This will be a tremendous football game in my opinion today. There will probably not be 40 points combined scored in the game. This will be a hard hitting, physical, old school type football game between two very similar teams.
Here are a couple of keys in my opinion to today’s game:
Put Them Away– I think the Steelers will be in this game all day long, so it is so important that when the Ravens get a chance to put points on the board and put the game out of reach that they do so. To many times this year the Ravens have let teams hang around that should not be able to hang with them. Now, part of the time the other team has made a mistake to seal their fate, but this is a Steelers team that if you give them a chance to hang around they will hurt you. You see it almost week after week with the Steelers they find a way to get back in a ball game if you do not take advantage of the opportunities to score when they are there.
Keep Joe Standing –Seems like I say this every week, but this is going to be a huge factor today. The Steelers are a team that loves to get after the quarterback and get sacks. The Ravens offensive line has to give Flacco time to throw the football today. The Steelers secondary is not that great, with the exception obviously being Troy Polamalu, so if the Ravens can give him time to throw the football Flacco can take advantage of this secondary.
Run Willis– This could be a big day for Willis McGahee, now I am not expecting him to run for 100 yards or anything, but he has to have consistently solid carries, because without Ray Rice today, it will be up to Willis and LeRon McClain to carry the load of the running game.Plus I think McGahee will be a little motivated after his performance last week.
Convert 3rd downs – At the end of the day, the 3rd down stats might tell the difference in the football game. The Ravens offense has to convert on 3rd downs and keep the Steelers defense off of the field and hope that you can wear them down and finish them off in the 4th quarter.
No 3rd quarter letdown– The 3rd quarter could be a huge part of this football game. The Ravens defense has only allowed 200 points this season, with 66 of them in the 3rd quarter,which is the most they have allowed in any quarter this season. On the other side of the football,the Steelers have scored 77 points in the 3rd quarter while only allowing 19. This could be an interesting part of the game to tell which way this game is going to be decided.
Finish Strong– If the Ravens can keep their heads above water during the 3rd quarter, there is no better team than them in the 4th quarter. The Ravens have score 98 of their 316 points on offense in the 4th quarter which is the quarter they have scored the most points all season. Meanwhile the defense has only allowed 33 points in the 4th quarter which is the fewest of any quarter all season for the Ravens. The Steelers have given up 61 points in the 4th quarter which is the most points in any quarter they have given up this season. The Ravens have proven that the 4th quarter is when they are arguably at their strongest.
This will be a close game, but since the Ravens are at home, I like them to win this game 17-13.