Another year… another heartbreaking lost to their division rival. The Sunday Night Football game featuring the Baltimore Ravens vs the Pittsburgh Steelers was one of the more riveting contests of the year.
What hurts Ravens fans is that the team faltered in the end of their most important game of the year. Makes you think is this team ready to make a real run in the playoffs?
Ravens vs Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers closed out Joe Flacco and the Ravens in scintillating fashion. The game was close in the fourth quarter but the Steelers made THE plays and the Ravens didn’t. Simple as that. During the entire game it felt like Pittsburgh was always a step ahead from the first play to the last.
Got 8️⃣4️⃣ on speed dial. pic.twitter.com/LIcU7dXaOV
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 11, 2017
Pundits need to realize that the Baltimore roster let the fans down when it came time to perform. The offense failed to move the ball in the fourth quarter and the defense couldn’t slow down the best QB/receiver combo in the league. On the other hand, Brown lit the Ravens up for 219 yards while Big Ben didn’t make a mistake against one of the better defenses in the NFL.
Baltimore’s Upcoming Matchups
Baltimore has a favorable schedule to close out the 2017 NFL season. Next game is the Cleveland Browns followed by the Indianapolis Colts then the season finale against AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals. These teams have a combined record 8-31 and are very winnable games for the Ravens. But if you watch this team regularly, you know they tend to make the “easy games” more difficult than they should be.
In order to make the playoffs, it seems the Ravens will need to win out the rest of their schedule. According to the NFL Playoff Picture via NFL.com, Baltimore is currently 7th in the Wild Card and will need teams to lose. If the Tennessee Titans or Buffalo Bills lose any of their last three games, the Ravens will control their own destiny.
Ravens Season Outlook
With the most pivotal game behind them, the Ravens will need to show the world they are the real deal. There’s three “easy games” left and they must win all three. Consistency throughout a full game is what’s needed to be a true contender.
The offense needs to prove they can lay out a gameplan and stick to it for a full game. Alex Collins needs at least 25 touches every matchup which will open the play-action passing game. Flacco is yet to build any real chemistry with his receivers and its hindered the offensive production overall. Eventually the offense will need to bail out the defense against other superior offensive teams.
The Ravens' defense hadn’t allowed a 300-yard passer this season. Ben Roethlisberger has 506 yards and surpassed his second-highest career yardage total. pic.twitter.com/NixB5KMAp9
— The Ringer (@ringer) December 11, 2017
Meanwhile, the defense had one of its worst performances of the year. Pittsburgh couldn’t run the ball but Roethlisberger went 44-66 with 506 yards and two touchdowns. Any time AB was doubled covered the tight ends, who the Ravens had trouble with all season, got whatever they wanted. Yes, it was a bad game for them, but just an anomaly.