My August prediction of the Pittsburgh Steelers winning the AFC North finally came to pass when they defeated division rival the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. However the victory came with a price when star running back Le’Veon Bell was seriously injured when he caught a pass across the middle and got hit by Bengals defensive end Reggie Nelson. As of right now Bell is questionable for Saturday’s wildcard showdown with longtime division rival the Baltimore Ravens. These two ball clubs hate each other’s guts and I don’t expect that to change this Saturday.
The Ravens advanced to the playoffs after the always hibernated San Diego Chargers fail to pull off the victory against the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. This Ravens team has been so unpredictable this season, the way that were playing at the beginning of the season I almost anointed them as Super Bowl contenders until Joe Flacco turned into “Joe Flucco” once again especially when they suffered that 25-13 beat down by the playoff hungry Houston Texans.
Due to the Steelers weak secondary Joe Flacco must take advantage of this weakness if they want to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs next week. Their defense must keep Ben Roethlisberger and that explosive Steelers offense off the field as much as possible. These are not your grandpa’s Steelers who ran the football heavily on offense and leaned on the defense to the finish the job.
The Steelers offense averaged 411.1 yards per game which ranked 2nd in the league, that’s pretty impressive coming from a ball club that is known for being very conservative on offense. They may have to bring that same tenacity this Saturday against a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Baltimore Ravens team. Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. will be a thorn in the Steelers side, Smith or any other players on the Ravens roster are not afraid of the Steelers mystique.
Both of these ball clubs have eight Super Bowl titles between them and will be looking to add another one this season, however one of them must come out on top in this fierce rivalry. My prediction for this ball game is that the Steelers offense may take a step back due to the fact they may be without their stud running back Le’Veon Bell. The game will be close but I believe the Steelers will pull out the victory this Saturday.
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