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Winners and Losers after the Steelers loss to the Ravens in Week 17

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 8:58am
Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

After every game there are players who play well, and those who don’t. This is where the ‘Winners and Losers’ column comes from.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field Sunday when they played the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 of the regular season. After the AFC North divisional game on Sunday, it is time to see who performed well, and who left a lot to be desired.

Improvement was evident in some ways, and hopefully will continue, but the judgement process must go on. Players who play well can be considered ‘Winners’, while those who left plays on the field can be deemed ‘Losers’. It may sound harsh, but it is the crux of this exercise.

Let’s check in to see who fell on which side of the ledger after Week 17...

Winners

Benny Snell Jr.
Stat Line: 18 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD, 5.1 yards per carry

Benny Snell has made a case for himself since returning from his knee injury to get a look as more than a reserve back in 2020. If the Steelers would ever be wise and use a running back by committee approach, he and James Conner could make a tremendous tandem in the backfield. Snell might have started slow, but he finished fast.

T.J. Watt
Stat Line: 5 total tackles, 4 solo, .5 sack, .5 TFL, 2 QB Hits, 1 Forced Fumble

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Watt could be on this list every game. Because even in a game where he was called offsides twice, and flagged for a roughing the passer call, he made up for it with his forced fumble which gave the Steelers life. Watt is still a young player, something I have to remind myself from time to time, and the thought of him getting even better is exciting for fans, and frightening for the opposition.

Bud Dupree
Stat Line: 4 tackles, 4 solo, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QB Hit

From Bud the Dud to Bud the Stud, Dupree finished off his tremendous 2019 campaign with another stellar outing. Some will say he didn’t play well in run support, but the team as a whole didn’t do well vs. the run on Sunday. Dupree has really developed into a quality pass rusher, and someone who when paired with another quality rusher, can win his one-on-one matchups. Question now is whether Dupree will be back next season or not?

Diontae Johnson
Stat Line: 4 receptions, 54 yards, 7 targets

Johnson didn’t light up the stat sheet, but I haven’t seen some so electrifying with the football in their hands since No. 84, I don’t want to type his name, played for the black-and-gold. The rookie from Toledo amassed 680 on the season, second on the team, and led the team in receiving touchdowns with 5. I think the Steelers found a good one in Johnson.

Chris Boswell
Stat Line: Perfect on XPs and FGs

Boswell only made one extra point and one short field goal in Week 17, but I felt compelled to put him in the Winner’s column considering how far he has come since 2018. Fans have seen kickers loser their confidence and never gain it back, but Boswell did. Kudos to him, because he had to prove it to the organization...and he did.

Losers

Devlin Hodges
Stat Line: 9/25, 95 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 Fumble

No one expected Hodges to win the game for the Steelers. And while some might argue he didn’t lose the game for the team, it isn’t like he helped either. Prior to Duck’s fumble, the game was tight, 9-7, and the Steelers had the chance to put points on the board before half. Worst case would be they kill some clock and get the ball to start the third quarter. Hodges’ poor ball security was on display again, and his lack of awareness of the situation was evident. That one play, which made the score 16-7 at half, rather than 9-7, was a dagger the team wouldn’t recover from. There was a reason Hodges wasn’t drafted.

Jordan Berry
Stat Line: Costly fumble equated in a touchdown

Berry started off the season playing great. He had good distance on his punts, was handling the duties of the punter/holder well, but then something changed around midway point of the season. He botched a snap holding, we all remember the “fake” punt vs. the Cardinals, and then the dropped snap in Week 17. His play has just gone south in a bad way towards the end of the season. One thing is for sure, you have to be consistent if you want to make the NFL your job, and Berry just isn’t consistent.

James Washington
Stat Line: 0 receptions, 3 targets

Maybe putting Washington on this side of the ledger is a bit harsh, but when you only get three balls thrown your way, and two of them literally go right through your hands...that’s a problem. Washington has shown tremendous promise in 2019, but Week 17 was forgettable for the second year receiver.

The Streak
Stat Line: Hits 23 games

Duck Hodges’ strip sack not only kept the illustrious streak alive, but it now will stretch to a new season! Hey, at least it wasn’t an interception...

Mike Tomlin’s December Record
Stat Line: 1-3 in 2019

Remember when the Steelers were red hot in November and when the calendar turned to December everyone was talking about how great Mike Tomlin’s overall record had been in December?

Coach Tomlin is 23-6, over the past five seasons, during the final month of the regular season. #DecemberFootball

He is also 30-9 vs. AFC North teams @heinzfield - the best in the division (regular season). https://t.co/QKVqr3q38E

— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) December 2, 2019

And while the above stats are not fake, or made up, they took a hit in 2019. Tomlin finished the final quarter of the season with a win over the Arizona Cardinals, and then losing three straight to the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens. Yikes.

An offseason of uncertainty ahead
Stat Line: Get ready for Ben Roethlisberger “reports”

Ready or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base is about to embark on an offseason filled with Big Ben “reports” and rumors surrounding his return. And if that isn’t enough to make your head explode, there is enough uncertainty surrounding the Steelers regarding pending free agents and potential cap causalities to make the next few months feel like years.

Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 17 loss to the Ravens

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 7:31am
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

BTSC breaks out the red pen and assigns grades to the Steelers after an Week 17 contest in the Charm City.

The Steelers blew their “control your own destiny” status the past couple of weeks. They needed help from the Chargers to beat the Chiefs to give Houston something to play for. That didn’t happen. They needed help from Houston to beat Tennessee. But most of all, they needed help from themselves against a self-depleted Baltimore team. You know what happened there.

