Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday night’s Week 17 game between the Ravens (10-5) and Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) at M&T Bank Stadium.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Steelers 17, Ravens 13: Even if Pittsburgh’s eliminated from playoff contention before kickoff, it’s hard to imagine the Steelers closing up shop and making things easy for the Ravens. Kenny Pickett should play a cleaner game than Mitchell Trubisky did in Week 14, and Mike Tomlin should have better answers up for the Ravens’ run game. Unless Tyler Huntley can keep Pittsburgh’s secondary honest with more downfield completions, it could be tough sledding for the offense.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens 13, Steelers 10: This will be another one of those low-scoring games the Ravens will be able to pull out. Look for the Ravens to have success running the ball and the Steelers to play hard up until the final whistle because they are still in the playoff hunt and don’t want coach Mike Tomlin to have his first losing season. But like the first meeting in Pittsburgh, a Steelers quarterback will turn the ball over too many times. Instead of Mitch Trubisky throwing three interceptions, it will be rookie Kenny Pickett coughing up the ball.
Childs Walker, reporter
Steelers 19, Ravens 16: There’s not much separating these teams. We know the game will be close. We know it will be low scoring. The Ravens ran at will in Pittsburgh and picked off Mitch Trubisky three times. They can’t count on repeating the same formula against a rival that’s fighting to stay alive.
Ryan McFadden, reporter
Ravens 17, Steelers 14: The Steelers are fighting for a playoff spot against a longtime rival in prime-time, so it’s hard for me to see Pittsburgh allowing 200-plus rushing yards like it did in the previous matchup. But the Ravens’ defense will continue to play at a high level and allow the offense to make enough plays to pull out a win.
C.J. Doon, editor
Steelers 17, Ravens 16: The Steelers are healthier and fighting for their playoff lives. In a matchup as close as this one, that might be just enough. The Ravens’ defense and rushing attack might make this prediction look foolish, but I’m banking on a better performance from Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett and a few more big plays from wide receivers Diontae Johnson and George Pickens to make the difference.
Tim Schwartz, editor
Ravens 14, Steelers 13: Another low-scoring game? You betcha. The Ravens can’t score without Lamar Jackson under center but they sure can prevent teams from doing so. Baltimore has allowed 18.1 points and 87.5 rushing yards per game this season, both third-best in the NFL. Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett has turned a corner in his development but he’s not the type to take over a game just yet, and Pittsburgh’s running game isn’t going to be able to consistently move the chains against the Ravens’ front seven. The Ravens should have plenty of motivation to keep their hopes of winning the AFC North alive while also ensuring Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has his first losing season.