The Pittsburgh Steelers Will Defeat the Baltimore Ravens: WHY?
There is not a more bitter, but competitive rivalry then when the Pittsburgh Steelers square off against the Baltimore Ravens.
The two teams have split the last 14 meetings, with the Ravens averaging nine more points per game, and the Steelers eight more yards of total offense.
The only thing that is certain when these two AFC North teams meet is that there will be plenty of hard hits, and trash talking.
Pittsburgh and Baltimore do not like each other, but they sure respect one another.
There wasn't as much hype going into the first game between these two teams, because of the suspension of Ben Roethlisberger. However, the Steelers (3-0) are off to an incredible start, largely because of its defense.
The Ravens (2-1) lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, the defending AFC North champions in Week 2, but played well in its Week 1 win, as well as their win over the Browns last week.
But the Steelers defense will be too much at home, and Charlie Batch will do just enough to keep Pittsburgh undefeated.
It is hard to win NFL games, especially when you are playing a division opponent.
It is even harder to win against a strong defensive team when you have a quarterback who was fourth on the team depth chart at the beginning of the season.
This game is a bitter rivalry and both teams will play with a chip on its shoulder, especially because if the Ravens win they will create a tie at the top of the AFC North.
Charlie Batch will do just enough for the Steelers to defeat the Ravens. He is playing at home, and is a veteran quarterback. If he makes smart decisions and does not turn the ball over, the Steelers will be fine.
The Steelers are back to the smash-mouth football its fans are known to love while Ben Roethlisberger serves his suspension.
The running game is currently third in the National Football League with 150.0 yards per game.
Rashard Mendenhall has run for 332 yards on just 64 attempts in three games this season.
The Baltimore Ravens defense is struggling in stopping the run this season. Most experts questioned the Ravens passing defense with all the injuries to their secondary, but they are first in the league in pass defense.
The problem is the Ravens rush defense. They rank 23rd in the league in rush defense.
Peyton Hillis, a running back who is just trying to find himself for the Browns, ran for 144 yards on just 22 carries.
The Baltimore Ravens have struggled to put up points this season, excluding the three touchdowns Joe Flacco threw to Anquan Boldin last week against the Browns.
The Ravens have an excellent running back in Ray Rice, but he has not played up to his talent.
Rice suffered an apparent injury spraining his knee last Sunday in the victory against the Browns, and he might not be at full strength.
He has not scored a rushing touchdown and complimentary running back Willis McGahee has only 37 yards.
The Steelers defense held Titans running back Chris Johnson to just 34 yards. Johnson rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season.
I don't doubt for a second what they can do to the Ravens running attack.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu is back to Pro Bowl form after missing much of last season.
There is not a player in the NFL that has a greater affect on a team then Polamalu.
As No. 43 goes so does the Steelers defense. They could not get off the field last season, and gave up a number of big fourth-quarter leads while he was injured.
The Steelers just continue to plug in players into that defensive front. It just boggles my mind the way in which defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau seems to get the most out of his players.
The Steelers defensive ranks at the top of the NFL in every major category year after year.
They will be the difference and prove who has the better defense.
The Steelers have the most takeaways in the NFL with 10, the Chicago Bears sit at second with eight.
The Ravens are last in the NFL in that category with one takeaway.
In regards to turnover margin the Steelers also rank first in that category with a plus-six margin. The Ravens on the other hand are dead last in the NFL in that statistic as well with an opposite minus-six rating.
The Steelers with cause the Ravens to pass the ball by stopping the run, and Flacco will be ineffective. He threw four interceptions against the Bengals, he could very much do the same against the Steelers.