For some reason, I’ve been given the responsibility to rate the performance of the squad. It’s not easy, but I’ll give it a whirl. Despite my less than prestigious BTSC teaching certificate, I have to issue the necessary disclaimer. You know the story; of course, I’m not a football coach, or a teacher, but I play one in blogs and podcasts. All week, I had certain expectations of this contest, then the game happened and judgments abound.

Grading games is an extremely difficult and somewhat thankless task. While the coaches’ grades, of course, are what counts the most, the media and fans can’t help but evaluate as well. All letter grades are simply based on the eye test of somebody watching at home. In this case, it’s my feeble opinion.

So let’s take a look at BTSC’s early perceptions:

Offense: F

Devlin Hodges wasn’t as horrible as he has been recently, but he was just his recent awful. 9 of 23 for a mere 95 yards is really bad. A better quarterback would have won the last two weeks. But it’s not his fault. He’s not an NFL-caliber quarterback after teams get tape on him. The receivers dropped some opportunities. The running game with Benny Snell wasn’t too bad. No. 24 had 91 yards and a TD. But still not enough. The O-line had some flashes, but were pretty bad for the most part.

Defense: C

This was their worst game against the rush all season, surrendering 223 yards on the ground. RG3 didn’t torch them, but didn’t really need to. They held him to 96 yards and got a garbage pick on an unnecessary play call. The Steelers forced some turnovers and did everything to keep them in the game by only giving up one TD and four field goals.

Special Teams: C+

Chris Boswell was his solid self. But he only had one field goal opportunity. Johnny Holton and Robert Spillane had quality plays on ST as well. I thought Jordan Berry was pretty good by dropping two of his five punts inside-the-20. He hit a 54-yarder and averaged 48.8. But the mishandling of a suspect snap led to a Ravens TD. Kam Canaday was liable for that gaffe as well.

Overall: D

This was a winnable game and they could not find a way to do anything different on offense. Even with the defensive struggles, it was still winnable. They had the heart, but still let themselves get embarrassed.

Valedictorian: None

Honor Roll: T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Diontae Johnson, Benny Snell Jr.

Requires Improvement: The Offensive Line, Devlin Hodges, James Washington, Terrell Edmunds, JuJu Smith-Schuster

Now it is your turn to play teacher. Use the polls and the comments section below. We can compare notes in the teachers lounge.

Steelers lose to Ravens, 28-10, miss playoffs for the second year in a row

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 6:38am
Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

It was an ugly ending to an improbable season, as the Steelers fall to the Ravens, 28-10, and miss the playoffs for a second-straight year.

For the third-straight week, the Steelers pulled a “Steelers Special” by scoring just 10 points as they closed out their 2019 regular season with a 28-10 loss to the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh could have scored a million points against a lot of the Ravens’ backups, and it wouldn’t have mattered, thanks to the Titans 35-14 victory over the unmotivated Texans in Houston.

That’s right, the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs for the second-straight season, an outcome that many probably consider a mercy killing at this point, thanks to the fact that the good guys would have had to travel to Gillette Stadium for the wildcard round to take on the same Patriots squad that got their 2019 campaign off to a rousing start with a 33-3 beat-down in Week 1.

And that was with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.

Unfortunately, we don’t like to think about mercy killings right now, because even the most cynical and realistic Steelers fan would likely have relished the opportunity to dream the possible dream, which would have included knocking off Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for the first time in the postseason.

Instead, what we’re left with is the reality of a playoff-less January, something that seemed more realistic back in early October, when the Steelers were 1-4 and about to start their third quarterback of the season.

That quarterback’s name was Devlin Hodges, an undrafted rookie from little Samford nicknamed “Duck.” He would become a full-fledged sensation by mid-December, if for no reason other than the defense was good enough to hold opposing offenses to a low enough point-total in most weeks to make whatever key plays Duck produced seem more magical than they actually were.

Once reality hit late in the third quarter of a critical Week 15 loss to the Bills at Heinz Field, it never stopped stomping the Steelers in the head until everyone realized that the 8-5 record was a mirage.

Much like a baseball team that thinks it can keep getting away with winning games, 2-1, people became enamored with the notion that Pittsburgh’s defense could continue to dominate on such a level to make it possible to keep winning games, this despite an offense that could only score one touchdown a week.

And if you think that’s a joke, it’s really not.

The Steelers managed to score just one offensive touchdown in eight of their last nine games. The fact that they managed to win enough of those games to still be alive for the playoffs by Week 17 is quite remarkable.

What would be more remarkable is a playoff berth. But it’s hard to qualify for the postseason when one side of the football is just so bad. And as good as the Steelers were on defense in 2019, they were that bad on offense. Yes, Pittsburgh may have boasted a Super Bowl defense, one that was quite proficient at sacking the quarterback and taking the football away. But it trotted out a preseason offense, one that became quite accustomed to relying on guys who weren’t on NFL rosters once training camps broke all around the league in early September.

I suppose I could include stats and some situations that occurred during the Steelers loss to Baltimore, but what would be the point?

The offense was bad, the defense wasn’t really all that dominant against a group of Ravens’ offensive scrubs that included Robert Griffin III, while the special teams committed a critical error or two. In many ways, it was your typical Steelers game in 2019.

Only difference, even the Ravens backups were better than the Steelers so-called starters. Maybe that’s because the Ravens backups were just having some fun, while Pittsburgh’s so-called starters were being counted on to do jobs they simply weren’t capable of.

It’s hard to be too angry with the conclusion to the Steelers’ 2019 campaign. But the finality of it all still hurts a lot.

Excuse me while I go pray to the football gods to totally heal Roethlisberger’s elbow by no later than OTAs.

