Bold Predictions: Week 4 – Steelers vs. Ravens
Hey hey hey. Pat myself on the back, because my predictions last week weren’t all too shabby!
Of course, I would’ve much more liked that I had predicted a win (and get that correct) than the rest, but I’ll take the good with the bad. The Steelers committed less than ten penalties (six) against the Bears and Le’Veon Bell topped 100 all-purpose yards. He didn’t score twice, but he found the end zone once.
James Harrison played, and as predicted, he didn’t start. But he also didn’t get 1/3 of the snaps as my Magic 8 Ball promised. (Reply hazy. Try again later.) The Steelers defense only forced two turnovers compared with my prediction of three, which sucks, because they could’ve had a couple of more that got away. (I’m looking at you Mike Mitchell.)
So now it’s time to dust off the Magic 8 Ball again and see where our Steelers stand this week. Let’s just hope it’s not “try again later” territory!
Ben wins in Baltimore
Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t won in Baltimore since 2010.
And that game was a narrow 13-10 victory.
The Steelers have had some ugly losses to the Ravens, and Ben is no stranger to leaving Baltimore empty-handed. He his 2-6 lifetime while playing the Ravens on the road.
I think Ben breaks his bad luck this Sunday.
Ben throws for over 300 yards
Everyone compared Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to Big Ben coming out of college; so can Ben double Bortles efforts from last weekend, where the Jags QB threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns?
If Ben wants to win at M&T Bank Stadium, he’s going to have to put this team on his back. That means a big passing game from Big Ben.
Bryant has a big game
Someone’s going to call me crazy for thinking the Steelers can not only get their passing game going but to also take it to a pretty tough Ravens secondary.
My assumption is that Ravens CB Jimmy Smith will draw the assignment of covering AB, which means Brandon Carr (also no slouch) will be on Bryant. Yet, I think Bryant can beat Carr in coverage. I also think Baltimore’s safeties are of the legacy variety when it comes to thinking how good they are. Despite picking off eight passes in two weeks, I believe that had more to do with playing the Bengals and Browns than it did the quality of the defensive backfield.
The Deep Ball
Remember when Roethlisberger had connected with Sammie Coates for five 40+ yard receptions in five straight weeks?
That seems like a distant memory now, but that doesn’t mean the Steelers offense isn’t capable of a big play. We nearly saw it last week with Martavis Bryant on the very first play from scrimmage, and with the knowledge that Justin Hunter is going to be activated for Sunday’s game, I have a gut feeling the Steelers are going to vertical in this one.
Steelers get no sacks
The Jaguars didn’t get a single sack last weekend, but that doesn’t mean Joe Flacco won’t be under duress. The Steelers defense leads the league in QB pressure, while Flacco is operating one of the fastest releases on throws in the league.
So who comes out on top?
I say the Ravens do, simply because they will focus on running the football. Their offensive line is so banged up, I don’t think they can trust Flacco to wait in the pocket. Especially against this D.
Therefore, no sacks for the Steelers… but that’s not for lack of effort.
Chris Boswell outscores Justin Tucker
This is my final prediction and hottest of the hot, boldest of the bold take.
Tucker can be a Pittsburgh killer. Heck, he can be an “any given Sunday” killer for any team. The guy can score from anywhere and the Ravens usually rely on keeping games close and kicking field goals.
With their offense in shambles, and the Steelers still trying to figure things out on their end as well, I’m going to balance out these predictions by saying Boz finally gets his kicks… and outdoes Tucker on Sunday.