On Sunday Night Football, the Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers at Heinz Field. This Sunday Night Football matchup will kick off tomorrow at 8:20 PM. ET.
The Steelers start to 2018 has been pretty unusual. From Le’Veon Bell being a no-show, to the Steelers week one tie, Pittsburgh’s season couldn’t have a rockier start. After stumbling through the first two weeks, the Steelers bounced back against the Buccaneers to get their first win of the season. While the game wasn’t perfect, the Steelers finally showed that they could close out a game when they needed it.
The Ravens are off to a strong start to their 2018 season. The Ravens looked downright dominant when they pulverized the Bill’s in their week one matchup. But, it’s the Bills and that’s to be expected. Then they followed that magnificent performance up with a stinker against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football. Enter week three, the Ravens take on the Broncos at home and thoroughly handle Denver. While Baltimore’s two victories have come at home, it remains to be seen what type of team they’ll be on the road this season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is the man
The Steelers have many weapons, even without Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh has a fierce offense. While many Steelers have stepped up in Bell’s absence, JuJu Smith-Schuster has been the biggest asset to this Steelers offense.
Through the first three weeks of the season, Smith-Schuster has been Roethlisberger’s favorite target. According to NFL Stats, Smith-Schuster is tied for fourth in the NFL in receptions.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is averaging over 118 yards per game, that’s good enough for third in the league. It certainly helps to have Antonio Brown lining up next to him. Opposing defenses have a tough decision in front of them. Brown is clearly a big play threat and remains the best receiver in the league. That kind of reputation garners a lot of attention from a defense.
As long as Brown is lining up next to Schuster, expect Roethlisberger to spread the ball around, and find Smith-Schuster in one-on-one coverage. Smith-Schuster is an elite receiver that certainly benefits from being a number two option.
Is the Ravens defense good enough to stop the Steelers?
Since the Ravens won the Super Bowl way back in 2013, the team has slowly but surely descended from the upper echelon of the league to middle of the pack. The Ravens dominate teams from early in the decade revolved around a strong defense and an offense that executed when it needed to.
Playing well on the road against a hated divisional foe would help vault the Ravens back into the conversation of contenders. The Steelers are an elite offense while the Ravens rely on their defense to control the tempo of the game.
According to NFL Stats, the Ravens have the number one ranked defense in terms of yards allowed, while the Steelers defense ranks 29th in the league. In terms of third-down percentage, the Ravens defense allows the third lowest third-down percentage in the league.
Keeping the Steelers offense off the field will certainly be a challenge for the Ravens’ defense. So far, Baltimore has faced two offenses that rank in the middle pack, while their third opponent, Buffalo, has one of the worst offenses in the league. Facing a top three offense in Pittsburgh presents a real challenge for the Ravens on the road.
Steelers Vs Ravens Betting Lines
The Steelers have yet to face a serious defense this season. So far in 2018, the Steelers have faced some of the weakest defenses in the league. If the Steelers can overcome the Raven’s defense and score early against Baltimore, the Ravens will struggle to match Pittsburgh score for score. Expect the Steelers’ offense to slowly chip away at the Ravens defense, and ultimately overwhelm it for a vistory.
Play: Steelers -3 @ BetOnline.ag