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Ravens vs. Steelers staff picks: Who will win Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh?

Jen Badie, editor

Steelers 24, Ravens 23: If you had asked me a week ago, I would have said the Ravens would soundly defeat a Steelers team without Ben Roethlisberger, playing on a short week. But the Ravens defense is coming off one of its worst games in recent memory, continuing a trend. And Mason Rudolph played well against the Bengals, with a completion rate of 85.7% and two touchdowns. The Ravens are 6-8 in Pittsburgh under John Harbaugh and it’s an important AFC North matchup, so I expect a close game.

C.J. Doon, editor

Ravens 27, Steelers 24: This game couldn’t come at a more interesting time. Despite a 1-3 start, Pittsburgh has been competitive and is coming off a 27-3 thumping of the Bengals in which the defense sacked Andy Dalton eight times. Meanwhile, the Ravens are grappling with how to fix a leaky secondary that has cost them dearly in two straight losses. Young Steelers backup quarterback Mason Rudolph might be just what the Ravens defense needs to restore some confidence, but there’s a reason the Ravens have allowed 330-plus passing yards in three straight weeks. Lamar Jackson should be able to do enough to lift the Ravens on the road against a weakened division rival, but Pittsburgh won’t make it easy.

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Daniel Oyefusi, reporter

Steelers 20, Ravens 19: Quarterback Mason Rudolph looked a lot more comfortable on Monday night in his second start of the season. Pittsburgh didn’t ask too much of him and he was extremely efficient, working the passing game through his running backs. The Steelers defense showed it can still wreak havoc for an offense and even if the rivalry has lost its shine, I expect them to play the Ravens hard at home in an important divisional game.

Mike Preston, columnist

Ravens 23, Steelers 17: Pittsburgh is starting to play good defense but the offense is unstable. They can’t rely on second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph yet so they are using a lot of gimmick plays. Sooner or later, opposing teams catch on to those and there are only so many they can run. Even the Ravens should be able to figure out the Steelers as long as Pittsburgh doesn’t throw a pass over 15 yards.

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Peter Schmuck, columnist

Steelers 23, Ravens 20: Reports of the Steelers’ demise apparently have been greatly exaggerated. Fill-in quarterback Mason Rudolph looked very good Monday night and so did the Steelers defense. If the Ravens are able to tighten up their secondary this week, it might be a different story, but that appears to be a pretty big if.

Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Ravens 23, Steelers 13: No trip to Heinz Field will ever be easy for the Ravens, especially with the defensive line talent Pittsburgh has. But the Steelers’ rushing offense has shown no bite this season, and the Ravens play aggressively enough to snuff out their short-passing game. Lamar Jackson doesn’t need to carry the offense, but he must avoid turnovers.

Childs Walker, reporter

Ravens 30, Steelers 20: This will be a chance for the Ravens’ defense to get well against an inexperienced quarterback and struggling offense. Lamar Jackson will also keep the offense rolling on the ground in a surprisingly decisive road victory.

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