Podcast: The Steelers magical 2019 season comes to an end in Baltimore

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 5:33am

In the latest episode of “The Steelers Post-Game” show, we break down all the news you need to know surrounding the Black-and-Gold from the most recent contest.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 season is officially over, and the Steelers lost their final game by losing to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17, ending their record at 8-8.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC podcast The Steelers Post-Game Show. On this show Jeff Hartman and co-hosts Bryan Davis and Dave Schofield break down all things Steelers!

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Recap after losing to the Ravens
  • Winners and Losers
  • Steelers Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, and Lance Williams walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Spotify: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Steelers players take to social media to talk about the season after losing to the Ravens

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 5:02am
Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

The season is over, and many members of the Steelers took to social media to thank their teammates, and fans, for a great year.

The Pittsburgh Steelers season is over after losing to the Baltimore Ravens 28-10 in Week 17. And with the 2019 season officially in the books many players took to social media to talk about the season, their appreciation for teammates and thanking the fans for a memorable season.

Reality in the NFL today is no team will remain the same year after year. Free agency and salary cap restrictions keep teams always gaining, and losing, players. So at the end of every season players know all too well what the reality of the offseason may hold for them or their teammates.

Take a look at what was said on different platforms...

(Editor’s Note: This article may be updated as more players take to social media to talk about the 2019 season.)

Love this team!! Season was not what we wanted... but we never folded. Always Fought! Love y’all boys! https://t.co/WjUvSvpJNc

— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) December 30, 2019

This team full of fighters I can appreciate that no doubt

— Steve Nelson (@Nelson_Island) December 30, 2019

I am going to work harder than ever. 2020 I will outwork everyone else!#HulkSmash

— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) December 30, 2019

Love this team! Tough year but I want to shoutout all my teammates!! Never gave in after all that happened, shows what type of team we are!! #SteelerNation

— Mike Hilton (@MikeHilton_28) December 30, 2019

Rookie campaign over.. but jus kno I’m applying even more pressure nxt year

— Diontae Johnson (@Juiceup__3) December 30, 2019

Analyzing the Steelers Week 17 loss to the Ravens, by the numbers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 12/30/2019 - 4:30am
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

There was very little that went right for the Steelers on Sunday, both in their game and around the NFL

Entering Week 17 of the 2019 NFL season, the Steelers needed help in order to make the playoffs. With scenarios where the Steelers could get in whether they won or lost, being able to defeat the Baltimore Ravens, who were resting many of their players, was the only thing the Steelers could control. And while the Tennessee Titans easily defeated the Houston Texans to wrap up the last seed in the AFC playoffs making the Steelers game irrelevant, there was still pride on the line as the Steelers battled the Ravens on the rain-soaked field in Baltimore. Unfortunately, the Steelers came up short in a lot of areas to make the game not competitive down the stretch.

So here are some of the numbers which led to the Steelers loss on Sunday in Baltimore. With some of the historically poor numbers, putting them in context with past performances will be provided.

223

Everybody knew the Baltimore Ravens were going to run the ball. It rained the entire game, and the Ravens MVP candidate quarterback Lamar Jackson was inactive. But even knowing the Ravens were going to be rushing, the Steelers defense still managed to give up 223 yards on the ground. It was the most yards surrendered on the ground by the Steelers since Week 5 of 2017 season against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

18:54

With the large number of rushing attempts the Steelers surrendered, Baltimore completely dominated the time of possession. Holding almost a 19 minute advantage, it was the greatest difference in time of possession for the Steelers since Week 8 of 2003 when the Steelers were defeated by the St. Louis Rams in the game where the Rams had a 20-minute advantage.

77

With weather being one factor, the Steelers struggled mightily in passing the football. Quarterback Devlin Hodges threw for 95 yards in the air, but losing 18 yards on two sacks, the Steelers officially had 77 yards passing on the game. Is the lowest total since they only had 21 yards in Week 2 of 2010 when they defeated to the Tennessee Titans 19–11. The last time the Steelers had this few passing yards in a loss was the opening game of the season in 1994 against the Dallas Cowboys when they only had 71 yards passing.

9

The Steelers only completed nine passes on the day in Baltimore. Although nine completions is concerning, the fact that it was on 25 attempts made the passing game even worse. With only a 36% pass completion rate, it is the lowest the Steelers had since Week 10 of the 2000 season.

91

One bright spot for the Steelers what is the running of Benny Snell Jr. who rushed for 91 yards on 18 attempts. The Steelers only had a total of 91 yards rushing on the day as Devlin Hodges had -1 yards rushing due to a kneel down and Kerrith Whyte Jr. had one rushing yard on three attempts.

5 vs. 0

The Steelers officially had 12 drives on the day against the Ravens. Throwing out the final drive of each half where the Steelers took a knee and where they ran one play, of the remaining 10 drives the Steelers had five of which were they did not achieve a first down. Of these five drives, two of them were there drives which were the first possession of each half. Comparing this to the Ravens, they achieved at least one first down on every drive they had in the game.

28

The Steelers second drive of the game was 75 yards on 10 plays which ended with a 4-yard Benny Snell Jr. touchdown run. Other than this drive, the longest drive of the day was only 28 yards. It was actually the Steelers next possession after their touchdown drive which was 28 yards on 8 plays and resulted in to first downs before ending in a punt.

10

While the Steelers only scored 10 points for the third consecutive game, this specific number of 10 is in regards to the number of first downs the Steelers had in the game. It was the fewest first downs they have had in 2019. The last time the Steelers had this few first downs in a game was the aforementioned Week 2 game of 2010 against the Tennessee Titans.

