It's Week 5 of the 2019-20 NFL regular season and Pittsburgh Steelers fans are riding the energy of the big win last week over the Cincinnati Bengals. This week, the Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field with a 1-3 record (Baltimore is 2-2 and has lost their last two games). 'Bold Predictions' is Steel City Underground's feature where our SCU team members tended to throw caution to the wind in the past but are starting to get a little more serious because... well, everyone has been more serious about this year's Steelers team. After backchannel discussions, here are the predictions from Joe Kuzma and Terry Fletcher for Sunday's game.
Here We Go!
A look back at last week
With a myriad of predictions in Week 4 in regard to how the Steelers would do against the Bengals, there was still some hesitation (which may have led to fewer contributions for this week from the SCU team) but also some great foresight.
Joe was close with this prediction:
"The Steelers won't just get back in the win column, but I think we'll see a drastically different team on Monday Night, one which has flashed its potential in the previous two games against better opponents... Look for the Steelers to be a plus-three in the turnover column with a myriad of hits on Andy Dalton (four sacks is my floor for this game)."
Terry's predictions from last week:
"Now coming into Monday Night Football, at home, against a division rival who is also 0-3 and without their star receiver A.J. Green, with our fans, we have a good shot at our first win of the season. The Bengals will be keying in on the running game since based on the tape they have to be unconvinced Rudolph can beat them through the air, with the Steelers averaging 64 yards and 3.76 per carry, according to PFF. The offensive plan has to include letting Rudolph loose and not be so conservative in their play-calling in the passing game. Mason has had only 2 attempts in 46 of a pass more than 30 yards. If Coach Tomlin can get is offensive play-caller to allow our young QB to play to win and not play to not lose and just let the ball fly we should find a major butt-kicking here. Prediction: 35-9 Steelers."
Joe's predictions this week
While many folks are thinking the Steelers can’t possibly do to the Ravens as they did to the Bengals last Monday, I believe the Ravens are a façade of what the media has made them to date and are susceptible to the same schemes.
I’m also calling for four sacks from the Steelers defense as they bottle up Lamar Jackson. A higher-scoring game than usual between the two could be in the works, but I see the Ravens offense being held to their lowest-scoring game of the season this Sunday.
Terry's predictions this week
After a successful “dink and dunk” type football game against a subpar Bengals team on Monday Night Football, the Steelers and Fichtner will need a game plan that includes getting Juju more involved, our new TE Vannett some tight-window catches and Mason Rudolph to use his legs for yardage.
With the opposing QB Lamar Jackson, one of the more mobile quarterbacks in the league, our defense will have its work cut out for them. Good news is we play at home again, the defense has stepped up their game in the pass rush and Rudolph’s comfort level is increasing.
I think sack totals will be moderate but the defensive backs will be busy with 5 takeaways and a pick 6 from Minkah Fitzpatrick. Steelers will pull this win out but by the skin of their teeth. 23-20 Steelers