12 bold predictions for Ravens vs. Steelers: All aboard the Gus Bus

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Matthew Stevens
·7 min read
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Though they probably shouldn’t be, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are still scheduled to square off on Tuesday. The game has been rescheduled twice and more than 20 Ravens players head to the Reserve/COVID-19 list over the last week alone. But, the NFL seems to believe this game can and should still happen.

With so many players set to miss this game, it’s anyone’s guess on how things turn out. We’ve seen Baltimore beat Pittsburgh last season with the backups playing but this is a different year and dramatically different circumstances. Still, we did our best to look at the matchups and see what could happen.

As is usually the case for our bold predictions, we don’t necessarily believe these things will absolutely happen but that they’re a little more probable than you might think. This week is no different as we’re predicting some big plays from the defense and a big day from running back Gus Edwards.

Take a look at our bold predictions for the Ravens vs. Steelers in Week 12:

The Ravens win this game

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Look, Baltimore has nearly half of their roster on the Reserve/COVID-19 list at the time of writing this, including several starters and quarterback Lamar Jackson. If this game is even close, that would be a shock. Winning this one seems so far fetched it has made it into my bold predictions.But we also shouldn't discount an emotional Ravens team that plays with its heart on its sleeve. They're going to be as amped up as any game this season, looking to not only pick up a critical win toward their playoff goals but as a little revenge for their ailing teammates. It probably doesn't help that Pittsburgh talked enough trash over the last week, giving them plenty of bulletin-board material. -- Matthew Stevens

Ravens sack Ben Roethlisberger 5 times

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Pittsburgh has done an outstanding job of keeping Roethlisberger upright, having yet to be sacked three times in a single game. But Roethlisberger has had the least amount of time to throw, according to Next Gen Stats, and the Ravens are surely going to further test that. With so many players out of this one and a real off chance to win, the defense needs to step up in a big way and I'd expect them to play as aggressively as possible in an effort to spark something. Whether we see another big game from newcomer Yannick Ngakoue or some more of defensive coordinator Don Martindale's aggressive blitzes, expect Baltimore to try and hit Roethlisberger on every play, taking him down five times in this game. -- Matthew Stevens

Gus Edwards rushes for 100-plus yards and 2 scores vs. Steelers

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COVID-19 has hit Baltimore hard this week. Two of the Ravens starting running backs, Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. This leaves Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to lead the backfield. The last time the Ravens played Pittsburgh in Week 8, they were without Ingram. In his stead, Edwards rushed for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Dobbins added 113 yards of his own. With Edwards looking to be the lead back vs. Pittsburgh Tuesday, don’t be surprised if the Ravens try to establish an early run game to keep Robert Griffin III upright, even if it’s against a stingy Steelers front. -- Robert Sobus

Baltimore forces two turnovers vs. Steelers

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While the Ravens' offense has been hit hard by COVID-19, they still have plenty of playmakers on defense. If Baltimore wants to win this game, they will need to force turnovers. The last time these two teams met in Week 8, the Ravens had two sacks and a fumble. Don’t be surprised if we see safety DeShon Elliott blitz more often than not to try and force more of those errors. -- Robert Sobus

Gus Edwards and RG3 both go for over 100 yards on the ground

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With the Ravens’ missing key weapons in the passing game due to the COVID outbreak, the QB/RB duo will have to make up the majority of the offense. Edwards has shown the ability show up in games where the backfield has been banged up, so it shouldn’t be much concern he will get his numbers. Griffin will have no choice but to run the ball even though he has desired to be more of a pocket passer since entering the league. This is the biggest chance he’s had in years against an undefeated Pittsburgh team. He will gain 100 plus yards on the ground with a TD or two. -- James Trefry

Ravens still find a way to get a pick 6

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With many of the Ravens starters out with COVID-19, there will not be a ton of film for Pittsburgh to use against them. With Griffin holding his own offensively, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will get caught trying to force one which will lead to six points for Baltimore. -- James Trefry

Dez Bryant scores his first touchdown as a Raven

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

The Ravens' wide receiver room has been fortunate to not have been hit hard by the coronavirus so far. However, if Baltimore plays Pittsburgh on Tuesday, they will be without Willie Snead and Mark Andrews, two of their top options in the passing game. That should open up more opportunities for Bryant, who looked good against the Titans. -- Kevin Oestreicher

The Ravens hold the Steelers to under 80 total rushing yards

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Baltimore has struggled to stop the run over the last two weeks against bruising backs. Part of it can be attributed to the losses of Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams, who are both on the Reserve/COVID-19 list right now too. But the Ravens just haven't looked as good defensively as a whole. Baltimore was able to stifle the Steelers on the ground earlier in the season and it wouldn't be shocking to see them do it again, as Pittsburgh will be without James Conner. -- Kevin Oestreicher

Gus Edwards will rush for 100 yards

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With no Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins, or Lamar Jackson, the ground game responsibility will fall firmly on the shoulders of Gus Edwards. In an echo of what happened in Week 17 of the 2019 season, Edwards will handle the role well and with more than 20 carries he’ll go over the century mark for the first time this season -- Neil Dutton

The Ravens will force 4 turnovers

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The Steelers' offense has done a tremendous job in looking after the football in recent weeks, with just a single giveaway in their last three games. But the Ravens' defense is a wounded animal, dangerous when cornered. They’ll be snapping at the Steelers' heels and hands all night as they force two fumbles and intercept Ben Roethlisberger twice. -- Neil Dutton

The Ravens fail to score a touchdown

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With literally no time to practice and the pressure of COVID-19 overwhelming this team both physically and mentally, the Ravens are depleted and at a serious disadvantage going into their delayed rematch with their rival Steelers. While they may get some points with the help of Justin Tucker’s leg, whoever suits up on offense will have to rely largely on whatever muscle memory they have pertaining to the game of football in order to drive the ball up and down the field. -- Alex Bente

The Ravens defense nets 3 turnovers

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While the offense may be in shambles, the defense still retains some core pieces. And the Steelers, regardless of their undefeated standing, are ripe for mistakes. Watch for Baltimore’s opportunistic defense to take advantage of any miscues the Steelers throw their way. -- Alex Bente

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