It is only September, but last week was a critical game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. On the road playing on Monday Night Football in Tampa, the Steelers couldn’t afford to fall on their faces and go through Week 3 without a win on their resume. The Steelers got the win with a 30-27 win over the Buccaneers. Their defense, notably the secondary, has been the talk of the Steelers this season and not in a good way. The Troy Polamalu secondary in Pittsburgh is long gone, as they’re a shell of their former selves in that regard.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had a field day in the second-half and was nearly able to lead the Bucs back to win. The Steelers ended up holding on, but it wasn’t before Fitzpatrick lit up the sky with 411 yards passing. Take away the pick-6 he had in the first-half and the Buccaneers likely with that game. Pittsburgh had 3 interceptions, but I wouldn’t necessarily say they were great plays by the defense. Fitzpatrick had a receiver quit on a route, a tipped ball, and then a horrible pass over the head of Jacquizz Rodgers in Buccaneer territory.
Fitzpatrick looked like a different quarterback after halftime, with the Steelers getting way too comfortable defensively. If Fitzpatrick found his stride before then, he could have put up well over 450 yards passing on the Steelers’ secondary. It was the second week in a row that the Steelers’ defense got worked. Ben Roethlisberger can certainly put up big numbers with the bevy weapons he has around him, even without Le’Veon Bell, but there will come a time the defense has to win a game. All they needed was a couple of stops against the Chiefs and couldn’t come through against Patrick Mahomes.
The Ravens travel to a familiar place in Heinz Field with a record of 2-1 in their back pocket. They have wins against the Broncos and Bills, and a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on their resume. Andy Dalton pierced the Baltimore defense with 265 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air. The Ravens returned home last week to hold Case Keenum in check. Keenum hasn’t looked like the answer in Denver, as John Elway may have whiffed on selecting him as the Broncos’ new quarterback after just one year of decent play with the Vikings. The Ravens will have a much more difficult test this week in Pittsburgh. Get our free Ravens vs. Steelers pick on Sunday Night Football below.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Week 4 Betting Odds:
vs. Steelers -3(-110)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Ravens vs. Steelers Pick:
This rivalry doesn’t have the same luster it once did when both squads came to the party with two of the best defenses in the NFL. Those were some physical games that would be a laundry party on the field in the league today. Flags and possible fines for what would have been routine plays in the mid-2000’s. I played football then and well aware of how much the game has changed since that time period.
In any case, it’s always a good time when the Ravens and Steelers get together. The Ravens suffocated Keenum last week, as they held him to just 192 passing yards with an interception. Keenum couldn’t find the end zone, with his longest pass going for 22 yards to Demaryius Thomas. The Ravens would be in great shape if they could only play a quarterback of Keenum’s quarterback every week.
It’s going to be very different for the Ravens this week. Instead of Keenum, they are going to have to deal with Roethlisberger. The last time the Ravens had to play a competent quarterback, the defenses gave up 34 points and 3 touchdowns to Andy Dalton. Big Ben has passed for 1,140 yards with 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in three weeks.
He has eclipsed 300 yards every week, including 452 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Chiefs. Despite no Bell, the Steelers offense is 3rd in the NFL with an average of 453.3 yards per game. The Ravens’ defense may be 1st overall in defense, but in the only game they played a decent offense, the defense didn’t look as great. The defense is front-loaded with impressive numbers against Nathan Peterman and Case Keenum.
The opening in this game for the Ravens is going to be the anemic Pittsburgh secondary. Joe Haden back is a start but there are still going to be holes galore for Flacco to find in the secondary. The Steelers have allowed an average of 410.3 yards per game for 29th in the league, while allowing 30 points per game through the first three weeks. The Steelers have gone 3-0 to the OVER thus far, while the Ravens are 2-1 to the OVER. Baltimore didn’t have to go full bore offensively last week due to Keenum giving them a free pass. With Roethlisberger on the other side on Sunday night, they’re going to have to score some points. Take a look at the OVER on Sunday Night Football between the Ravens and Steelers.