Without Big Ben, Steelers pose little threat to the Ravens…and I’m thrilled

November 13, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Without Big Ben, Steelers pose little threat to the Ravens…and I’m thrilled

Let me get all of the “facts” out there first, so there’s no whining and complaining from Steelers fans in the comments section below.

I have always been a fan of Ben Roethlisberger.  Despite the fact that he plays for the Steelers, I’ve always been able to separate that from what kind of player he’s been since showing up in 2004.  I would take him on my team any day.  Much, much respect…

Now, I get to put on the other hat and offer some insight into what you’re going to see this Sunday night in Pittsburgh with Byron Leftwich at the helm instead of Roethlisberger.

A romp.

That’s what you’re going to see at Heinz Field on Sunday night.  The Ravens will pummel Pittsburgh and assume complete control of the AFC North with somewhere around a 27-10 walk-in-the-park.

Pittsburgh can’t win without Roethlisberger, in the same way the Ravens can’t win without Flacco.

It’s a shame Big Ben won’t play on Sunday.  Then again, it’s not a shame at all.

Conflicted?

Yes, I am.

If we needed one game to settle our collective nerves about the Ravens and their on-again/off-again play on the road, this Sunday night was that game.  Had Baltimore gone into Heinz Field and disposed of Ben and Company 23-20 to flex their AFC muscles on the road, we’d all be able to say, “Finally…a truly good road performance against a high-caliber opponent.”

Instead, we’re going to see the Ravens clobber an undermanned Steelers team and be left to wonder, “What happens when we play a really good team in their stadium?”  The only team we’ve faced like that so far this year would be the Houston Texans and, well, never mind…

That said — I’ll take a Ravens win in Pittsburgh on Sunday no matter who plays for the Steelers.

Injuries are part of the game.  I say this often.  It’s not always the best team who works their way through the playoffs in January.  It’s usually the healthiest team.

The key for the Ravens from here to the regular season finish is simple:  Claim either the #1 or the #2 seed in the AFC.  Right now, at 7-2, Baltimore is in control of their own fate, but two triumphs over Pittsburgh would virtually clinch the one or two seed barring some other unforseen collapse in December.

Two triumphs over Pittsburgh are expected – meaning, SHOULD happen – if Roethlisberger isn’t behind center for the two Ravens-Steelers gamse.

And those two wins will help Baltimore secure home field in the post-season, which the Ravens desperately need if they want to go to New Orleans in February.

And I’m all for that…

 

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. The Armchair QB Says:

    Drew: the ravens lost to Tavaris Jackson in Seattle and Blain Gabbert in Jacksonville last year, so unless or until this team demonstrates that they can play as well on the road as they do at home, I have ZERO confidence in them on the road regardless of the opposing QB…….

  2. Marty Says:

    The Ravens barely beat Charlie Batch two years ago. It doesn’t matter who are the QB’s, Ravens/Steelers match ups are usually tight. Drew I know you’re smarter than this and I think you’re trying to start a stir. I’ve been following football for 43 years and know this much, you never count the Steelers out, NEVER! They are like vampires, and it’s hard to drive a stake through them. I hope you’re right, but think you’re going to wrong on this one. (DF: You’ll see. Byron Leftwich isn’t beating the Ravens. I’ll be right and I’ll wait for your apology on Monday.)

  3. dan Says:

    Says the man who said the Yankees were finished, anything you say Drew….(DF: You’ll see Danny boy. Check back with me on Monday.)

  4. troy Says:

    We (Ravens) have a way better offense, we will spread Pitt out and WIN Big!!

  5. matt Says:

    there is a litany of backup qb’s who have given the ravens problems at home as well as on the road. but regardless of the qb, this game will go to the team that stops the run. (DF: Correct, it will go down to the team that stops the run. That team will be the Ravens…as long as Byron Leftwich is the QB on Sunday night, the Steelers aren’t beating them.)

  6. unitastoberry Says:

    This is not your Bill Cowher era Stillers anymore. On offense gone are the Bus and Smiley Hines Ward. On defense you have an aging front seven who are now inconsistant. Big Ben is the star on this team and if he won’t be under center the odds of a Ravens win go up greatly. It’s up to the Ravens coaching staff not to take anything for granted and not let a big blowout win at home inflate any egos with Ben not playing.

  7. RJ Says:

    Drew,what the hell are you smoking?! The Ravens are going up against the no.1 Defense in the league; and, this team has a real identity crisis when playing away from home. I think you are just trying to get everyone riled up. (DF: That’s funny. Who, exactly, am I trying to rile up in BALTIMORE by saying the Ravens are going to beat the Steelers? What are YOU smoking is a bette question? If the Ravens lose to Byron Leftwich, they should walk home from Pittsburgh. You know that…)

  8. Marty Says:

    Well Drew, I didn’t say they weren’t going to win, only that they won’t win in the fashion you said they will, I believe that word was “romp”, but if they “romp” the Steelers, (27-10) I’ll be more than glad to email you on Monday, but if they don’t, will you be big enough to email me? (DF: I won’t need to email you. I’ll go on the show Monday and say I was wrong.)

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