Week 13: Pittsburgh Steelers At Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers 16 - Kansas City Chiefs 13
AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
The Steelers want Ben Roethlisberger back in the lineup but they know they can’t rush him despite all the problems they have had at the quarterback position. Even if his rib heals, Roethlisberger has not thrown a pass since his injury and it seems unlikely that he will play. That means Charlie Batch, who looks old and over matched, will get the call again.
Winner Joe Flacco knows what it takes to be successful. He was able to bide his time against the Chargers and lead them to a come-from-behind overtime victory. He completed 30-of-51 passes for 355 yards in that win. Flacco has a powerful deep arm, sees the field well and moves well in the pocket.
The Steelers’ running backs could not hold on to the football in the Week 12 loss to the Browns. Four running backs fumbled the ball four times and that’s not going to win many games. Jonathan Dwyer is probably the best of the four running backs. He has rushed for 429 yard and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Explosive Mike Wallace is a top big-play receiver, but his quarterback can’t get him the ball.
Winner Ray Rice is a game-breaking player. He proved that with his remarkable 30-yard catch and run on a fourth-and-29 play in the Week 12 win over the Chargers.Rice makes every player around him better because opposing defenses must focus on stopping him. Torrey Smith has become Flacco’s top wide receiver target. Anquan Boldin is solid and so is tight end Dennis Pitta.
Winner The Steelers have the top-ranked statistical defense in the league, but they do not get takeaways like the Chicago Bears or San Francisco 49ers. Linebacker Larry Foote and free safety Ryan Clark are the Steelers’ two most consistent defensive players. They have combined for 154 tackles this year.
The Ravens have played much better defense in recent weeks, but this is not the nasty and hard-hitting team that fans have been used to for so many years. They are particularly vulnerable against the run, and that’s basically all the Steelers can do on the offensive side of the ball. Strong safety Bernard Pollard has become the team’s best tackler as he leads the team with 82 stops. Free safety Ed Reed is still a ball hawk.
Special Teams
The Steelers have to be thrilled with the performance of placekicker Shaun Suisham. He has made 21-of-22 FG attempts this year, including 6-of-6 from 40-49 yards. Punter Drew Butler has been ordinary, averaging 43.9 yards per kick.
Winner The Ravens have had one of the best special teams units in the league. They excel in kickoff and punt coverage. They also have perhaps the league’s best special teams player in Jacoby Jones, who has three returns for touchdowns (two kickoff, one punt) this season. Placekicker Justin Tucker has made 22-of-24 FG attempts this season.

The Winner Is

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Winner Ravens
3 out of 4

The Ravens have an opportunity to bury the Steelers at home in this game. If Roethlisberger cannot play, the Steelers would appear to be in big trouble because their backup quarterbacks have not been able to provide any relief.However, if Roethlisberger is healthy, this could be a game decided in the final minute.


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At San Diego Chargers

    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: San Francisco 49ers At New York Giants

    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

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