So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Sunday against the Ravens. The Steelers struggles on offense have been apparent for the last several weeks, but in their season finale they reached a new level of ineptitude. While weather was one factor in the game, both teams had to play in the rain and the Ravens still managed to score 28 points to secure the victory while many of their starters sat out.

Were there any other numbers which stood out to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 opponents finalized

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 9:59pm
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers came in second in the AFC North, meaning they will be playing a second place schedule in 2020.

The NFL schedule is complex, but if you know the reasoning behind it, it really is rather simple. The equation to a 16-game schedule is as follows:

Every year each division is paired up with both an AFC and NFC division, which represents 8 games on the schedule. Each team plays everyone in their division twice, add another 6 games. So, where do the other two games come from to round out the schedule? Depending on which place the team finishes, they play the other teams who finished with the same ranking in the other two divisions.

So, who will the Pittsburgh Steelers be playing in 2020? Well, in 2019 the AFC North was paired with the AFC East and the NFC West, but in 2020 they are paired up with the AFC South and the NFC East.

Those 8 opponents will be:

AFC South
Jacksonville Jaguars
Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans

NFC East
Washington Redskins
New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys

The Steelers always play the rest of their division (Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns) twice, but what about the other two opponents. They will play the second place team in the AFC East and AFC West divisions. The New England Patriots won the AFC East for the 11th straight season, which means they will not be playing the black and gold next year in the regular season. Meanwhile, it will be another season of playing the Buffalo Bills for the Steelers. The AFC West second place opponent was finalized when the Denver Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders to in Week 17.

According to FB Schedules, below is the location of the known Steelers game next season:

Home
Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns
Washington Redskins
Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Philadelphia Eagles
Denver Broncos

Away
Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns
New York Giants
Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys
Buffalo Bills
Tennessee Titans

It seems early to be thinking about next year’s opponents, especially with Pittsburgh’s season ending the way it did in Baltimore, but it is always good to know what is on the horizon for the black-and-gold.

Knee-Jerk Reactions after the Steelers’ 28-10 loss to the Ravens

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 6:45pm
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

One BTSC writer shares his real-time, initial thoughts of the Steelers battle with the Ravens.

The Steelers need a win against the top team in the league and get help to get in the playoffs, namely a Tennessee loss against Houston’s B Team. The scenario is unlikely, but the Steelers being in a playoff

Nonetheless, a simple reminder, a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. It’s basically shooting first and apologizing later. I can safely say that’s a true definition of your’s truly and a good lot of Steeler Nation. Here’s real-time reactions during the Steelers’ quest to extend their record to 9-6 and get in the playoffs.

Quarter 1
  • Here we go! This game is titanic.
  • Despite resting their starters, the a Ravens really want this game.
  • All of sudden, they can’t stop the run.
  • Joe Haden is lucky he didn’t get his neck snapped on that Gus Edwards first down run.
  • Isaiah Buggs with the stop.
  • The defense with a sack. They need to pressure these QBs like crazy.
  • Hilton! Not sure if Watt is going to get a halfie on that one.
  • Tucker with the toe. 3-0.
  • Expect to see way too much of No. 9 today.
  • I thought Hodges was bad. He’s really bad.
  • Three and out. The Ravens are going to set a record for time of possession in this game.
  • Geez. Where’s the defense?
  • There it is. Nice...Nelson.
  • That should have been picked. But I thought boy was going to kick that into his belly and score.
  • 6-0. Ouch.
  • They are lucky that’s all it is though.
  • I think Duck might might be on a short leash.
  • I wonder if that guy that did the quick clothes change last week has a Lynch jersey ready.
  • Nice first down to Johnson.
  • I figured that the refs were going to throw a flag on that one and bring it back. Well it was against the Ravens. Glad to be wrong on that one.
  • Great pass by Hodges. That was a big-time throw.
  • Great protection there.
  • Peters was going for the pick on that and I thought he was going to go for six. Once again, glad to be wrong
  • End of one. 6-0 Ravens.
Quarter 2
  • Snell Yeah! Nice run by Benny.
  • This time a great run by BSJ. Nice hole by Foster and Finney.
  • Great block by Big Al. TD Snell.
  • Yessssssss!
  • Shoot. Tennessee leads by seven.
  • Defense needs to hold them on this drive. Have to get off the field with no points.
  • That was good defense by Boykin. Definitely pickable.
  • Watt can’t complain about the offsides there. We can though.
  • Great play by Bush. But you have to catch those. Needed that pick-six and that’s what that would have been.
  • Here we go. Come on “O”.
  • Nice fight by Vanimal.
  • Duck plays better with the lead.
  • Damn JWash. Gotta catch those.
  • Nice catch by Vance. Great pass too.
  • JuJu was held, but still open. Too bad Duck didn’t see him.
  • That wasn’t good. Foster got abused on that sack.
  • This line is deteriorating.
  • Berry needed to pin them in. A line drive will never do it there.
  • Watt punched RG3 going for the ball. Dupree then leveled him.
  • Bud is hurt.
  • Can’t let Griffin complete those.
  • A sack would have been nice to put Tucker back further. But this will be an easy three.
  • Yep. 9-7 Ravens.
  • Points would be sweet here.
  • The rain is really coming down now.
  • Disastrous. That’s going to cost points.
  • I used to like that White Stripes song. The Baltimorons made me hate it.
  • The steak is at 23.
  • Can not tackle. Edmunds blew it there.
  • They needed to hold them to three and couldn’t do it.
  • That’s the half. 16-7. They are probably going to lose.
Quarter 3
  • Titans lead 21-7. That’s not good.
  • Bad series.
  • Can not stop the run.
  • Watt with pressure. Missed missed sack 15.
  • But got the punch out there.
  • Gotta capitalize.
  • DJ18 with great blocking on that nice run by Snell.
  • Another good run by Snell.
  • Third and four. Need to move the chains.
  • That would have been a TD. Should have challenged.
  • Great effort by Johnson.
  • Predictable offense.
  • Ridiculous.
  • Boz with the three. 16-10 Ravens.
  • Steelers need a three-and-out.
  • Texans are close to a score.
  • Defense is sucking.
  • Not there. Heyward with a sack.
  • Edmunds with a nice open-field tackle.
  • Wang Harbs going for it here.
  • Offsides. Can’t now.
  • Johnson got the Steelers some room with that 13-yard return. Duck is not good when he is pinned back.
  • Duck has got to throw the ball away.
  • Why couldn’t have juju dropped that one?
  • Good punt by Berry and nice tackle by Spillane.
  • TD Titans. Man.
  • End of three.
Quarter 4
  • McCullers sighting? Wow!
  • I predicted four Tucker field goals. Here it is.
  • 19-10. Ravens.
  • Why did DJ stop?
  • That should be intentional grounding.
  • This is getting embarrassing.
  • After the flag, I would fake it here.
  • Nice punt by Berry. Good effort and down by Holton.
  • If only the defense could give them something here.
  • Good stop by Minkah.
  • That’s what makes Harbaugh a wang.
  • I’m glad Tomlin challenged that.
  • Titans scored again. Just playing for pride.
  • Were are Washington’s hands today?
  • Duck is awful.
  • Should have been picked there.
  • Berry found a way to be crappy. 26-10 Ravens.
  • Whyte with a mishap. This is just embarrassing.
  • The Ravens are dirty.
  • Intentional grounding. 28-10.
  • They will try to run it up here.
  • And yes they are. That bomb was ridiculous.
  • They are risking getting someone hurt.
  • It is over. Thank goodness.

