It was another good week for yours truly… not only because of a Steelers victory, but because of how well I have my pulse on this team.
Here’s a recap of my predictions from last week, where I had the Steelers smashing the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
- 400 yards
- The Steelers posted 421 net yards of offense
- 30+ points and a win
- 33-18 final score!
- Five sacks
- The Steelers only had two sacks credited to the finally tally
- No turnovers
- Pittsburgh coughed up the ball twice, unfortunately
- Conner crosses 150 yards from scrimmage
- Geesh! This wasn't bold enough! James Conner nearly had 150 yards rushing (146). He added another 66 receiving too!
This weekend’s picks are going to be tough. Even though my predictions have been nearly spot-on, I have to warn readers that I usually blow my Ravens picks… and not out of the water either!
Roethlisberger exceeds 350 passing yards
Baltimore comes in as the second-best pass defense. However, they’ve also played some of the weakest passing attacks in the NFL thus far, including the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans.
Even with a miserable showing in Week 4, the Steelers are one of two teams (the other being the Bengals) to put up 300-plus in the air on the Ravens. I expect Big Ben to have big numbers this time.
I called for this last week and missed, with one Roethlisberger interception coming off of a ricochet.
While the Browns have created splash plays, the Ravens really haven’t. Look for Pittsburgh to protect the football in a hostile road environment.
The over/under for this game is set at 47.5: a true sucker bet if I’ve seen one.
Last game, the bookies were predicting a high-scoring affair. This time, I have to believe a fine-tuned Steelers offense chews the clock and helps keep the ball out of Joe Flacco’s hands. Give me the under, with the Steelers being the team to inch toward 30 points.
Where’s your win/loss prediction?
I told you I hate this game. Do I really have to choose?
Oh right… I’m a homer. Give me the Steelers, since I already took them to get nearly 30 points (28-31 is my best guess) and Baltimore to miss adding up the difference to make it 48 total between the two teams… but this game still scares me, so don’t hold me to it!
Two 100-yard receivers…
But from each team.
I could see someone breaking a big gain on both sides of the ball, but can’t imagine any huge performances out of but one player on each team. If I had to guess, those players could be JuJu Smith-Schuster or Vance McDonald (with Antonio Brown being heavily blanketed) and John Brown as the likely candidate to reach the century mark for Baltimore.
Steelers defense struggles to get to Flacco
I can’t see them getting more than two registered sacks on the Ravens QB. Sorry, but the guy just knows how to get rid of the ball at the right time.
That doesn’t mean he won’t get hurried and hit… and often. It just means we won’t be able to see it in the final scorebook.
Also put me down for an over/under of 1 for Big Ben getting sacked. Yes, I’ll still take the under on this one too!
Conner keeps rolling
I’m iffy on this one, to be honest. James Conner has been a juggernaut, but my final prediction for this game is that the second-year phenom still gets 100-plus all-purpose yards. Heck, I’m thinking 125-130 easily, however, I don’t see the Ravens defense giving up at the end quite like Cleveland did last week. It will still be a big game as far as running backs are concerned, but it won’t be as huge as Conner’s had as of late. Good… just not great!