The Pittsburgh Steelers finally got their first win of the 2013 season. Hopefully they can keep that momentum going into Week 7.
As bad as the start of this season has been, a win against the Baltimore Ravens this week would at least put them in better position to make a playoff run.
Here are my six bold predictions for the Steelers Week 7 matchup against the Ravens.
The Steelers rush defense has not been very good this season, and this past week was the first time it had kept a team from rushing for 100 combined yards.
Not surprisingly, the Steelers got their first win of the season, and that was mostly without veteran Brett Keisel on the defensive line.
The Ravens haven’t exactly been running all over teams this season, but everyone seems to have success when playing the Steelers.
I have not been a huge William Gay supporter. Honestly, I wasn’t thrilled when the Steelers re-signed him this offseason.
Supporters of Gay always point out to me all of the good things that he has done in his career, but I just always see him getting burned.
Gay does seem to come up big in some random situations, and I would not be surprised if he had a good game against the Ravens' less-than-stellar passing attack.
Ike Taylor has bricks for hands, and Cortez Allen has been in the doghouse. For that reason, I see Gay coming up with the first pick by a cornerback for the Steelers.
Jarvis Jones was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2013 draft because of one thing: his ability to rush the passer.
Though Jones has played pretty well for a rookie in the Steelers defense, he has yet to actually bring a quarterback down.
He has been very close, though, and it was his hit on Geno Smith late in the fourth quarter in the win against the Jets that caused the clinching interception by Lawrence Timmons.
Jones finally explodes against the Ravens and brings Joe Flacco down for the first sack of his career.
Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked officially 18 times on the season, but it seems like he is running for his life on almost every play.
Roethlisberger is at his best when improvising, but even he can’t take on all 11 defenders himself every time he drops back to pass.
With Mike Adams still benched and Levi Brown out for the season, Kelvin Beachum is the unquestioned starter at LT for the game again.
Beachum wasn’t perfect though he didn’t have a terrible game against the Jets, and now he will go against Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.
Ben loves to hold the ball too long, which could create a sack even if the line does block well. Nevertheless, I’m saying that Ben will not go down once this week.
Statistics from ESPN.com.
After missing the first three weeks of the season, Le’Veon Bell has shown spurts of his potential to be the No. 1 running back the team drafted him to be.
Though he hasn’t really come close to 100 rushing yards in his first two NFL games, you can see the burst and talent that he has when he touches the ball.
Bell has also shown his versatility by catching seven passes for 49 yards, and he should become more involved in the offense as he gets more comfortable.
The Ravens normally have a stout defense, yet they just allowed a struggling Packers rush offense to go for 140 yards in their loss last week.
Bell is going to have a coming-out game eventually. Why not this week against the Steelers' top rival in the Baltimore Ravens?
Statistics from ESPN.com.
Most probably saw this prediction coming at this point, and it’s time for the Steelers to finally play like we all thought they could coming into this season.
Even if you didn’t think they would make the playoffs, there is no way anyone thought they would look as bad as they did to start 2013.
The Baltimore Ravens have been inconsistent all season. As crazy as it sounds, a win by the Steelers would put them right back into the division race.
The Ravens and Steelers would both have four losses, and the Steelers still have a game against the division-leading Bengals. It’s a long season, and none of the other teams in the AFC North have shown anything to suggest they will be anything short of inconsistent for the rest of the season.
It’s time for the Steelers to show some urgency and beat the reigning Super Bowl champion Ravens in Week 7.