The Steelers look to make it three in a row this week, and here are three bold predictions for their game against the Ravens.
The Steelers enter this week somehow still in the playoff hunt after a 3-1 record post-bye week. The team as a whole has shown improvements, but this is far from a perfect unit. Many of the issues that plagued this team earlier this season are still prevalent. Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of those issues persist for the team, specifically in the second half.
The Ravens are their usual self, featuring a stout defense, an aggressive running offense, and a litany of injuries. Despite these issues, the team is still a capable one. While the Steelers playoff hopes are slim at best, a win this week is essential if this team wants to have any shot at playing in January. Here are three bold predictions for the Steelers this week.
Miles Boykin has a revenge game
Despite the Steelers lack of talent at receiver, Miles Boykin has found himself not involved in the team’s offensive plans. He was brought in shortly after Baltimore waived him, and the expectation was that he would be the fourth receiver on the depth chart. He has been an excellent special teams player, but he hasn’t done much on offense.
I think that changes this week against his former team. With the offense needing a spark, the team turns to Boykin over the other middling backup options. No, he doesn’t go crazy, but 70 receiving yards and a touchdown look good on the stat sheet. At the bare minimum, he proves that he is worth more of a nod on offense moving forward.
The Steelers run game stops
One of the biggest changes for the Steelers since the bye week has been the revitalization of their run game. The line is opening up more holes while Najee Harris has been more decisive as a runner. They go up against a stout Ravens front seven that has done a good job of limiting running backs this season.
I don’t think this looks good for Pittsburgh by the end of the game. The line struggles to create as much as they have in recent weeks, and as a result, Harris reverts back to dancing around in the backfield. It doesn’t work, and despite building some momentum, the Steelers running game reverts back to how they looked before the bye week.
George Pickens has a similar performance
A lot of the talk this week has been about what happened with George Pickens last week. An extremely quiet game and an outburst on the sideline have made him a talking point this week. While I have already detailed my thoughts on the scenario, I don’t think things get much better for him this week.
Pickens catches a pass early but is held in check for most of the rest of the game. He does add another snag later in the game, but he has an overall quiet day. The main difference is, this week, he takes heed of the talks he had with veterans in the locker room and doesn’t have an outburst. His stats have slowed down, but he doesn’t repeat the outburst from a week ago.
The Steelers have limped their way into playoff contention, but they need to get through a tough Ravens team in order to stay relevant. In order to do so, they will need to buck the trend in recent weeks of a weak second-half performance. Keep these bold predictions in mind as the team takes on their divisional rival.