Bold Predictions: Can the Steelers grab a win over Ravens to keep playoff hopes alive?
‘Bold Predictions’ is Steel City Underground’s feature where our SCU team members have shifted from throwing caution to the wind in how crazy they’ll go in their prognostications to a more objective, yet still bold, set of predictions on how Pittsburgh will, or will not, handle business this week.
In the final week of the 2019-20 NFL regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be on the road to face the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens. The game has little implication for Baltimore and a ton of implications for Pittsburgh. The cautious optimism has fallen to disappointment in our “Team SCU” backrooms as it looks improbable that the Steelers will be able to pull out a win – but there is still a sliver of hope, albeit very small. Call it pragmatism or realism but a win would make everyone feel a little better about how the Steelers’ season has gone. So, let’s get into the predictions.
Here We Go!
A quick look at last week’s predictions
Everyone was looking for a rebound. Everyone had their fingers crossed that the Steelers would control their own destiny and hand the New York Jets a loss. As player after player left the game due to injury, the offense doing very little once Mason Rudolph was forced out of the game despite coming in to relieve Devlin Hodges, and the defense trying to keep things interesting, nearly everything that our Steel City Underground crew predicted was deflated like an early Christmas lawn ornament as the air was sucked out.
Nearly everyone predicted that Hodges would be able to shake off earlier woes and bounce back. He didn’t. He threw two interceptions before Mike Tomlin and the coaching staff opted to put Rudolph into the game. When Rudolph was injured and left the game, forcing “Duck” to come back into the game, things just seemed to become more disappointing and unbelievable.
With injuries to James Conner and Maurkice Pouncey, it was clear that the “next man up” mantra was going to come into play at an unfortunate moment – a time when the Steelers could have capitalized on the healthy roster they entered the game with.
This week’s predictions
Terry Fletcher: Week 17 should be called the “week of the backups”. The Ravens are the No. 1 seed in the AFC and as such Coach John Harbaugh has said he will sit his starters. Enter RGIII at QB. Do you think Griffin knows what it means to be hit by Bud Dupree? How about strip-sacked by the probable NFL DPOY T.J. Watt? If he survives it, he won’t live long enough past the first half to talk about it. Our Steelers defense will be going against the Ravens’ 2nd-tier players as the Steelers once again give Duck the call to try and get our team a win towards a playoff Wild Card spot.
I predict 3 sacks on RG3 and a total of 3 turnovers (created) by our defense leading to 13 points. Juju Smith-Schuster will be a factor, with 100 scrimmage yards and a TD, but Dionte Johnson will have the game-winning TD for the win with Paxton Lynch entering as QB in the 4th quarter.
27-10 Steelers and with a Texans 21-17 predicted win over the Titans, I do believe the Steelers get a Wild Card playoff spot.
Derek Overly: The Steelers head into the last game of the season needing some help to make the playoffs. They receive that help in the form of the Titans losing and the Ravens sitting their starters. Duck protects the football much better this week and is able to manage the game just enough to not lose it. The defense again leads the way with two turnovers and the Steelers make the playoffs in 2019!