Baltimore (0-3) at Pittsburgh (2-1)
When: Thursday, October 1st 2015
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 8:25 ET
TV: CBS Radio: XM 225, 226, 88
The Pittsburgh Steelers begin life tonight without their leader Ben Roethlisberger for the next 4-6 weeks while he deals with a knee injury. Roethlisberger injured himself on Sunday in the Steelers’ 12-6 win in St. Louis. Pittsburgh defense really stepped up holding the Rams to two field goals and limiting running back Tre Mason to just 16 yards on 9 carries. The offense will now rely on veteran Michael Vick to carry the load until Big Ben comes back. Vick came in and went 5-for-6 for 38 yards, but Le’Veon Bell and the defense did the rest. Bell had 62 yards and the games only touchdown. The Steelers defense was supposed to be horrible coming into this season, but are currently ranked 6th in points allowed and 9th in rushing defense. I wouldn’t start praising them yet. After letting up 28 to New England in Week 1, the Steelers played the 49ers and Rams. Those two teams have pretty poor offenses. Still, they did what they needed to do and the Steelers sit at 2-1. After this week they play San Diego and Arizona. Pittsburgh hopes to have Roethlisberger back for the November 1st game against the Bengals.
The Ravens come into this game really struggling. They’re 0-3 and their defense has looked terrible. Not only are they giving up a lot of yards and points, they are committing penalties left and right. This is the first of 5 prime-time games for them this year, and they’re are not playing like a team that deserves that. Their secondary is getting shredded to the tune of 291 yards a game. They’re not getting any pressure on the quarterback and now they can see how devastating the loss of Terrell Suggs is. He is out for the season with a torn achilles. Offensively, it’s just been Joe Flacco who is doing anything. The running game is non-existent. Justin Forsett, who had 1,266 yards last year, has only 124 yards through three games thus far. Flacco threw for 384 yards against the Raiders and 362 last week against Cincinnati, but has 4 interceptions already. He only threw 12 all of last season.
Baltimore is actually favored in this game because of the injury to Roethlisberger, but I really don’t trust this Ravens team right now. Vick is an obvious downgrade at quarterback, but with the duo of Bell and DeAngelo Williams, the Steelers will be fine. They’re playing at home and the defense is playing well. The Ravens lack of discipline on defense will again hurt them.
Pick: Steelers +2.5