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*Edited Wednesday 11/2 due to LaMarr Woodley injury
When Baltimore Has the Ball
The Baltimore offense hopes to play like it did in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals. The key to its comeback win was heavy running by Ray Rice and great downfield passing to Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. Joe Flacco will need to have his best game of the season if the Ravens hope to get a win in Pittsburgh.
The Steeler defense will reeling without LaMarr Woodley this week. He tweaked a hamstring Sunday and is questionable as of this writing. Without Woodley, the Steelers go from favorites to underdogs in my book. If they are again without James Farrior and James Harrison, things will get ugly at linebacker.
The Ravens need to set up the offense with Rice early. The Patriots never tried establishing the run, instead struggling to keep up with the Steeler offense. Baltimore has to control the tempo, starting in the first quarter. With three starting linebackers out, the Ravens should attack the run game and look to dump passes over the middle.
When Pittsburgh Has the Ball
The Steelers got tight end Heath Miller involved last week, but they shouldn't be able to do that this week against a much better Baltimore defense. The wide receivers, however, should be open.
The Ravens lack an elite cornerback and the depth to keep up with the Pittsburgh wideouts. While Lardarius Webb is improving, he's not ready to shut down Mike Wallace. The Steelers go four deep—five with Hines Ward—and will test the Ravens secondary.
Momentum will be the key all day. In their Week 1 win the Ravens hit the Steelers early and never looked back. Whichever team jumps out early will have the win.
Prediction: Baltimore 20, Pittsburgh 17