Media roundup: Who's picking the Ravens?

• Mike Florio and Gregg Rosenthal of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk are split on which team will win between the Ravens and Steelers.

Florio's take: The Steelers carry a four-game winning streak into a game for which they may not have four healthy linebackers. But it doesn't matter. Motivated by a 35-7 Week One thumping that seems so distant it may as well have been Week One of the 2004 season, the Steelers will find a way to hold serve at home. They might even turn the tables with a blowout of Baltimore, but I'll stick with a close game in the hopes that NBC will be able to carry a huge rating for all three hours on Sunday night. Florio's pick: Steelers 16, Ravens 13.

Rosenthal's take: Everything points to the Steelers based on the last two weeks. Everyone will pick the Steelers in this game. Florio will pick the Steelers. All of that makes me want to pick the Ravens because that's usually how things work out. (Plus picking against Florio is generally a profitable strategy.) Rosenthal's pick: Ravens 20, Steelers 17.

• Ron Jaworski is the only one of ESPN's NFL "experts" to pick the Ravens to win. Everyone else predicts a victory for the Steelers.

• All four ESPN NFL Sunday Countdown analysts think the Ravens will lose.

• ESPN's Madden 12 simulation forecasts a 17-16 win for the Steelers on the final play of the game.

Games don't get any more in-your-face or hard hitting than a Ravens-Steelers grudge match. And this game lives up to the black and blue billing, as the hit sticks were out in full force for all four quarters until Ben Roethlisberger found Mike Wallace in the end zone on the last play of the game to give the Steelers the come-from-behind 17-16 win. Amazing finish!

• SI.com's Peter King believes Ben Roethlisberger is the key to winning for the Steelers.

Steelers 31, Ravens 27: "We're taking 53 men to the Apocalypse, and we ain't bringing flowers," Terrell Suggs said this week. What I would suggest they bring is pass-rush cleats. Big Ben will fill the air with footballs again. He's on pace to throw 568 passes this year, 62 more than he ever has in a season, and there's no reason for Mike Tomlin to go to Rashard Mendenhall against the Ravens front.

• In the "Bet On It" feature, SI.com makes a prediction on Ray Rice's rushing yards.

Ray Rice will rush for at least 125 yards: Pittsburgh has to play better against Baltimore Sunday night than it did in Week 1, a 35-7 Ravens blowout. And the Steelers will try to make that happen, in part, by getting after Joe Flacco, much the same way they were constantly in Tom Brady's face last week.

Baltimore will counter by establishing the run. With James Farrior and James Harrison out, and LaMarr Woodley highly questionable to play, the Steelers' linebacking corps has more questions than answers right now. That ought to give Rice room to get going -- especially if the Ravens feed him 25 or 30 carries.

The Steelers might still have enough to come out on top in this one, but Baltimore won't be able to blame Rice's lack of production if that happens.

• Warren Sapp of Showtime's Inside the NFL believes the Ravens will beat the Steelers, but Phil Simms thinks Pittsburgh will win. Cris Collinsworth's pick is withheld because he is scheduled to be an announcer for the game.

• FoxSports.com's Peter Schrager thinks the Ravens and Steelers will meet again in the playoffs.

How good is Mike Tomlin? With Sunday's win over the Patriots, the Steelers reached the midway point of the season with a 6-2 record for the fifth straight year. The Ravens don't appear to be the same team they were in their Week 1 blowout win over the Steelers, and Joe Flacco has struggled down the stretch in recent games at Heinz Field. I think the Steelers beat the Ravens on Sunday, but it's not the last time these rivals will see each other this season. The pick: Steelers 24, Ravens 20

• CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman is the only one to pick the Ravens to beat Pittsburgh, but two others think the final score will be within the 3 1/2-point spread.

• Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times thinks home-field advantage will be key.

Steelers 28, Ravens 21: The Ravens smoked the Steelers in the season opener, 35-7. That probably means the Steelers are going to come back and play some of their best football at home.

• NESN's Michael Hurley thinks the Steelers will get revenge against the Ravens.

Tough one here. On the one hand, that 35-7 thumping the Ravens placed on the Steelers in Week 1 truly seems like ancient history, the Steelers are on a bit of a roll (they won the month of October 122-84) and Joe Flacco looks to have regressed to himself in middle school (one touchdown, four interceptions in October).

On the other hand ... there is no other hand. Pittsburgh is about to seize control of the AFC. I just hope they do it by a little more than a field goal. That half of a point is scaring me, but you can't let an imaginary half-point steer you from the right choice.


Seeing other predictions on this week's NFL games? Leave them as a comment below.


[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]

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