Once again, I just shot first and I’ll apologize later. All reactions were in real time. Basically, it is the equivalent of watching me do the highlights if I hadn’t been bypassed by the major networks. Now time to watch it again and see what really happened. Make sure you get your voice heard in the comments below.

Ravens embarrass undisciplined Steelers 28-10 in Week 17

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 6:28pm
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Steelers’ seasons ends on a three game losing streak, capped off with an embarrassing showing in Baltimore.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens squared off in Week 17 at M&T Bank Stadium under a steady rain, and plenty on the line for the visiting team. The two AFC North rivals couldn’t have found themselves in different situations in the regular season finale. The Ravens had already locked up the top seed and home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs, while the Steelers’ playoff hopes were hanging by a thread.

The Steelers needed to beat the Ravens, and get some help by way of the Houston Texans beating the Tennessee Titans. With both games being played at the same time, there would be plenty of scoreboard watching going on throughout the contest.

Baltimore started with the football and did nothing but run the ball with Robert Griffin III and Gus Edwards as they moved the ball quickly into the red-zone. On a 3rd and 8 play, and their first pass attempt of the drive, Mike Hilton blitzed off the edge and sacked Griffen. What resulted was a Justin Tucker field goal to give the Ravens an early 3-0 lead.

The Steelers gained one yard on their opening drive before sending Jordan Berry on for his first action of the game. When Griffen and company got the ball again, it was more of the same. Gus Edwards running the ball with authority as Baltimore got the ball into the red-zone. But, again, the Ravens failed to punch the ball into the endzone, settling for Justin Tucker’s second field goal of the day.

On Pittsburgh’s second offensive drive they started to find a rhythm. Hard Benny Snell Jr. runs and two big completions to Diontae Johnson put the Steelers in a first and goal situation. On the next play from scrimmage Snell had a hard run into the endzone for the Steelers touchdown.

Punching it in!@benny_snell pic.twitter.com/wkCkztj5Rc

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 29, 2019

The Chris Boswell extra point made the score 7-6 with 12:50 left in the second quarter.

For the first time in the game, the Ravens were unable to get points on a drive, and Sam Koch was called on to punt the ball away. It looked as if the Steelers’ offense was going to remain in a groove on offense after connecting on two first downs on their next possession. But, like it has been all season, the unit can’t afford to experience negative plays. A negative run on first down followed by a sack set up a 3rd and 21, and Jordan Berry’s next action.

Baltimore’s next drive was aided by a bogus roughing the passer call on T.J. Watt, and a big third down strike to Hayden Hurst. But the drive ended like all the others that got into scoring range, with a Justin Tucker field goal, making the score 9-7 with 1:10 remaining in the half.

On the Steelers’ next drive their turnover streak reached 23 games when Devlin Hodges didn’t protect the ball while under duress and got it stripped out of his hands. It looked as if Jaylen Samuels fell on it, but the wet football squirted out and was recovered by the Ravens. With a short field, it took the Ravens just a few plays to hit pay dirt and extend their lead to 16-7 at the half.

Pittsburgh received the kickoff to start the third quarter, they gained two yards before Jordan Berry punted the ball away to the Ravens. Baltimore’s first drive of the second half was short lived when T.J. Watt forced a fumble on Gus Edwards which was recovered by Joe Haden. However, all the Steelers were able to muster off the turnover was a Chris Boswell field goal to make the score 16-10 with 9:55 left in the third quarter.

A Ravens drive that started at the end of the third quarter and took up a minute of the fourth quarter resulted in another Justin Tucker field goal to extend the Baltimore lead 19-10.

