Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 predictions

In truth, the offense had been just passable through the first two games that they won, so when the defense caved last week, the Ravens had no recourse.

The Ravens like what they've seen from running back Alex Collins, whose 50-yard run set up their only touchdown.

But there were also key mistakes.

Linebacker Ryan Shazier and cornerback Mike Hilton each had an interception.

The offense will come around.

The frustrations - and struggles - on offense can not be denied.

But Flacco isn't alone in this second straight flop.

Baltimore closed to 19-3 in the third quarter after an interception by Ravens safety Eric Weddle. This was after falling behind 23-0 at halftime against the Jaguars last week.

But they still put on those bad purple uniforms and had shown - at least in their first two games against Cincinnati and Cleveland - the ability to force turnovers.

"You have to get an extra lift in the weight room", says Suggs, who has more sacks on Roethlisberger (16 1/2) than anyone.

Possibly that is the case early in 2017, but the bigger problem is that the blocking hasn't been as good as it was a year ago.

"... And when we're trying to climb back in games like we were today, there's opportunities to do it, and we weren't good enough to do it". Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wrote on his personal website that he was unable to sleep after the game and was upset by how divided the team appeared after the mishandling of the situation. They might win the game, but it could come by a field goal only. All throughout the season, Bell's been hampered by the fact that he didn't show up for training camp and started the season off cold. Going back to past year, Roethlisberger also has made far too many unsafe throws and has shown a vast difference between his production at home vs. on the road. Just ask Cam Cameron and Marc Trestman.

In the fourth quarter, on a fourth-and-12 from the Pittsburgh 47, Flacco was picked off by Mike Hilton with 5 1/2 minutes left, launching a rapid exit by numerous fans. Their own week had been riven by protest and misunderstanding and miscommunication that had left tackle Alejandro Villanueva as the unintended flashpoint, the former military man turned football player who had stood a few feet apart from his teammates last week, accidentally becoming the face of a national debate. However, he has to do a better job protecting the football or he might be looking for a new place to play. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin should play a bigger role.

Also, CB Jaylen Hill (Thigh) and TE Maxx Williams (Ankle) are out of the game and TE Benjamin Watson is marked as questionable due to a calf injury.

With the win, the Steelers move to 3-1 and hold the lead in the AFC North, while the Ravens fall to 2-2. It did not work. "I haven't been that special player yet", Bell told reporters. "The holes got bigger as the game went on". But he has kind of gradually worked himself into a little bit of a rotation and more playing time certainly. I don't plan on nobody seeing that type of defense and that type of Ravens team anymore this season.

It's no question that these two teams don't have an ounce of affection for the other. Pittsburgh has one of the NFL's best offensive lines and that unit has been strong in protection, but they haven't opened the crevices that any runner needs to succeed against some pretty stout defensive fronts.

A pivotal clash as early as Week Four - these two likely to be battling for AFC North crown and victor here will earn two-game advantage. So the Ravens need to right this ship fast.

  • Julie Sanders