Ravens vs. Steelers: 5 Predictions for Sunday Night Football

Mike FosterCorrespondent INovember 6, 2011

Ravens vs. Steelers: 5 Predictions for Sunday Night Football

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    Football fans are in for a treat tonight, as arguably the NFL's most heated rivalry will be renewed in Pittsburgh.

    Steelers versus Ravens. Defense versus Defense. A sloppy, wet, Heinz Field awaits.

    It doesn't get better than this. The Ravens demolished Pittsburgh in Week 1, but nobody is expecting another shootout as these two teams face off in prime form.

    This game also will decide who is at the top of a very competitive AFC North division.

    Here are five predictions for tonight's marquee matchup.

Joe Flacco Will Struggle

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    Joe Flacco has only thrown for eight touchdowns, against six interceptions, this season.

    Flacco was fantastic in week one against Pittsburgh, and he also wasn't too shabby last weekend as he lead the Ravens to an impressive comeback victory over the Cardinals.

    But, the Steelers defense is coming off a win, in an environment very similar to the one they will play in tonight, against the New England Patriots and the ever-elite Tom Brady.

    Flacco is almost guaranteed to have a tough night. A forecast of cold rain doesn't bode well for anyone, but against a Steelers defense it's a formula for disaster.

Roethlisberger's Feet Will Be the Difference

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    Expect Big Ben to have his struggles as well. We all know the Ravens secondary has been the epitome of ball-hawking since the turn of the century.

    But, mobile quarterbacks like Roethlisberger have an advantage.

    Don't expect anything to run smoothly for either offense. First and second read pass completions might be non-existent.

    But, Roethlisberger should have a hand full of impressive plays as a result of his ability to extend plays and command the field.

Neither Team Will Run the Ball Well

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    The Ravens, with Ray Rice, have a reliable running attack. But, tonight's game might be a daunting task for their offensive front and the Ravens tailbacks.

    Heinz field is always a tough surface, but with cold rain it can be a defense on its own.

    A slow, sloppy track should make running nearly impossible for both teams. The Steelers have not had the ideal running game of the past either.

    Baltimore will also, despite their talent, have to find special ways to create running room.

    This game could be similar to last night's game between Alabama and LSU. No matter the talent at tailback, the teams should struggle to push the ball on the ground.

Mike Wallace Will Have a Long Touchdown

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    Mike Wallace could be a difference maker in this game.

    His blazing speed won't be "blazing" tonight, but he could very well still be the one guy on the field with the ability to break free.

    He has become the NFL's most dangerous and feared deep-threat, and even a defense like Baltimore's should take notice.

    What you get with Wallace, and Roethlisberger's feet, is potential for huge pass plays on every passing down.

    Even Baltimore, with Anquan Boldin, does not have that luxury.

    Expect a low scoring game, but Mike Wallace could very well have a long touchdown.

Game Winning Touchdown Will Be Set Up with a Turnover

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    How many times have we seen a defensive play be the highlight of a game between these two teams?

    Whenever black, gold, and purple is involved, defense reigns supreme.

    Expect the story to continue tonight. Playmakers, such as Troy Polamalu, might be able to generate as much timely offense as the offenses, themselves.

    Expect the team with the late mistake to suffer the loss.