There's plenty of guess about and predict for Sunday night's Ravens-Steelers game. Here's a few guesses about what's coming:
1. The defense won't shut down the Pittsburgh offense, but will turn in a strong performance-- No Big Ben will help the Ravens, but the defense has been getting better the last few weeks. Are they back to last year's level? No, not yet. But there's no question they're doing better. Terrell Suggs is back and getting towards last year's form. Haloti Ngata's been off a few weeks, and he can make a differennce. Plus, the Ravens might have an easier time with Byron Leftwich at quarterback. Don't forget that he's an experienced NFL guy.
2. Even though the WRs will have some big plays, the Ravens are going to rely heavily on Joe Flacco and Ray Rice-- Those two players are what the Ravens need each week. If both of them turn in strong performances, then that sets up everything else on the Ravens' offense. The Ravens need to get the ball into Rice's hands as often as possible. You're not going to get a lot of big plays against the Steelers, but if the Ravens can move the ball and keep possession, it would help them control the game.
3. The Ravens can't make mistakes-- Now, this is something that can be said for just about every game, but it really holds water here. The Pittsburgh defense is so tough that they could keep the Ravens quiet on offense for stretches, something that's happened to them in road games throughout the season. The Ravens cannot hand the Steelers easy points. If so, that could easily make the difference.
PREDICTION: Ravens 21, Steelers 16-- Don't be fooled, boys and girls. The Steelers might not have Ben Roethlisberger, but they're still a good football team. But the loss of Big Ben will affect them enough to give the Ravens a little help. That should be enough to pull out this win.