Preview: Ravens Take on Steelers With Playoff Hopes on the Line

The Ravens season to say the least has been a disappointment. A team that had playoff and super bowl aspirations now has its season on the line with a week 18 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, in what could possibly be the final Ravens game of the season. Injuries have been well documented with this Ravens team and as the season has gone on the ability to play at a high level without so many key starters has caused the Ravens to lose five straight. The first time the Ravens have lost that many games in a row under head coach John Harbaugh.

While the chances of a fourth straight Ravens playoff appearance are slim the possibility is still there. The Ravens will need a win along with some help. You can see the Ravens playoff scenarios here. The Ravens must first focus on defeating the Steelers who come into Baltimore at 8-7-1, with their own playoff lives hanging in the balance. The Ravens will look to give the Baltimore faithful something to cheer about as the 2021 season comes to a close.

Ravens Offense

The Ravens will once again be without quarterback Lamar Jackson as Tyler Huntley will lead the Ravens offense for the fourth time this season. While Huntley has been reliable in place of Jackson, the Ravens offense struggled late last Sunday against the Rams, as Huntley finished with an average 162 yards passing. While the Steelers rank 12th in passing yards allowed per game, giving up an average of 220 yards per game. The key for the Ravens offense in beating the Steelers will be on the ground.

The Steelers rank 31st in the NFL in rush defense, allowing nearly 140 rushing yards per game. Even without Jackson the Ravens remain in the top five in rushing offense, with running backs Devonta Freeman, Latavius Murray, and quarterback Tyler Huntley picking up the slack in the rushing department. The ability to run the ball early for the Ravens will look to open up the play action pass. But expect the Ravens offense to be more on the conservative side as the weather in Baltimore isn’t expected to be ideal for a heavy passing attack.

Ben Roethlisberger

The Ravens and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are no strangers to each other. Roethlisberger has lead the Steelers offense for 18 seasons, and has been the man under center 29 times against the Ravens. Roethlisberger has a career record of 18-11 against the Ravens including the playoffs, and along the way has provided some memorable moments in the Ravens, Steelers rivalry. Whether it was the Ravens sacking Roethlisberger nine times in 27-0 win at home in 2006, or Haloti Ngata breaking Roethlisberger’s nose on Sunday night football in 2010. But while the Ravens have gotten their fair share of wins against Roehtlisberger, he has also broken the hearts of Ravens fans time and time again. Most notably in 2014 when Roethlisberger torched the Ravens for six touchdowns in a 43-23 Steelers win, or more infamously the four-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown in the final seconds on Christmas Day in 2016 better known as the “immaculate extension”, to give the Steelers a 31-27 win.

After beginning his career taking over for an injured Tommy Maddox in a week two matchup against the Ravens in Baltimore, its almost fitting that Roethlisberger would end his Hall of Fame career back in Baltimore. Roethlisbrger who has thrown for 6,399 yards, 42 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions in 26 regular season games against the Ravens, is without a doubt the least liked person in the city of Baltimore. But the Ravens, Steelers rivalry will have a new look without number seven manning the Steelers offense against the Ravens.


The weather on Sunday is expected to be rainy and cold, which could be beneficial to the Ravens who will likely have a run heavy game plan against a Steelers defense that ranks 31st in rushing yards allowed per game. Sunday is shaping up to be another classic battle between the Ravens and Steelers, and while the game isn’t the marquee matchup it was originally expected to be, it should be a typical AFC north meeting between two long time foes.

The Steelers got Ben Rothlisberger his final home win as a Steeler last Monday night against the Browns, but the energy that was exerted by the Steelers last Monday will lead to a falloff for Pittsburgh this Sunday. Between the weather, a run heavy game plan, and a Steelers team that is playing on emotion, the Ravens finish the season with a win in a low scoring affair 20-14.

Line: Baltimore -5

Over/Under: 41.5

All-Time Record: Pittsburgh leads series 31-24

Last Meeting: 12/5/21 Pittsburgh 20-19

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