Week 18: Ravens-Steelers preview, where to watch, prediction - BaltimoreSports.com
Ravens

Week 18: Ravens-Steelers preview, where to watch, prediction

Week 18: Steelers (9-7) at Ravens (13-3)

When

Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.

Where

M&T Bank Stadium (70,705)

Spread

Steelers are favored by 3 1/2 points (MGM)

How to Watch/Listen

Television: ESPN & ABC / WMAR Ch. 2 (Baltimore)

National Radio: Westwood One Sports

Spanish Radio: La Mera Mera 1050 AM & WTTZ 93.5 FM (Tico Sports)

Stream: Fubo TV

Series History

The Steelers lead the all-time Baltimore-Pittsburgh regular-season series, 31-24, also going 3-1 in the playoffs. Under coach John Harbaugh, Baltimore is 15-19, including the postseason. In Week 5 this season, Baltimore fell, 17-10, at Pittsburgh. Since that game, the Ravens have produced a 10-1 record.

By the Numbers

13 – Sacks for Justin Madubuike, who ranks No. 1 among all NFL defensive tackles and is tied with Trevor Pryce (2006) for the fifth most overall by any defender in Ravens single-season history.

Notable

The Ravens lead the NFL in scoring defense (16.4 points per game), takeaways (29) and sacks (57). Should the Ravens finish the season No. 1 in each of these categories, it will mark the first time in NFL history that a team has accomplished this feat.

2024 Rankings

Ravens: Total Offense: 4; Total Defense: 4

Steelers: Total Offense: 25; Total Defense: 22

Ravens Game Plan

Offense

With the 56-19 victory over the Miami Dolphins, the Ravens clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs. As a result, coach John Harbaugh will give several players the day off, including quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens didn’t need Jackson taking a hard hit by Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, who has 17 sacks on the season. Starting guard Kevin Zeitler is dealing with knee and quad injuries and Odell Beckham Jr. (not injury-related) will not play.

Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley will start against Pittsburgh. He has appeared in four games, throwing for 57 yards with a pair of touchdowns. The Ravens also have backup quarterbacks Josh Johnson, who is third on the depth chart, and Malik Cunningham, who can also play wide receiver and on special teams. The Ravens also could rest tackle Ronnie Stanley, but this is not the preseason so only six players can sit out.

Defense

The Ravens will hold out several defensive players dealing with injuries, most notably safety Kyle Hamilton (knee), and cornerbacks Brandon Stephens (ankle) and Marlon Humphrey (calf).  Nose tackle Michael Pierce and defensive back Daryl Worley each sustained stingers against Miami and were evaluated for head injuries. Worley has been ruled out against the Steelers. Linebacker Malik Harrison (groin) also will not play.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said quarterback Mason Rudolph will start against the Ravens even though Kenny Pickett is available to play. Pickett denied rumors that he declined to dress and serve as the backup to  Rudolph for last week’s game against Seattle. Rudolph has led the Steelers to two victories, throwing for 564 yards and two touchdowns. It has become a quarterback controversy among fans in Pittsburgh. The key for the Ravens will be shutting down running back Najee Harris, who has 823 yards rushing. The Ravens’ run defense has been susceptible to big plays in the past three weeks.

Prediction

The Steelers have won six of their last seven meetings against the Ravens, and the past 10 games between the teams have been decided by one score. After three consecutive losses, the Steelers have won their last two games and are still alive for the postseason. So, Pittsburgh has much at stake. The Ravens will likely rest most of their key players. Still, the Ravens have more depth and this team will look to keep rolling into the playoffs.

Ravens 17, Steelers 12

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