The Steelers’ offense got progressively worse as the game went on, and to make matters worse, the special teams decided to throw in their own blunders too. Jordan Berry botched a snap and fumbled and recovered in the endzone for the Ravens’ touchdown. Pittsburgh’s next possession started with Kerrith Whyte Jr. misplaying the kickoff, pinning the offense in their own end. On second down Devlin Hodges was called for intentional grounding in the endzone, which is a safety. The safety made the score 28-10 in the waning minutes of regulation. 28-10 would hold as the final score.

The loss didn’t end the Steelers season, it was the Tennessee Titans beating the Houston Texans which essentially made the game in Baltimore meaningless. Nonetheless, the Steelers end the season losing three straight, and it was a horrible outing to send the team into the offseason. 8-8 might have felt like a long-shot at the beginning of the season, but sure feels deflating at this time.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as the offseason begins and big decisions need to be made from an organizational standpoint.

Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 17: 3rd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 5:37pm
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

2nd Quarter In-Game Update

Pittsburgh received the kickoff to start the third quarter, they gained two yards before Jordan Berry punted the ball away to the Ravens. Baltimore’s first drive of the second half was short lived when T.J. Watt forced a fumble on Gus Edwards which was recovered by Joe Haden. However, all the Steelers were able to muster off the turnover was a Chris Boswell field goal to make the score 16-10 with 9:55 left in the third quarter.

The rest of the quarter featured both teams punting the ball back and forth. The Ravens have the ball and are driving to end the quarter.

Steelers vs. Ravens: Second-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 4:55pm
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2019 regular season continues with the Steelers and Ravens locking horns in Week 17. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the eleventh time in the 2019 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

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Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 17: 2nd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 4:47pm
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

On Pittsburgh’s second offensive drive they started to find a rhythm. Hard Benny Snell Jr. runs and two big completions to Diontae Johnson put the Steelers in a first and goal situation. On the next play from scrimmage Snell had a hard run into the endzone for the Steelers touchdown.

Punching it in!@benny_snell pic.twitter.com/wkCkztj5Rc

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 29, 2019

The Chris Boswell extra point made the score 7-6 with 12:50 left in the second quarter.

For the first time in the game, the Ravens were unable to get points on a drive, and Sam Koch was called on to punt the ball away. It looked as if the Steelers’ offense was going to remain in a groove on offense after connecting on two first downs on their next possession. But, like it has been all season, the unit can’t afford to experience negative plays. A negative run on first down followed by a sack set up a 3rd and 21, and Jordan Berry’s next action.

Baltimore’s next drive was aided by a bogus roughing the passer call on T.J. Watt, and a big third down strike to Hayden Hurst. But the drive ended like all the others that got into scoring range, with a Justin Tucker field goal, making the score 9-7 with 1:10 remaining in the half.

On the Steelers’ next drive their turnover streak reached 23 games when Devlin Hodges didn’t protect the ball while under duress and got it stripped out of his hands. It looked as if Jaylen Samuels fell on it, but the wet football squirted out and was recovered by the Ravens. With a short field, it took the Ravens just a few plays to hit pay dirt and extend their lead to 16-7 with 21 seconds left in the half.

The score would remain heading into halftime.

Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 17: 1st quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 3:57pm
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens squared off in Week 17 at M&T Bank Stadium under a steady rain, and plenty on the line for the visiting team. The two AFC North rivals couldn’t have found themselves in different situations in the regular season finale. The Ravens had already locked up the top seed and home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs, while the Steelers’ playoff hopes were hanging by a thread.

The Steelers needed to beat the Ravens, and get some help by way of the Houston Texans beating the Tennessee Titans. With both games being played at the same time, there would be plenty of scoreboard watching going on throughout the contest.

Baltimore started with the football and did nothing but run the ball with Robert Griffin III and Gus Edwards as they moved the ball quickly into the red-zone. On a 3rd and 8 play, and their first pass attempt of the drive, Mike Hilton blitzed off the edge and sacked Griffen. What resulted was a Justin Tucker field goal to give the Ravens an early 3-0 lead.

The Steelers gained one yard on their opening drive before sending Jordan Berry on for his first action of the game. When Griffen and company got the ball again, it was more of the same. Gus Edwards running the ball with authority as Baltimore got the ball into the red-zone. But, again, the Ravens failed to punch the ball into the endzone, settling for Justin Tucker’s second field goal of the day.

The first quarter would come to a close with the Steelers entering Baltimore territory for the first time of the game.

Steelers vs. Ravens: First-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 3:15pm
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2019 regular season continues with the Steelers and Ravens locking horns in Week 17. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the eleventh time in the 2019 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

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Texans’ Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins active against the Titans in Week 17

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 2:15pm
Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While both players will dress, their amount of playing time, if any, has yet to be determined

With their final seeding still up in the air at the time inactives were announced, the Houston Texans have kept both quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins active for their Week 17 matchup against the Tennessee Titans. While their two biggest superstars will be available, several of the Texans’ starters will not dress for the game.

Today's #Texans inactives vs. Tennessee:#TENvsHOU pic.twitter.com/IKoXL6SoQH

— Texans PR (@TexansPR) December 29, 2019

The reason the Texans’ active players are of importance to the Pittsburgh Steelers is due to the fact the Steelers need help in order to make the 2019 postseason. Should the Tennessee Titans defeat the Houston Texans, the Steelers will have been eliminated from playoff contention.

By the time the Texans kick off in Houston against the Titans, they will know if they have anything to play for to change their seeding for the postseason. Should the Kansas City Chiefs hold on and defeat the Los Angeles Chargers, the Texans will be locked into the fourth seed and will have nothing to play for against the Titans.

Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien stated earlier in the week that he was playing to win the game in Week 17 and did not plan to rest players. But with several key pieces to the Texans being on the injury report all week, it is not surprising that any player dealing with even a minor injury would sit out in what will most likely be a meaningless game.

