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PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers waves to the crowd after his potential final game at Heinz Field where the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 26-14 on January 03, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo : Justin Berl/Getty Images)
A critical showdown will be heading our way in Week 18 as the Baltimore Ravens host the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Who will prevail in this AFC North clash? Here’s a breakdown of the Steelers vs Ravens matchup.
Pittsburgh Steelers enter Week 18 as +5.5 underdogs
Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes remained very much alive after the Steelers recorded an impressive 26-14 win over the Cleveland Browns in their AFC North showdown in Week 17. The Steelers are currently in ninth place in the AFC standings with an 8-7-1 record. They trail the Indianapolis Colts and the Los Angeles Chargers, who hold the last two wild cards in the AFC, by just a half-game heading into Week 18.
For the Steelers to clinch a playoff berth, they will need to beat the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18 and hope that the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Indianapolis Colts. The Sunday Night Football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers must not end in a tie for the Steelers to advance.
For the Steelers to grab the all-important victory against the Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger will need to deliver the goods in Week 18. Big Ben ended his career at Heinz Field with a victory, completing 24 of 46 passes for 123 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the win against the Browns.
He got some help from Najee Harris, who had his best performance as a professional, racking up 188 yards rushing on 28 carries. Harris made history with that outing as he broke Franco Harris’ franchise rookie rushing record from the 1972 season. Harris now has 1,172 rushing yards this season. He sealed the win for Pittsburgh in Week 17, scoring a 37-yard touchdown in the final minute against Cleveland.
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Baltimore Ravens installed as -5.5 favorites
Baltimore’s losing woes show no sign of ending as the Ravens crashed to their fifth consecutive defeat with a 20-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17. After starting the season 8-3, the Ravens now head into Week 18 with an even 8-8 record. The Ravens still have an outside shot of reaching the playoffs, but they will need to get plenty of help from other teams for that to transpire.
First off, the Ravens will need to take care of their own business and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at home in Week 18. They will then need the Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, and Las Vegas Raiders to win their respective matches against the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Chargers.
The Ravens could have avoided such a scenario if they managed to pull off close wins against the Steelers, Packers, Browns, and Rams during their five-game skid. They lost each of those games by no more than two points.
For the Ravens to grab the critical win against the Steelers, they will need Tyler Huntley to step up in Week 18. He completed 20 of 32 passes for 197 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in the loss to the Rams.
Baltimore wins and covers the spread.
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