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Ravens/Steelers Post Game Recap 12-29-19

The Ravens sweep the Steelers and roll to their 12th straight victory. I feel that I should apologies for picking the Steelers today as the Ravens, even with second string players, had this game in hand from the start of the game. There are not enough superlatives to describe the game as the Ravens dominated this game on both sides of the ball. This game could have easily been 42 to 3. With win number 14 the Ravens set another franchise record for wins in a regular season. They also set the all-time record for rushing yards in a season which is saying something in this pass happy league. The Ravens held the ball for over 38 minutes which tells you how much they controlled this game. Other thoughts on the game are below:

• Ravens defense held the Steelers to just 159 total yards of offense – wow!
• Special teams’ story has not changed much all year – Tucker and Koch do a great job, and the kick return game is nonexistent and the punt and kick coverage gives up too many return yards. That said the Ravens special teams did get a score when the punter muffed the snap and then the Ravens recovered the ball in the end zone
• Congrats to McSorely who got his first snap in the NFL getting a first down on a two-yard run
• RGIII did a nice job on the opening drive burning 7 minutes of clock ending with a Tucker FG. All in all he did a nice job today running the offense and he did a nice job in the running game gaining 50 yards on the ground
• I get the no call on the fade pass to Jaleel Scott, but by any standard that was pass interference
• Steelers O line did a good job protecting Hodges as there were times, he had 10 seconds in the pocket without any pressure whatsoever
• 18 minutes into the game the Ravens broke the all-time record for rushing yards in a season with a 9-yard run by Gus the Bus! That is an incredible accomplishment
• Hats off to the Duck who under blitz pressure did a spin away move on the Ravens free rusher and then turns to hit McDonald for a first down pass
• Note to TJ Watt – if you want to be considered for defensive player of the year you best not commit a ton of penalties
• RGIII played well but I don’t think his stock went up by any significant amount today for those looking for an NFL starting QB. He struggled in the red zone and on 3rd down and long yardage
• Judon’s strip sack on Hodges was brilliant and created a turnover with just 45 seconds left in the 2nd quarter and then23 seconds later Justice Hill runs in from the 7-yard line
• Gus the Bus had a very productive day as he gained 130 yards on 18 carries, and was the chain mover all day
• Snell gave the Ravens a lot of trouble today as he had several runs for good yardage and much of that after first contact. On one play he met Carr at the line of scrimmage and then commenced to carry Carr for 8 yards
• I thought the Steelers were playing a dirty today, not that I am surprised by that but I saw several hits after the whistle that were completely unnecessary
• Ravens were deep in their own territory and called a QB sweep on 3rd which I hated and which they came up short, but then to follow that call and go for it that deep in your own territory on 4th down with a fake punt – I hate that call too but loved the result of it

• Funny stat of the game – the Ravens mustered just 81 yards in the passing game but it was more than the Steelers – go figure

Game Predictions

Score       Ravens    13      Steelers    16              Ravens   28      Steelers   10
Turnovers                 Plus 1                                                  Even
Net Rushing Yardage      Ravens    100       Steelers    121        Ravens   223     Steelers   91
Net Passing Yardage       Ravens    219       Steelers    226          Ravens    81     Steelers   77

Miscellaneous Predictions

• RGIII is sacked 3 times            Correct, 3 sacks for 15 yards
• The Duck throws two picks            Incorrect, but Averett dropped one
• Ravens barely break the rushing record           Incorrect, they shattered it!
• Refs make terrible calls            Correct, and they missed calling some that should have been

Keys to the Game

• Chase the Duck and get him to flinch           Correct, the Duck was just 9 of 25 today
• Use screens and misdirection to keep the Steelers defense in check           Nope, they didn’t need to
• Win the turnover battle by two           Nope, it was even on the day but it felt like we were two ahead

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