TV Schedule: Sunday, Oct. 20, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Heinz Field
Weather: High 58, Low 39
Line: Pittsburgh (-1)
The Baltimore Ravens are not quite the same team that they were a season ago when they won the Super Bowl. The Ravens have struggled on offense this season under Joe Flacco and his new monstrous contract. Flacco does have the Ravens’ passing attack ranked 12th in the league, but his 1,702 yards and seven touchdowns haven’t been good enough the improve the Ravens’ 22nd-ranked total offense. Flacco is struggling to find an adequate wide out with the injury of Jacoby Jones and outside of Torrey Smith who is having a stellar 2013 campaign with 28 catches for 568 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Dallas Clark has emerged a bit, catching 20 passes for 256 yards and a score. Ray Rice is having a hard time getting into the swing of things this season, rushing for just 197 yards and three touchdowns — second on the team.
On the other side of the field, the Pittsburgh Steelers have some momentum — if you can call it that — heading into this game as they are coming off their first victory of the season against the New York Jets. Pittsburgh has seen some poor offense this season and that’s mostly because the run game was non-existent through the first few weeks. Now that Le’Veon Bell is back, the run game is looking up. However, Bell has just 91 yards and two scores in two games with the team in his rookie season. Ben Roethlisberger is carrying this offense with 1,495 yards and six touchdowns on the season, connecting with his favorite target Antonio Brown 41 times for 498 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Ravens used to be one of the best squads in the league. Now they are a middle-of-the-pack type squad, ranking 17th in the league in yards allowed per game, but rank eighth in rushing yards allowed. The Steelers are also one of those teams that have been known for defense in years past, but they have had a roller coaster season, recording their first turnover on defense in week six. However, they do rank sixth in yards allowed per game and fourth in passing yards allowed per game but have a hard time stopping the run — ranking 22nd.
PREDICTION: Ravens 20, Steelers 17