The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens will continue one of the NFL’s fiercest rivalries this week when they meet at Heinz Field on Thursday night. The game is scheduled to begin at 8:25 PM. ET.
The Ravens have played in three close games and are currently 0-3, but their opponents have a combined record or 8-1, which means that they are better than their record indicates.
Baltimore has been known to have one of the best defenses and running games in the NFL for a while, but not this season. They are giving up 28 points a game, which is 26th in the league, and are only rushing for 72.7 yards per game, which is 27th in the league.
One of the biggest reason for the drop in their defense is the absence of Terrell Suggs, who was injured in the first game of the season. The absence of Suggs means that the Ravens have lost their defensive leader, and since he is gone for the season, someone else needs to step up in his place.
The Steelers will be glad they don’t have to deal with Suggs this season because he has been a thorn in their side over the years.
Pittsburgh has injury issues of their own to deal with going into this game, Ben Roethlisberger was hurt on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, and he is expected to miss four to six weeks with the injury.
With Roethlisberger on the sidelines, the Steelers will turn to Michael Vick to run the offense until Roethlisberger returns.
Last season, as a member of the New York Jets, Vick struggled when he got the opportunity to start, but he has better weapons in Pittsburgh and should be able to do enough to get them by until Roethlisberger returns.
The one thing the Steelers have to worry about Vick is his injury issues. If he can avoid taking unnecessary risks when running, he should be able to stay healthy. He also has to be careful with the ball because he is prone to fumbling the ball.
The presence of LeVeon Bell and Deangelo Williams should help ease some of the pressure on Vick because the Steelers can afford to run the ball more. Antonio Brown’s ability to make big plays should also make things easier for their backup quarterback.
For Baltimore, their key to success is finding a way to get their running game going. Last season, Justin Forsett was a pleasant surprise and gave the Ravens offense some balance. This year, he hasn’t been very effective, which in turn makes Baltimore’s offense one dimensional and easy to defend against.
Defensively, Baltimore can’t afford to give up the big plays as they have in the past weeks. If the Steelers get their running game going or if Antonio Brown can blow past their secondary, they will be in for a long night.
Steelers vs Ravens Week 4 Betting Lines
Since this is a rivalry game, you can throw all the stats and records out of the window. That being said, even without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh is still a very dangerous team, and they will cover the spread in this game.
Play: Steelers +2.5 @ BetOnline.ag