hold the Ravens short.

As of this writing we have absolutely no idea who will take the field Sunday afternoon. My hunch is that the Ravens are going to sit a lot more starters than they have already declared. Playing with second stringers against one of the best defenses in the league is going to put a cap on the scoring. I think this game will play close throughout and will likely come down to the 4th quarter. I expect the Steelers front seven pressure is going to be stifling and will keep RGIII on the run all afternoon. In the end I believe the Steelers, albeit anemic offense, will do enough to get the win – because they have to. The Steelers cover and I like under in this one with the – Over/Under at 37.5. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

Pittsburgh Steelers hosted by the Baltimore Ravens – Sunday – December 29th @ 4:25 PM      Odds – Steelers by 1 ½      Over/Under 37.5

Game Predictions

Score       Ravens    13      Steelers 16
Turnovers              Plus 1
Net Rushing Yardage       Ravens    100       Steelers    121
Net Passing Yardage        Ravens    219       Steelers    226

Miscellaneous Predictions

• RGIII is sacked 3 times
• The Duck throws two picks
• Ravens barely break the rushing record
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game

• Chase the Duck and get him to flinch
• Use screens and misdirection to keep the Steelers defense in check
• Win the turnover battle by two

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