The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens both usually have higher stakes on the line in week 16 matchups. But here in 2015, it is only the Steelers with something to play for. The Ravens were a fancy pick to reach the Super Bowl for some people. You know what though, the Ravens have been a fancy pick to make the Super Bowl for over the last ten years. I am sure there are some people that have just picked the Ravens to get to the Super Bowl every year. If you’re keeping track, the Ravens did reach within the last ten years, defeating the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans a few years ago. With the Ravens at 4-10, they will be watching the postseason from home this season or be on vacation some place warm. This isn’t the rivalry game of years past, but whenever you hear the Steelers and Ravens in the same sentence it does peak interest.
Not peaking anybody’s interest is the quarterback matchup in this one. Of course you have one of the best quarterbacks of the last ten years in the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger. However, on the opposite side of the Steelers will be Jimmy Clausen warming up on the Ravens’ sideline. Clausen has been the epitome of fill-in quarterbacks. During his time with the Bears, Clausen was a mainstay in replacement of Jay Cutler. Now with the Ravens, Clausen has been the fill-in for the injured Joe Flacco. Between he and Schaub, the Ravens have been trying to find a replacement for Flacco. You aren’t going to find a replacement for Flacco on the waiver wire that is for sure. It isn’t that Clausen is the worst quarterback in the world, it’s just he is immune to making costly mistakes at the wrong time constantly.
Last week it was more of the same, throwing 2 touchdowns, but adding 2 interceptions as well. The Ravens got taken to out to school last week in the 34-14 loss, so there were problems that went well beyond Jimmy Clausen. In the midst of one awful season for the Ravens, the Ravens could make life miserable on the Steelers as they were vying for a spot in the postseason. The Ravens will need to buck their three game skid and end the Steelers three game winning streak to make that happen. The Steelers have been in a groove, let’s see if the Ravens can throw a wrench in their plans.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Ravens +10(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Steelers vs. Ravens Pick:
The Steelers are playing like one of the best teams in the NFL right now. If the NFL was like college football and teams were voted into the playoffs then the Steelers would look like they have a spot. They would need to take into consideration that the Steelers were playing without Roethlisberger for part of the season. Landry Jones and Mike Vick are not Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have been a different team with him starting. In their last six games, the Steelers have averaged 35 points per game. Other than the Seahawks have, the defense has been playing well, too. Russell Wilson won’t be here today, though.
The Steelers are 2nd in the NFL with 402.9 yards per game. It could have been more if the Steelers had a healthy Roethlisberger the whole year. The Ravens’ offense has struggled with 20.9 points scored a game. In their last three games the offense has managed to score only 11 points per game. They have only exceeded 30 points twice in the last ten weeks. The Ravens are going to need to score to keep up with Pittsburgh. With no passing game, the Ravens do not have a solid run game to rely on. Baltimore is 26th in the league, averaging 92.7 yards per game on the ground. If this were a typical Steelers Ravens game I would have taken out a big loan to dump all I had on Ravens +10. However, the Ravens are severely handicapped in this game against the Steelers. Pittsburgh takes this by a couple touchdowns.
PICK: STEELERS -10 (-110)