Are we going to finally play this game or what? The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers hope to get this game in on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the most bizarre start time of all time, with kickoff scheduled for 3:40 p.m. EST. I understand what they’re going for here. They don’t want a night game because that gives the players one less night to rest. However, the NFL also doesn’t want it too early in the day because more people will be working than later in the interview. If you are wondering why the game is being played at this time, I think that has to be the best explanation. As far as the quality of this game, it’s difficult what to expect here.
If this game wasn’t pushed back because of the coronavirus and played on Thanksgiving, the Ravens and Steelers was the most anticipated game of Week 12. With all of these postponements, the game has lost some of its luster, though. The kickoff time and playing on a Wednesday doesn’t help either. This is the first game played on a Wednesday since 2012 when the season opener was moved a day earlier to avoid conflicting with an Obama speech at the DNC.
Despite the scheduling issues for this game, hopefully we get a good game on Wednesday. I should say, hopefully this game is played at all. If there are multiple positive tests on Wednesday morning, then it’s hard to see how they play. We’re going to prepare for the Ravens and Steelers like they are playing, though. For the playoffs, this game comes with big implications. The Steelers are a perfect 10-0 and have a clear edge on the Cleveland Browns, 8-3, in the AFC North.
The Ravens have been a major disappointment and are looking to avoid a record of 6-5 through 11 games. A record of 7-4 looks a whole lot better than 6-5. There are no guarantees the Ravens are going to the playoffs right now. Their offense has been way too predictable, and unless Lamar Jackson develops more as a passer, they are going to continue to regress. Quarterbacks don’t get any faster with age, so Lamar will have to evolve. It’s too early to panic, but there’s no secret that he won’t be able to depend on his speed for the rest of his career. Now would have been a good time for Lamar to go wild, but he will be out with Covid. Head below for our free Ravens vs. Steelers props for December 1, 2020.
Breaking: Tuesday's Ravens vs. Steelers game has been postponed to Wednesday, a source told @AdamSchefter.
This is the third time this game has been postponed due a COVID-19 outbreak within the Ravens organization. pic.twitter.com/FucWW45XNK
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 30, 2020
Robert Griffin Passing Yards
Lamar Jackson is officially out because of Covid. He could return in Week 13, but that is not a guarantee. Robert Griffin takes his spot in the starting lineup for the Ravens. The last time Griffin started a game was against this same Steelers team at the end of last season on December 29. That was a miserable afternoon with rain, but Griffin didn’t just have a bad game because of the weather.
Competing against the Steelers in bad weather makes it all the more difficult. Griffin converted for 11 completions on 21 attempts for 96 yards passing and an interception. His best asset was his legs, as RGIII gained 50 yards on 8 carries. He’s not as fast as he once was, especially before his knee injury but can still scramble for yardage.
Griffin gets another big test against the Steelers on Wednesday afternoon. The Steelers’ pass defense ranks among the best in the league. They have allowed 203.5 passing yards per game for second in the NFL. Only Washington has been better at stopping the pass than the Steelers.
Expect the Ravens to keep this game simple on the ground. Asking Griffin to air the ball out often would be a disaster. I’m on Griffin to pass for fewer than 167 yards on Wednesday against an aggressive Steelers’ defense.
Benny Snell Rushing Yards
Rookie Benny Snell is going to be the feature back for the Steelers on Wednesday. James Connor is on the Covid list, so the backfield belongs to the second-year running back out of Kentucky. Snell had one of the best games of his career in Week 17 against the Ravens last season.
He gained 91 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. After carrying the ball for 119 yards on 19 carries in Week 1 against the Giants this season, the Steelers haven’t given Snell more than 7 carries since.
There just hasn’t been room for Snell to get on the field more with Connor. However, that’s going to change on Wednesday against the Ravens. When Snell gets carries, he has done well in his career. He’s received at least 15 carries in six games.
In five of those six games, Snell ran for at least 63 yards in five. Three of those outings resulted in 90+ yards for Snell on the ground. The Ravens haven’t been particularly strong against the run this season. They’re around the middle of the league with 116 yards allowed per game. OVER 55.5 rushing yards looks more than attainable on Wednesday for Snell.
Chase Claypool Receiving Yards
Chase Claypool might be a rookie, but he’s been playing like an experienced vet with Ben Roethlisberger. The Canadian Notre Dame product has been one of Ben’s favorite weapons in the offense. In a role you expected from JuJu Smith-Schuster, Claypool has stepped in as a rookie and been one of the primary targets for Ben. Claypool has recorded 559 yards and 8 touchdowns in his first season going into Wednesday. He’s also carried the ball for 22 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Claypool is coming off two productive games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars. He went for 4 receptions and 56 yards on 2 touchdowns on November 15. Claypool followed up for another touchdown and 59 yards and a score against the Jaguars the following week. Through ten games, Claypool has registered more than 50 yards in 6 out of 10 performances. The Ravens will present a tough challenge, but I don’t believe Roethlisberger will shy away from targeting him today. I’m on Claypool to record 50 or more yards.