Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 bold predictions for Week 17 vs. Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 bold predictions for Week 17 vs. Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 bold predictions for Week 17 vs. Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers: 3 bold predictions for Week 17 vs. Ravens

The Pittsburgh Steelers Week 17 matchup vs. the Baltimore Ravens might not have the juice in 2022 it often does, but it is still a fascinating AFC North matchup. Ahead of this year’s second Steelers-Ravens game, let’s make some bold Steelers predictions as to what might happen.

At 7-8 on the season, the Steelers are technically still in the AFC playoff race, but they would need some serious help to get into the postseason. The more interesting storyline right now is that coach Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season. Can the Steelers rebound from their 2-6 start and keep Tomlin’s streak alive?

For our Steelers-Ravens preview and full Week 17 predictions, listen below:

The Ravens, on the other hand, have clinched a playoff berth, but things aren’t great in Baltimore. Lamar Jackson continues to recover from a knee injury, so it looks like Tyler Huntley will start once again on Sunday. This game is important for them, too, as a win could put them neck and neck with the Bengals for the division crown.

With the playoffs and a 15-year streak on the line, the Steelers-Ravens Week 17 tilt will be a wild one. Let’s take a look at the game and make some bold Steelers predictions.

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3. The Steelers defense makes life miserable for Tyler Huntley

In a story as old as professional football, the Steelers are once again winning with a dominant defense. The unit has allowed over 18 points in a game just once since Week 6.

The 2022 Steel Curtain struggled early in the season, so the defense’s overall numbers are still in the middle of the pack. However, in the last few months — after the return of last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, T.J. Watt, in Week 9 — the defense has been excellent.

This week, they get a Ravens offense that is on the opposite trajectory. The team is in the middle of the pack overall, statistically, thanks to a strong start. However, without Jackson under center, the team has struggled to move the ball of late. In the Ravens’ last six games, they’ve scored over 17 just once and put up 308 yards of total offense or less in four of those games.

In the Steelers Week 17 matchup, look for the defense to hold the Ravens offense in check and keep the scoring low.

2. Kenny Pickett has a (near) career game vs. the Ravens

This Steelers-Ravens game features the Steelers’ 18th-ranked rushing offense vs. the Ravens’ third-ranked rushing defense. Running the ball isn’t the way to win for Pittsburgh.

The good news is rookie QB Kenny Pickett is improving every week lately.

After being knocked out of the Week 14 Steeler-Ravens game and missing Week 15, Pickett returned last Saturday with one of the best games of his season. In a 13-10 Steelers win over the Raiders, Pickett was 26-of-39 (66.67%) for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

To win the Steelers’ Week 17 game, Pickett will have to put it in the air and protect the football. The bold Steelers prediction here is that the young signal-caller does just that on Sunday. Pickett will run the offense with more comfort than he’s shown all year and dictate the pace of the game with his arm and his feat.

The rookie QB won’t look like Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen this week (he’s just not there yet, and may never get to that level), but he’ll look the best he has all season in the Steelers-Ravens contest.

The final stat line will be something like 25-of-35 for 275 yards with a touchdown, no interceptions, and a rushing TD for good measure.

1. Steelers 17, Ravens 16

The fact that a Mike Tomlin-coached team has never finished the season below .500 is an incredibly underrated statistic that should get more play. You may be able to fault the coach for not being able to win the big one in the last decade, but there are at least 20 franchises that would trade records with the Steelers over that time in a heartbeat.

After starting the season 2-6, a winning record was a pipe dream. However, like he often does, Tomlin coaxed more out of his team than the talent should have allowed.

Now, with a Lamar Jackson-less Ravens and an officially eliminated Cleveland Browns team on the horizon, 9-8 is obtainable. This game will be a good, old-fashioned AFC North slug-fest, and although it may not be pretty at times, the Steelers will do enough to win.

And just for good measure, let’s thrown in a bonus bold Steelers prediction and say that the team will win next week, too, to keep the Tomlin streak intact.

 


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