The Houston #Texans Friday Injury Report & Game Status Report for Week 17 vs. the Tennessee Titans: pic.twitter.com/rSiKnUhvIC

— Texans PR (@TexansPR) December 27, 2019

It has become the second straight season where the Pittsburgh Steelers will have to get help in order to make the playoffs. While there is a scenario where the Steelers could still lose and make the postseason, nothing that happens against the Ravens will matter if the Titans are victorious.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for breaking news, injury reports, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers.

Two Steelers active for the first time in 2019 in the final week of the season vs. the Ravens

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 2:10pm
Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Safety Marcus Allen and center J.C. Hassenauer are Steelers’ players making their 2019 debut in Week 17

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released their inactives for their game against the Baltimore Ravens. With two players ruled out due to injury, the list is made up of five healthy scratches.

Inactives for the #Steelers today in Baltimore: CB Burns, RB Conner, OLB Skipper, C Pouncey, T Okorafor, TE Gentry, WR Darboh

— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) December 29, 2019

Pro Bowl center, Maurkice Pouncey was ruled out on Tuesday due to his knee injury during head coach Mike Tomlin‘s press conference. Although he was not called out early in the week, running back James Conner failed to practice all week is also out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. Since Conner missed time starting in Week 9 in 2019, the Steelers are 5-0 when Conner is out due to injury and 0-3 when Conner played in some capacity.

With five remaining spots on the inactive list and eight players who have been healthy scratches over the last several weeks for the Steelers, at least three were guaranteed to earn a helmet in Week 17. Quarterback Paxton Lynch is active for the second time in 2019 as he is the only other quarterback on the roster other than starter Devlin Hodges. Rookie defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs was inactive two games ago when the Steelers opted for only four defensive lineman, but has since been active since and is a part of the rotation on game day.

Second year safety Marcus Allen was promoted from the practice squad a week ago but was inactive last week as the Steelers chose to go with only three players at the position. For Week 17, Allen earned a helmet for his first game of the season and only the third of his career. Another player active for the Steelers for the first time in 2019 is newly promoted center J.C. Hassenauer as he will act as the backup to B.J. Finney.

As for the rest of the inactive list, it has familiar faces when compared to the last several weeks. The players filling up the inactive list are OT Chukwuma Okorafor, LB Tuzar Skipper, CB Artie Burns, TE Zach Gentry, and WR Amara Darboh.

As for the Ravens’ inactives, they can be seen below. The Ravens have sat seven players who are typical starters and may have other starters who are dressed but may not see much playing time.

Ravens inactives today are QB Lamar Jackson, RB Mark Ingram, S Earl Thomas, G Marshal Yanda, T Ronnie Stanley, TE Mark Andrews and DT Brandon Williams #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) December 29, 2019

Ingram (calf) and Andrews (ankle) are the only injury-related scratches. WR Hollywood Brown, CBs Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith will likely see little to no playing time today.

— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) December 29, 2019

2019 Week 17 Early Games: Updates, news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 11:51am
Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers don’t play until 4:25 p.m. ET in Week 17, but we all will be watching on Sunday to see how things shake out in the early games.

The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t play until they travel to Baltimore to play the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium at 4:25 p.m. ET in Week 17, and there are plenty of key matchups to keep an eye on in the early games this Sunday. The Steelers Nation fan base will be watching games throughout the day to see how things shake out.

Some take this day to just relax and get caught up on things outside of football, but if you are like me, you are still watching the full slate of action on Sunday.

With that said, join others like me in the open thread to talk about all of the games going on Sunday. Which game are you watching? Are you someone with NFL Sunday Ticket who has access to all games, or are you stuck watching just one or two games? Let us know, and be sure to keep tabs on all those AFC games in the process.

As always, remember we are all here for the same reason...

GO STEELERS!

Win or lose, this has been a great season and fans should be optimistic about the Steelers’ future

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 11:05am
Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

Whether the Pittsburgh Steelers make the playoffs or not, this season has been one to remember.

I was cautiously optimistic (Some will say pessimistic.) regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers chances heading into the 2019 season. I had a long laundry list of reasons and really did not expect them to have a better record than 9-7.

Why 9-7 you ask?

The Steelers offense was the most one-dimensional offense in the NFL in 2018 — that is not a good thing. Fans saw the effects of this while missing the playoffs.

The departure of Antonio Brown. He might be a cancer on a team but he was one heck of a player that does not get instantly replaced.

James Conner had a good season but did not crack 1,000 yards rushing while missing time due to being injured. What worried me is how he did not break 65 yards rushing in any game after Week 8. I did not have any faith in his backup Jaylen Samuels due to his inability to break anything more than arm tackles.

A stable of extremely young and unproven wideouts would be burdened with stepping into the NFL limelight as this group did this season. James Washington who was coming off of his forgettable rookie campaign along with unproven and drop prone rookie Diontae Johnson had no definitive roles and were not being counted upon for production by myself.

Tight end depth that was wafer thin with starter Vance McDonald oft-injured.

An offensive line that has aged and lost some of its effectiveness opening up holes for the run game.

Whew, at least we had Ben Roethlisberger coming back!

I had been touting the defense for the past couple of seasons but they still had some question marks and were still some players away from elite.

Cornerback Joe Haden is an average to above-average player paid at a perennial Pro Bowl level who has little desire to stick his nose into the run game.

Two safeties were mostly unproven to show a sustained success rate.

Vince Williams who I never want to see on the field, free agent Mark Barron who I viewed as a liability. Then Devin Bush, who I did not want the team to move up and draft, not because of his abilities but because we traded up and not back in a deep draft class.

