Sunday, October 20, 2013
Prediction time: Ravens at Steelers
By Jamison Hensley
PITTSBURGH -- One reason why the rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers ranks among the best in sports is the number of close games. If you feel like it comes down to the final minute when these teams meet, it's because it usually does.
Dating to 2003 (and including playoffs), these teams have split their 22 games, with the Ravens outscoring the Steelers by 1.1 points per game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. And, over that same span, the Ravens and Steelers have each scored 43 touchdowns against each other.
Consider this: The last five regular-season games played in Pittsburgh have all been decided by three points, with the Ravens outscoring the Steelers, 93-90. The Ravens have won three straight regular-season games at Heinz Field, all by a three-point margin.
Here are the official ESPN predictions (with their prediction record for the Ravens in parentheses):
Jamison Hensley (5-1), Ravens team reporter: Ravens, 20-13. The Ravens' struggling offense won't do much again, but Flacco has had a knack for putting together the game's decisive drive in Pittsburgh. And he's done it against much stronger Steelers defenses. It'll be close. It won't be pretty. But it's a win the Ravens need to keep in contention for the AFC North title.
Scott Brown, Steelers team reporter: Steelers, 23-20
Eric Allen (2-4): Steelers
Mike Golic (5-1): Steelers
Merril Hoge (3-3): Steelers
Ron Jaworski (4-2): Steelers
KC Joyner (3-3): Steelers
Chris Mortensen (2-4): Ravens
Adam Schefter (2-4): Steelers
Mark Schlereth (4-2): Steelers
Seth Wickersham (4-2): Ravens
Tom Jackson (2-4): Steelers
Keyshawn Johnson (2-4): Steelers
Mike Ditka (2-4): Steelers
Cris Carter (3-3): Steelers