Every year, this is perhaps the most anticipated game for Ravens and Steelers fans alike. This year is no different. The scene is set for yet another great game featuring two great teams; the weather will be cold, the division title is on the line, and according to Vegas, these two teams facing off in Charm City, have the best odds to run the playoff table and bring the Lombardi Trophy to their respective homes. Entering week 13 the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are perched atop their division with ties in virtually all of the playoff tiebreakers (Division record; both are 2-1, Conference record; both are 6-2), so whoever leaves M&T Bank Stadium tonight the victor will be the sole owner of the first place in the AFC North, a key advantage with so many quality teams chasing the two Wild Card spots. Both teams enter the game with injuries to vital players, perhaps the most intriguing of them all is the mysterious injury to Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Read on for more analysis, storylines, a prediction, and an inspiring video.
- Hines Ward vs. John Harbaugh- This one seems a little silly, and most likely is Hines Ward simply stirring the pot and creating excitement before the game, but he is convinced that during the last time these teams met (Week 4) that John Harbaugh snubbed him before the game when Hines attempted to shake his hand, “I don’t think their head coach likes me,” Ward retorted “I tried to shake his hand before we played them the last time. He gave me a fake handshake. He didn’t even look at me. That’s fine. Whatever.” When John Harbaugh was made aware of the ‘situation’ he responded quite wittyily remarking that he didn’t know their was a ‘handshake barometer’.
- Battle of the Best: The Steelers have the best odds to win the Super Bowl according to Vegas’ odds, with the Ravens not far behind. There are in the top couple teams in countless Power Rankings, and both are atop the AFC North. Simply, this is a battle of the best, and I am excited to see who comes out of it as the best.
- Ben Roethlisber’s Foot: Ben Roethlisber is playing. There is no doubt about that. However, with a broken bone in his right foot (or if it is “an aggravation of an old injury where scar tissue is present” like the Steelers claim) it will be interesting to see if it hinders his performance at all, whatever it is.
Michael Oher with a knee injury. His status is questionable.
Dawan Landry with a head injury. His status is questionable.
Le’Ron McClain with an ankle injury. His status is questionable.
Chris Chester with an infection. His status is probable.
Aaron Smith with a triceps injury is out.
Matt Spaeth with a concussion is out.
Ben Roethlisberger with a foot injury. His status is listed as questionable, but we all know better. He is playing.
As a reponse to Wiz Khalifa’s hit single “Black and Yellow” many Baltimoreans have responded with a variety of “Black and Purple” remixes, here is the most popular one. Black and Purple Remix on YouTube Warning: There is some explictit language.
Prediction: Ravens 23 over the Steelers 16
The Baltimore Ravens are riding an 8 game home winning streak and appear to be getting better and better with each passing week. The Steelers on the other hand barely squeezed by the Buffalo Bills and with Ben Roethlisberger’s health iffy, Pittsburgh’s season could become downward spiral after this game. The Ravens’ balanced offense will spread the ball out and Joe Flacco will lead the Baltimore Ravens to a pivotal late season victory over the hated Pittsburgh Squealers.