Week Seven Game Preview and Predictions: Steelers vs. Ravens

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Pittsburgh’s Special Teams vs. Baltimore’s Special Teams

With the Ravens’ stingy red zone defense in mind, Shaun Suisham could have to play “hero” for the Steelers today. Suisham has made all 10 of his field goal attempts this year, and he might be the team’s best offensive weapon if the offense gets bogged down in Baltimore territory.

The Steelers must be wary however of Baltimore’s explosive return men, Tandon Doss and Jacoby Jones. Doss, who returns punts, ranks second in the league with 255 punt return yards and has one touchdown to his credit this fall.

Jones, whose punt return for a score proved to be the difference in the game at Heinz Field last year, is one of the league’s best kickoff return men and it might be wise for Suisham to kick it away from him.

Pittsburgh’s coverage units have to limit the damage caused by Doss and Jones to win the field position battle, and they must come up big if the Steelers wish to emerge victorious.

 

Final Thoughts & Prediction

The Steelers will be fighting an uphill battle today, and I expect Suggs and Dumervil to wreak all sorts of havoc off of the edges since Haloti Ngata & co. will disrupt things along the interior of Pittsburgh’s offensive line. Gilbert and Beachum cannot handle Baltimore’s talented edge rushers one-on-one, and the Steelers’ offense will be in trouble if Todd Haley is unable to devise an offensive strategy to lessen the impact of Baltimore’s hard-charging veterans.

Despite their struggles along their offensive line, the Ravens’ running backs should be primed for terrific afternoons as long as Jim Caldwell and Flacco are willing to give Rice and Pierce the necessary touches. Pittsburgh’s front-seven have struggled to stop the running game with consistency all season, and Flacco should find success through the air by handing the ball off and “dinking-and-dunking” to set up his long heaves down the field to Smith and Jones.

I think that the Steelers will be a bit too overconfident after their most recent victory, and the Ravens are coming into this game hungry to send their biggest rivals to 1-5 on the year. Even though this game is being played at Heinz Field, Baltimore will come into this game with a cool confidence knowing that they have won three straight regular season games in Pittsburgh.

 

Ravens: 34

Steelers: 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.comSteelers.com , Spotrac, and Pro Football Reference

 

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Ben Roethlisberger Elvis Dumervil Jason Worilds Joe Flacco Kelvin Beachum Lamarr Woodley Pittsburgh Steelers Terrell Suggs

  • Redd Mahoney

    Wow, you must really think the Steelers are God awful! BTW, kudos to young Beachum.

    • Dom DiTolla

      Didn’t count on the Ravens being as god-awful as they were. :)

      • Redd Mahoney

        Told ya the “talent” gap between the Steelers,Ravens, Browns, Bengals wasn’t THAT wide. The Steelers were just plain and just playing lousy so I must say that your criticism was fair. However the season still is not over my friend. :)

        BTW, the Bengals have lost their best corner,Hall for the season….just say’n.

        • Dom DiTolla

          Cincy. still has the best and deepest pass-rush in the division plus the most offensive talent. Steelers will need to win the division to make the postseason.

          • Redd Mahoney

            Pass coverage/pass rush work hand in hand. I don’t have to tell you that. Hall was always placed on an offenses best receiver. If his replacement is not half as good in coverage, even the BEST pass rush won’t get to a QB in time. Remember all of the problems the Steelers secondary had when Ike Taylor went down for the season?

            On Pro Football Talk today it was suggested that because the AFC is not very strong a case can be made that the Steelers don’t necessarily have to catch the Bengals to make the playoffs. But let me just pause about the P-word….that’s WAY down the road.

          • Craig

            2013 AFC North = 2010 NFC West

          • Redd Mahoney

            Nope, gonna take things 1 game at a time. Just wanted the Steeler Nation to know that the season wasn’t over. I’ll leave the season predictions to “experts” like you :)

          • Redd Mahoney

            Not sure what this means but as long as the Steelers keep playing better….I don’t care.

          • Craig

            In 2010 the Seahawks won the NFC West with a record of 7-9 – the only time that has ever happened in the NFL. No team in the AFC is particularly strong, so I can certainly see the team winning the division have a .500 record or worse. It’s not something to be proud of I don’t think….

          • Redd Mahoney

            If the Steelers went 2-14 and won the division and got then hot & won the Super Bowl….I’d be proud as hell! That would be a classic underdog story.Who cares what the perception of their season would be? What do you think they should do…give the championship back?

          • Dom DiTolla

            Really, you suggested the “P” word two weeks ago? Are you backing off of it already?