Baltimore Ravens

Who's picking the Ravens to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers?

A roundup of NFL experts' picks for Thursday's game between the Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.

* ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio and Michael David Smith disagree on which team will win Thursday's game.


MDS's take: It says something about how bad the AFC is that the winner of this game will (for at least three days) take the lead for the sixth and final playoff spot. If one of these teams has a playoff run in them, I think it's Baltimore. MDS's pick: Ravens 17, Steelers 14.

Florio's take: Ben Roethlisberger has a 7-2 record against Joe Flacco, and a 3-1 mark in Baltimore since Flacco and John Harbaugh arrived. More importantly, the Steelers have become the Steelers again. Florio's pick: Steelers 13, Ravens 10.


* CBSSports' Pete Prisco expects another close game, but he believes the Ravens will lose, 23-20.

I see this as a playoff game. The loser is almost out. It will be played that way. It will be physical for sure. But I think the difference in this one is the two passing games. Pittsburgh has theirs cranked up, while the Ravens do not. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to hit some shots down the field. Steelers stay hot.

* John Breech of also thinks the Ravens will lose by a field goal, 20-17.

Ravens and Steelers fans can both be thankful for the same thing on Thursday and that's the fact that their teams aren't horrible anymore. Going into Week 10, the Ravens were 3-5, the Steelers were 2-6 and watching the two teams play was more painful than getting head-butt by someone wearing a football helmet. That's never actually happened to me, but it sounds painful, kind of like this loss is going to be for the Ravens.

* Three of's eight analysts -- Ryan Wilson, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg -- pick the Ravens to win.

* The Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer also expects a close game, but he takes the Ravens, 20-17.

Forget the good family feelings; the Steelers and Ravens are the Hatfields and McCoys of the NFL. They tend to knock the stuffing out of each other, and Thanksgiving won't change that. They also usually play tight, physical, defensive low-scoring games. The Ravens are a little tougher at home, and this year, they are the better defense, too.

* Yahoo Sports' Les Carpenter and Frank Schwab both pick the Steelers.


* The majority of's NFL analysts believe the Steelers will win.

* On Showtime's Inside the NFL, Phil Simms takes the Ravens, while special guest Kellen Winslow Sr. predicts a win for the Steelers. Cris Collinsworth's pick isn't revealed because he'll be part of NBC's coverage of the game.

NFL power rankings roundup

* On, former coach Brian Billick moves the Ravens to No. 18, up five spots from last week.

The Ravens have now won eight in a row against the Jets and are 37-8 at home in the Joe Flacco/John Harbaugh era.

* ProFootballTalk lists the Ravens at No. 20, five spots higher than last week.


The playoffs start Thursday night in Baltimore.

* Prisco puts the Ravens at No. 18, up four spots from last week.

They are essentially playing a playoff game this week against the Steelers. They better find some offense.

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* ranks the Ravens at No. 18, two spots above last week.

Joe Flacco was 14-of-18 for 249 yards and a touchdown against four or fewer pass-rushers. Flacco entered Sunday with a minus-4 TD-INT differential against standard pressure, tied for fourth-worst.

*'s Jamison Hensley explains the Ravens' ranking.


It's a fair spot for the Ravens (5-6). Only two teams with losing records -- the San Diego Chargers at No. 15 and Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 16 -- are ahead of Baltimore. Four of the Ravens' five losses have come against teams currently ranked No. 21 or worse.

* Elliot Harrison of lists the Ravens at No. 18, one spot higher than last week.

That was a clutch deep ball heaved by Joe Flacco to a streaking Jacoby Jones, as it put Baltimore in the driver's seat Sunday. For all the hubbub about Jones, his big day against the Jets (103 receiving yards) wasn't too far off his production for the rest of the season (160 yards). The Ravens still can't run the rock, with 31 attempts for just 67 yards. But if the defense can keep this up, Baltimore can't be ruled out of that sixth spot in the AFC -- especially if Flacco picks it up. Put another way, it's difficult to ever count out this team. In fact, that No. 6 seed will be a dogfight between the Ravens, Chargers, Dolphins, Jets and Steelers. Titans, too.

* The Ravens rank at No. 19 in The Associated Press' Pro32 poll, the same spot as last week.