Week 17: Ravens-Steelers Preview, Prediction

Todd_Karpovich

Week 17: Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) at Baltimore Ravens (13-2)

When

4:25 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium 

Spread

Ravens +2

AFC North Standings

1. Ravens (13-2)

2. Steelers (8-7)

3. Browns (6-9)

4. Bengals (1-14)

Series History

48th regular-season meeting. The Steelers lead the regular season series 25-22 and are 3-1 in the postseason. Under coach John Harbaugh, Baltimore is 13-13, including the playoffs. The Ravens had a 26-23 overtime victory over Pittsburgh in Week 5.

By the Numbers

7 – Times that two teammates have each rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season, including Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (1,206) and running back Mark Ingram (1,018). The previous duo to reach this feat was Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in 2009.

Notable

The Ravens have allowed 15.6 points per game during an 11-game winning streak, marking the NFL’s second fewest behind New England (15.5) since Week 5.

Player Spotlight

Mark Andrews needs just four yards receiving to pass Todd Heap (855 yards in 2005) for the most by a Ravens tight end in the team's single-season history.

Ravens Game Plan

Offense

Quarterback Lamar Jackson and right guard Marshal Yanda will be among the starters who will be held out of the game because Baltimore has already clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Running back Mark Ingram suffered a "mild to moderate calf injury" in the Ravens 31-15 victory over the Browns on Sunday and will not be ready to play. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman can still run the RPO scheme with Robert Griffin III starting at quarterback. Rookie Trace McSorley could also get some snaps. Running backs Gus Edwards and rookie Justice Hill are able to handle the load with Ingram sidelined, allowing Baltimore to pound the ball. The Ravens, however, are not going to unveil any new wrinkles in this game. The Steelers have the league's fourth-ranked defense and need to have a solid game to keep them in the playoff hunt. 

Defense

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph is out with left shoulder injury. Devlin Hodges will likely get the start and Paxton Lynch will be the primary backup. Neither player strikes any fear into a Ravens defense that has been among the best in the league over the last two months. Pittsburgh starting running back James Conner is dealing with a quad injury and might be limited. The Steelers could use a combination of Jaylen Samuels, Kerrith Whyte and Benny Snell if Conner can't play. Overall, Pittsburgh has struggled to move the ball and is tied for 25th in the league with 18.6 points per game. Baltimore safety Earl Thomas and defensive tackle Brandon Williams are among the starters getting a rest, which will benefit the Steelers.

Prediction

The Ravens wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the postseason and have nothing at stake in this game except trying to emerge fully healthy. Pittsburgh and Tennessee are tied for the AFC's No. 2 wild-card spot with 8-7 records. The Titans play in Houston and own the tie-breaker over Pittsburgh. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the goal is to win the game (see above video) even without several key starters.  Baltimore will end the injury-plagued Steelers' playoff hopes. Justin Tucker could have a busy day. 

Ravens 19, Steelers 13

 

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Comments (4)
No. 1-4
Johnny Football
Johnny Football

Would love to see the old RG3 to close out 2019. He is playing for a potential new contract or starting job so this is a great tryout for him. Ravens 20 - Steelers 17

Rory
Rory

I still want to beat the Steelers.

MAM
MAM

As much as I hate to snap the 11-game winning steak, it would be an okay trade to stay healthy, especially with Lamar.

JanetW
JanetW

This is a tough one for me. I agree with resting the starters but would hate to lose to the Steelers at home again.


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