|GAME TIME||1:00 PM|
|STADIUM||M&T Bank Stadium|
RAVENS KEY PLAYER: JOE FLACCO
Flacco posted a horrendous stat line last Sunday in London against the Jaguars. Going 8 for 18 (44.4 completion percentage), throwing for a mere 28 yards (1.6 yards per attempt), as well as throwing two interceptions, Flacco was benched late in the game. Now, back in the confines of his home-field, Flacco will look to find his form in a crucial divisional matchup against Pittsburgh. It can’t get much worse from what Flacco threw for while in London, and facing the Steelers always seems to bring out the “elite” in Flacco.
STEELERS KEY PLAYER: BEN ROETHLISBERGER
Watching Steelers games this year, for some, it may not *seem* like Ben Roethlisberger has played his best football, but Big Ben has posted a 5:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, while throwing for over 700 yards with a passer rating of 93.8. This “high-powered” offense has largely been dormant through the first three games while facing rather mediocre teams and this offense runs through him. This divisional matchup is one that certainly won’t be taken lightly. Even though Roethlisberger rides a roller coaster with his home and road splits, he will be looking to show up for this one.
GAME PREVIEW AND ANALYSIS
In the last four games between the Ravens and Steelers, all final scores have been decided by 7 points or fewer. In the last four games played in Baltimore, the Ravens have been declared the victor. Expect more of the same from two teams who are trying to prove that their defense is the top unit in the league.
As stated above, both Flacco and Roethlisberger are looking to lead their teams to victory, despite some shoddy overall play. Flacco has a multitude of deep threats that very well could test the young secondary of the Steelers. Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, and Breshad Perriman will try to aid Flacco in a Ravens’ victory.
On the flip side, Antonio Brown will try to provide a more Brown-like stat line after only compiling 354 receiving yards and one touchdown through 3 weeks of the season.
It also bears watching to see if Le’Veon Bell will have the breakout game Steeler fans have been clamoring for. 180 total yards through 3 games will not cut it for a player of Bell’s caliber.
There isn’t much wiggle room left for the Steelers to iron out their offensive kinks. The opponents will only be getting more difficult as the season progresses and the division gets tighter.
In the end, given all factors at play, Baltimore is more likely to come out on top as the winner in this match-up, taking full, but temporary control of the AFC North.
GAME PREDICTION: Ravens 28, Steelers 20