Nationals

Predictions for Steelers-Ravens

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Predictions for Steelers-Ravens

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. 

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: The Caps add two defensemen, problem solved?

The Capitals got their trade deadline started early by trading for defensemen Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek. Washington has been struggling of late, but do their new acquisitions address the team's weaknesses?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir evaluate the two trades and talk about where they could fit into the lineup.

You can listen to the latest episode here on the Capitals Faceoff page or with the player below.

Want even more great Capitals coverage? Follow @TarikNBCS and @JJReganNBCS on Twitter!