AFC Game Of The Week
Ravens (7-2) at Steelers (6-3)
Ravens- They’re at 7-2 right now and if the playoffs started today, they’d be the two seed for the second straight year. This is the best nine game start under John Harbaugh. Remember when Joe Flacco tried to be like Eli Manning and stated he was an elite QB? Well Eli said he was a top 5, Flacco said he was the best in the business right now. There are five other guys I’d take over him at this point. Flacco has put up big numbers against the weaker opponents on their schedule, he doesn’t show up for the big time opponents. That’s what seperating him from being a good QB to being a great QB. I have been impressed with this Ravens offense. Ray Rice has done his usual and Torrey Smith has truly evolved into Flacco’s go to guy. The defense has been the talk of the team and not in a good way. A unit that’s normally one of the very best in the league has had it’s struggles this year. Their secondary has really struggled and they’ve had a tough time stopping the run. Sunday night, the Ravens look to continue their winning streak over their bitter rivals.
Steelers- They’ve won four games in a row which is a good thing but they’ve been a very injured football team this year. The Steelers are missing key guys on both sides of the football. Mendenhall is expected to miss this game, Ryan Clark has a concussion so his status is questionable, Troy has missed quite a few games this year with a calf injury and today it was announced that Big Ben will not play Sunday after injuring his throwing shoulder Monday night so Byron Leftwich will get the start for the Steelers in a huge game. With Ben being gone for a few weeks, the Steelers will go back to playing old school football which is running the ball and playing good defense and they’re very well coached. Just like the Ravens, many thought this defense had seen it’s better days but lately they’ve improved. They get pressure on the QB and that secondary has held it’s own as of late. They shut down A.J. Green a few weeks ago and to me that guy is the best WR in the AFC right now. There’s nothing the Steelers want more than to keep this winning streak going and snap their recent losing streak to the Ravens.
Prediction: When these two teams play, more penalty flags are thrown for unsportsmanlike conduct, roughing the passer and other penalties. It’s always a bloodbath when the Steelers and Ravens battle with one another and these games ultimately decide playoff positioning and the winner of the AFC North. Also when these two teams play, something memorable always happens. I expect nothing different this upcoming Sunday when they face off against each other. I like the Ravens to get the W and get to 8-2. Ravens 24 Steelers 20