Steelers vs. Ravens: TJ Watt & other Pittsburgh injury concerns to watch

Lynette Rowe
December 9, 2017

The Pittsburgh Steelers are -5 over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football.

STAT THAT MATTERS: The Ravens are 4-1 against teams with losing records through 12 games, 0-4 against teams with winning records in that span and 3-0 against teams that are 6-6 through 12 decisions.

The issue that goes unnoticed when merely judging the stats, however, is the absence of Ravens corner Jimmy Smith, who blew his Achilles early last Sunday after enjoying a Pro Bowl-caliber season. The Baltimore offense has been held under 10 points in a game twice and has scored 40 or more points twice. Joe Flacco is 9-9 in 18 prior meetings with the Steelers, missing only one in his 10-year career. However, this matchup favors Brown and the Ravens will have to adjust. Wallace, the former Steeler, is the Ravens' big-play threat and is coming off one of his best games of the season - five catches for 116 yards against Detroit.

The current rule states that hits on defenseless players are not reviewable, but changing that rule could be the solution the league is searching for.

JOE COOL: Quarterback Joe Flacco and Baltimore's No. 31 passing offense struggled mightily for the most part through the first 11 games this season (the Ravens' 5.3 yards per passing attempt was the worst in the National Football League, for example). He has three straight games with a rushing touchdown.

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OUR PREDICTION: The under is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams and is a flawless 4-0 in the Ravens' last four divisional games.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are tied with the New England Patriots for the best record in the AFC.

No quarterback has started more games in the rivalry than Roethlisberger.

The 2017 AFC Week 11 Offensive Player of the Week leads the league with 88 catches on 142 targets (66.4% completion rate). It marked his seventh game this season with more than 100 receiving yards. He is fourth in yards from scrimmage and third in all-purpose yards. LB Vince Williams had a sack last week and has a sack in three of the past five home games. These comments stem from the penalties received by Bengals safety George Iloka and Steelers receiver Juju Smith Schuster during the game on Monday, both of which were extremely controversial in nature, and the latter of which resulted in Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict being carted off the field due to injury. Expect the Steelers to rally around their fallen defensive leader and give him the game ball after the win.

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