It’s already Week 4 of the NFL schedule, go figure. Before you know it the Super Bowl is going to be here. It doesn’t feel like we’re already done with September, but here we are on October 1st. A whole lot of nothing has been settled after a month of play. The defending Super Bowl Champions aren’t playing at a peak level at the moment, the Falcons had to survive the Lions this past week, and the Packers haven’t looked perfect either. There isn’t a clear-cut favorite that’s for sure, but September never decides anything anyway. The Steelers are another team that haven’t hit a groove thus far. They travel to Baltimore for a meeting with their rivals, the Ravens.
This isn’t the same rivalry of old, with Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, Ed Reed, and Ray Lewis, but it’s still a game worth watching. The Ravens are coming off an ugly loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars overseas in London. The Jags pummeled them for a 44-7 final. The Ravens didn’t care to be there, and the scoreboard showed that. The Jaguars have played in London before, so the routine wasn’t anything new for them. We took advantage of that angle and picked up a win on Jacksonville.
Playing overseas can impact a team doubly. Not only does it change the regular routine for that week, but the travel can throw a wrench into the following week as well. Adjusting to the time zone and all that can come into account for some players. The schedulers did no favors for the Ravens, as they must return and play the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are coming off a loss to the Chicago Bears in overtime. Most of the attention on Pittsburgh wasn’t on the football field this week, though, as the team stayed in the tunnel for the National Anthem which set-off a firestorm of opinions from the left and right. Let’s just focus on football here, though. Head below for our free Steelers vs. Ravens pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens Betting Odds:
vs. Ravens +3(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Steelers vs. Ravens Pick:
The Ravens are 2-1 entering Week 4, but is it a good 2-1? You can make the argument that it’s nothing to be proud about. The two wins came against the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals. Like I said when I handicapped the London game, the Browns are the Browns, and the Bengals are an 0-3 football team. The Ravens haven’t done anything yet, but take a paid vacation to Europe this season.
The defense isn’t what it used to be, nor is the offense performing at a sufficient level. Joe Flacco needs tools around him to be a good quarterback. Give him some weapons and he can be fine. However, clear the cupboard and he struggles. Flacco got a hefty contract, so it hasn’t left the Ravens with the extra money, like they had before, to go hunting for targets. Additionally, the Ravens haven’t had a running back like Ray Rice. Flacco had a running game to compliment his arm then.
Don’t get me wrong, the Ravens have a running game, they are 4th in rushing yards per game. The problem this season, though, is that there isn’t a passing game to compliment the ground game. Baltimore know it, Flacco only has 78 attempts, 31st in the NFL. Note that the Ravens were getting demolished last week, and they still didn’t want to go to the air. Flacco is averaging just 121.3 yards per game, 32nd in the league. He also has an abysmal passer rating of 65.2. The Steelers have looked great against the pass this year, 2nd with just 136.7 yards allowed per game. I think the defense will win it here for the Steelers. The Ravens are going nowhere fast with no passing game in today’s NFL.
PICK: STEELERS -3 (-110)