By Chris Schisler
1. Ravens score a special teams touchdown:
I’m going to speak this info existence. Every week, I think Devin Duvernay is due for a kickoff return for a touchdown. The Texas product has been close to breaking one and is statistically an elite return man. We’re talking about a Pro Bowl return specialist here. For the last week of the season, I say it’s time Duvernay scores.
The Baltimore Ravens special teams have quietly been string all season. Duvernay, who had a lengthy return in the first battle with the Steelers, is just one example of special teams excellence. I’m calling a Duvernay touchdown, but don’t rule out a fake kick leading or resulting in a score. John Harbaugh is going to be aggressive in this game, because he knows this team needs to get points anyway they can take it.
2. Baltimore Ravens say goodbye to Big Ben with 4 sacks
Terrell Suggs is rightfully the legend of the game at M&T Bank Stadium, and he’ll get the crowd hyped. While you kind of wish he could play one more game against Ben Roethlisberger, the current Ravens will get the job done. A chance to say goodbye to Ben is a chance to get as many hits on him as possible. That’s how Don Martindale is going to look at this.
You may say that with a team spread thinly on defense Wink can only be so aggressive. Here’s the thing, it may be the only path to victory. The Steelers are going to attempt what they did in Pittsburgh. They want to tire out the defense and have the dam break in the critical moments. Martindale has to blitz. He has to force the issue. Put Patrick Queen and Tyus Bowser down for a sack each. Give Justin Houston one and Chuck Clark one as well. In the spirit of Sizzle, the sacks will come.
3. Justin Tucker will make five field goals
Sometimes predictions are formed by following the trends. The Ravens aren’t scoring a lot of points. In their five-game skid, they averaged 22,2 points per game. Last week, Tucker hit four field goals for 12 of the 19 points the Ravens scored. The Ravens keep moving the ball down the field and collapsing in the red zone. The inability to finish drives is arguably the most costly problem for the Ravens other than injuries. It’s hard to see the Ravens becoming a touchdown scoring machine all of the sudden. The Ravens could move the ball the last time they played the Steelers, they just didn’t score when they had their chances. The Ravens will take the points they can get in this game, meaning Tucker should be a busy man.
4. Ravens win but don’t get the help they need
Winning is just one of four things the Ravens need in this finale weekend. Ultimately they’ll leave the 1:00 pm slate of games out of the playoffs. The Jacksonville Jaguars have to beat the Indianapolis Colts. Half the fun of being a sports fan is getting your hopes up. That being said that’s a lot not in the Ravens’ control to ask for. I’ll give the Ravens a win in a rainy slop fest of a game, but it may have to be solely for pride, not keeping the season alive.
And now a score: Baltimore Ravens win 22-17
Give me five Justin Tucker field goals that I predicted and a touchdown. Give me the Ravens defense making this finale for Roethlisberger a personal matter and stepping up to the plate. If you can keep the Rams down to 20 points, you can keep this Steelers team under 20. I’ll go with a win in the finale. What the heck. But help is needed and the Ravens don’t want to know the odds.