For the first time this season, the Steelers are officially on a winning streak, and there is no reason that they can’t survive the Ravens.
Especially since the return of defensive star T.J. Watt, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been on a mission to turn their abysmal season around, and winning back-to-back games has been a great start to finally doing so.
With the Steelers beating the Atlanta Falcons 19-16, the former has now moved up to 5-7 on the year. While that record is far from what fans want, it nonetheless shows them climb, and there isn’t much complaining that can come out of that.
One team that has not experienced a climb lately is the Baltimore Ravens, as their last two matchups have gone nothing like what folks would expect.
The last two Sundays have seen Baltimore narrowly lose to the perennially flawed Jacksonville Jaguars and just barely escape the inexcusably terrible Denver Broncos. In the process, the Ravens have shown causes for concern on both sides of the ball.
When facing the Jaguars, Baltimore was not even remotely capable of containing an offensive connection between young quarterback Trevor Lawrence and veteran wide receiver Zay Jones. Lawrence threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns (145 of those yards were channeled through Jones with 11 catches). Beyond that, three different Jacksonville receivers had a touchdown pass to their name.
As for the ugly meeting with Denver, the Ravens offense was stuck relying on their experienced—yet still limited—backup QB Tyler Huntley. While Huntley has shown several glimpses of potential over the course of his career so far, he failed to show much against the Broncos, having to pull off a short touchdown run late to outscore Brandon McManus by one point.
Huntley only saw snaps because star quarterback Lamar Jackson suffered a knee injury. To make matters worse, said injury has resulted in Jackson’s availability being deemed unlikely for this upcoming Sunday.
Just how much help do the Steelers have?
To have all of this staring you in the face as you take on a hated nemesis can never be fun, but the list of problematic circumstances just keeps growing for Baltimore.
Along with their confidence being at an all-time high today, the Steelers have also won the last four installments of the rivalry; to put the icing on the cake, they are even hosting this one. If that doesn’t help set them up for sweet victory, I don’t know what does.
Now sure, four of Pittsburgh’s five wins have been against teams without winning records (the sole exception being the Week 1 overtime win over Cincinnati, a team that has undoubtedly redeemed itself since then). As for the last two, neither one was decided by more than seven points, with both being locked away on behalf of potentially game-saving plays.
In other words, there’s a bit of a leap in the competition when you’re going from teams like those to one with eight wins under its belt—and if you know anything about Baltimore’s losses, you know that it could have even more than that.
However, the point still stands: Pittsburgh has just about everything in its favor as it enters this game. If the Steelers can’t prevail under these circumstances, a win here was merely not meant to be.