As game day approaches, I have to admit, I’m becoming exponentially more worried about this game. The injury bug is what worries me the most. But in an attempt to resurrect some optimism, here are five reasons why the Ravens will win this Sunday in the Land of Unpleasant Living.
1. Turnovers – With all due respect to the Steelers defense, nobody creates turnovers and turns them into points like the Ravens. Led by the best safety in the game, the Ravens ball-hawking defense has created an unprecedented eight turnovers in the first two playoff games. Roethlisberger has been sacked 46 times this year, and even without Suggs, the Ravens still have the ability to pressure the quarterback. Jameel McClain, Trevor Pryce, and Bart Scott all have the ability to rush the passer while Haloti Ngata and Justin Bannan can collapse the pocket. By pressuring Roethlisberger to make some mistakes, Big Ben could make some big mistakes on Sunday night.
2. Suggs’ absence could lead to more of the “Suggs Package” – One thing the Steelers haven’t seen this year is the Suggs package. In the previous two meetings with the ‘yins, Troy Smith did not take a snap. In the first two playoff games, we only saw #10 on the field once (in the Miami game). It would be wise to assume that those four games are the games that Pittsburgh will be studying the most this week. Don’t underestimate the wizardry of Cam Cameron.
3. Flacco The Protector – Joe Flacco hasn’t turned the ball over in the last four games. If the Ravens don’t turn the ball over, we’ll be talking about a Ravens win on Monday.
4. Little Willie – In six games against the Ravens, Willie Parker has averaged a measly 43.7 yards per game and has never scored a rushing touchdown. I really don’t care how he performed against the Chargers. The Chargers are not the Ravens.
5. The Ultimate Guarantee for Ravens Victory: The Reverse Schleprock – This morning, Bob Haynie cast his voodoo spell over Western Pennsylvania by picking the Steelers to beat the Ravens. Bob will be the first to tell you that his predictions usually don’t come to fruition. Here’s to hoping that he jinxed the Steelers.
Well…I hope that cheered you up. I know it made me feel a little better.
My pick: Ravens 19 – Steelers 17. Stover makes a last second field goal despite that sorry excuse for a professional football field in Pittsburgh. I played on rec league fields that were more suitable to host an NFL game.