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Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens Prediction & Preview

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens 2019-10-06 NFL,

#451 Baltimore Ravens
Ravens -3.5
#452 Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers 3.5
Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 1:00pm
Image licensed from USA Today Sports
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For Week 5, there are a ton of great NFL matchups. Our game is undoubtedly one of them. AFC North rivals Baltimore and Pittsburgh will meet at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh for the first time in 2019, with kickoff is set for 1:00 P.M ET on CBS.
While Baltimore has a better record (2-2) than Pittsburgh (1-3), the Ravens are coming off a disappointing home loss against Cleveland. On the flip side, the Steelers are riding high after winning their first game of the season, a 27-3 blowout at home against Cincinnati on Monday Night Football.
In their last five meetings, the Steelers have dominated the series, posting a 4-1 record.

Ravens Drop Two in a Row

After two games, many considered the Baltimore Ravens to be an elite NFL team. Then, their schedule got tougher and things evened out. They've dropped their last two games, leaving them tied for first place in the AFC North. This game against Pittsburgh is incredibly important for them.
Baltimore's offense is obviously the key to everything they do and Lamar Jackson has done a tremendous job in his second year. They've tailored their scheme to suit his talents and he's flourished. Through four games, they have a 50/50 split in terms of running and passing and they're averaging 497 yards per game overall. Jackson is averaging 8.3 yards per attempt and as a team, they're averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
The defense for Baltimore has also been solid but they'll have a tough time this week against James Conner. Baltimore is allowing 4.9 yards per carry this season. On the flip side, they've held up strong when the pressure is on, holding opponents to a 37.2 percent third-down conversion rate.
Earl Thomas talks about the defensive communication.
“We just broke down play by play, took all our mistakes, we got it in the open in front of everybody,” Thomas said. “We’ve been focused on fixing those mistakes. Execution. Communication. Tackling. Always communication.”

Can Pitt Survive With Rudolph?

The Steelers dropped the first three games of the season before finally earning a 27-3 win in Week 4 against the rival Cincinnati Bengals. Obviously, the win was big for the team, and the hope is that it will turn the entire season around. After such a tough start to the season, the victory will certainly give confidence to quarterback Mason Rudolph, who is filling in for an injured Ben Roethlisberger, and the defensive unit, who finally stepped up after allowing 28.3 points per game in their first three games.
Rudolph isn't Big Ben, so the team has kept the training wheels on in an attempt to limit mistakes. So far, it's worked out to some degree; he has only been picked off or sacked a total of four times in three games. That said, he's only averaging 7 yards per attempt, which ranks No. 21 among NFL quarterbacks.
Running back James Conner has also helped take some of the burden off of Rudolph; he's the team's leading rusher and ranks third on the team in targets. Going into Week 5, Conner, unfortunately, is dealing with an ankle injury and he's currently listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Tight end Vance McDonald and receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster are also questionable.

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