Reporting Mark Zinno
KEY MATCHUP: Lardarius Webb against Emmanuel Sanders. The Ravens Pro Bowl cornerback has struggled a little in recent weeks and the entire secondary has been burnt by the big play way too often. With the Ravens offense struggling to control the game, one big play will keep the Steelers in the game longer than they should be. A shutdown game by Webb will lead to much bigger things for the defense and the team.
THE RAVENS WIN IF: They start fast and score a TD in the first quarter. The Steelers do not have the offense to come from behind. Their best attempt at scoring early was a safety in Week 1 against the Titans! Hopefully the Ravens can have some success running the football, but if they can build a lead, they can coast to a victory.
THE RAVENS LOSE IF: They lose the turnover battle. The Steelers have been better than Santa Claus at giving gifts this season. The reason they beat the Jets last week? Zero turnovers. And, oh by the way, the Steelers defense forced their first turnover of the season last week! Joe Flacco must take care of the football and not try and force things.
FANTASY TIP: Torrey Smith will have a bounce back week. After just one catch for 12 yards last week, Smith will have to be a bigger part of the game this week. Plus, he’s always had good games against Pittsburgh. Even though the Steelers have a top 10 pass defense, roll the dice and give Torrey the nod!
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Steelers are on life support. The Ravens sole goal on Sunday is to pull the plug on Pittsburgh. The Ravens cannot allow the Steelers to come back to life and end up a half game behind the Ravens in the standings while Baltimore heads to bye. If the Ravens lose this game, they could be tied for last place in the AFC North when they take the field again. With a win, the Ravens will end the Steelers season.
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