The Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6) will travel to Baltimore to face their AFC North rivals, the Baltimore Ravens (5-6) in a crucial, Thanksgiving day, matchup.
The Ravens are coming off a victory as they handled the New York Jets 19-3. Quarterback Joe Flacco went 17 of 26 for 273 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Running back Ray Rice was held in check as he only amassed 30 yards on the ground. The Ravens found a lot of their success off the leg of kicker Justin Tucker, who went four for four on field goals.
The Steelers are also coming off a victory: Mike Tomlin’s team mowed over the Cleveland Browns 27-11. Ben Roethlisberger had another exceptional day as the quarterback went 22 of 34 for 217 yards and two touchdowns, finding Antonio Brown for one of those touchdowns. Brown led the Steelers in receptions with 6 for 92 yards and a had the long ball touchdown.
The Steelers’ rushing attack found some success as Le’Veon Bell rushed for 80 yards on the day. The Steelers are still looking to get a complete running game but as long a Big Ben and the offense can continue the assault through the air it won’t be that big of downfall for this offense.
It was the Steelers’ defense that played a huge role in their win over the Browns. The Steelers’ defense managed to get five sacks, nine quarterback hurries, forced and recovered three fumbles and William Gay came up with a pick-six. Safe to say, it was a big day for the defense.
If they can bring that same level of defensive play into Baltimore, it’ll be a tough day for Flacco. Flacco has been under the gun all season for his inconsistent play as compared to last season. The Steelers’ defense will look to build off their success in Cleveland in order to dismantle Flacco and company.
The AFC wild card race is the definition of a cluster. Multiple teams are gunning for the final wild card spot, and this includes both the Steelers and Ravens. Right now the Tennessee Titians would be in the playoffs but right behind them are the Steelers who own tie breakers over teams such as the Ravens.
This Thanksgiving day matchup has major implications in the race for the final wild card spot. It’s essential that the Steelers take care of business in Baltimore. This team can’t afford to lose; the race is too tight and a loss to the Ravens would be even worse as they are not only a divisional foe, but also in the hunt for the final wild card spot.
The Steelers are gaining momentum at a great time. They’ve strung together three straight wins and are one game away from having a .500 record. It’s hard to believe that after an 0-4 start the Steelers are playing a meaningful game in late November.
The Steelers already have a win under their belt against the Ravens. The Steelers squeaked out a victory off the toe of Shaun Suisham who nailed a field goal as time expired in these two teams’ last meeting. It’s a another must-win for the black and gold. This highly anticipated game is primed to be a good one. The Steelers will certainly have a happy Thanksgiving should they beat the Ravens.
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