Bud Dupree who is good in the run game but never matured into his billing as a first-round quarterback sacking machine.

To top all that off we were bringing back a kicker that 90% of the league would have cut during his implosion in 2018.

The 2019 season was not how we thought it would go.

Big Ben goes down Week 2 and I flushed the season just like most of Steelers Nation.

GM Kevin Colbert trades our sure to be a top-five draft choice to the Miami Dolphins for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Gee, there goes any shot at landing the future face of the franchise.

Then something very unexpected happened against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. I started to become optimistic after a dominating defensive performance and a reemergence of our offense.

The defense remained stifling and arguably the best in the league for the rest of the season. For the next nine weeks, the offense sputtered along and put up enough to points to win seven of the next 9 games. Chris Boswell booted one field goal after another and put the miserable 2018 season behind him.

Sitting at 8-5 I was believing the Steelers could finish at 11-5. But then quarterback Devlin Hodges became a turnover machine, not all his fault, for the next two weeks.

Now the Steelers sit on the precipice of making the playoffs. The Steelers are sitting just one game behind my prediction for the season, without Big Ben.

So why has this season been successful in my eye?

The Steelers could finish at 9-7, the same record I thought they would end up with Big Ben at the helm. At 8-8, this team has already beaten expectations.

The defense has proven to be spectacular and has dragged our offense kicking and screaming to many wins this season. Mostly, the defense is young and hopefully will only lose one starter next season. (The franchise tag is on the table for Dupree, which I discuss.) Can Bush and Edmunds make a leap to the next level next year and make this defense even better?

The Steelers have put up 8 wins without JuJu Smith-Schuster being a factor. Injuries and our duo of quarterbacks have ignored him for much of the season. He showed his pedigree in 2018 and with better quarterback play in 2020, he should return to form.

Washington and Johnson have emerged as viable threats. Sure their 99 receptions this year does not sound like much but their film shows their capabilities.

Best of all? The Steelers have eight wins so far without the franchise quarterback who will at some point enter the Hall of Fame. One more touchdown per game and the Steelers could have won another five games.

Some in Steelers Nation will moan and groan about any time the Steelers do not win the Super Bowl but these fans are just not realistic. A much larger segment of the Steelers Nation will gripe about this season and fill the boards with anger and anguish if they do not make the playoffs this year.

This team has exceeded expectations with their heart and soul that has trickled down from head coach Mike Tomlin. I expect fans will see that tomorrow and into the 2020 season. Hopefully, other fans will share my optimism, win or lose, against our heated rivals.

Bold and Bizarre predictions for Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 17

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 9:56am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Much to the chagrin of most, BTSC’s Nostradumbass predicts the Steelers’ crucial visit to B-More.

It all comes down to this for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 2019 season started out dreadful and they are trying to avoid it ending that way. One of the things standing in their way to a postseason entry is their rival Ravens.

Will the Ravens resting starters matter? Can Duck get it going, or will we see Paxton Lynch? Will JuJu Smith-Schuster be a factor again? Will the head-scratching 22-game streak of the Steelers committing a turnover continue? With these questions, story lines, and more, I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic, and some utterly idiotic) to look for in this pivotal contest.

Last week, I came close, but ultimately whiffed on most of my predictions after getting many the week before. Let’s see if I can rebound this week.

  • Kerrith Whyte Jr. leads all Steelers rushers with 89 total yards.
  • Diontae Johnson gets eight receptions to break Troy Edwards’ 20-year team record for a rookie.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster gets a well-deserved TD. His celebration commemorates the 129th anniversary of the US Calvary and the Battle of Wounded Knee. Fortunately, No. 19 does not wound his patella in the process. The celebration is not received well by some groups.
  • T.J. Watt ties James Harrison with 16 sacks for the most in a single season in history.
  • Justin Tucker and Chris Boswell combine for seven field goals.
  • Zach Banner catches his first, and only, pass this season. His celebration of the 3-yard gain is epic.
  • Joe Haden gets his fifth pick of the year.
  • Duck Hodges throws for 90 yards with one pick. His dream ends and I donate his jersey I bought to a third world nation.
  • Hodges ends up getting yanked in favor of Paxton Lynch. No. 5 fares no better.
  • RG3 plays well enough to get the Ravens a TD, a 2PC and in range for four field goals.
  • The Steelers come close but can’t solve the Ravens. The game ends at 20-16.

Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.

Report: Ravens expected to rest more players than originally anticipated vs. the Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 12/29/2019 - 9:52am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting some help for a rival when it comes to their Week 17 matchup vs. the Ravens.

The Pittsburgh Steelers need to win and hope for help to make the AFC Playoffs this season. They will have to do so against the Baltimore Ravens, the NFL’s best team, and it looks like they will get more help from John Harbaugh’s crew than originally anticipated.

Since Harbaugh met with media on Monday, there were a list of names who he declared as OUT for the game Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET. The names were:

QB Lamar Jackson
OG Marshall Yanda
S Earl Thomas
RB Melvin Ingram
DT Brandon Williams

Just with those names not playing got Steelers fans excited about their chances of pulling out the win on the road against backups. However, news Sunday morning from Jamison Hensley of ESPN states the Ravens are expecting to rest several other starters as well as the aforementioned players.

Ravens not expected to play 5 Pro Bowl players and rookie first-round pick vs Steelers:

Lamar Jackson
Mark Ingram
Earl Thomas
Marshal Yanda
Brandon Williams
Mark Andrews
Hollywood Brown

CBs Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith and OT Ronnie Stanley likely will see little to no action

— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) December 29, 2019

Not having Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown is certainly a big deal, and if Hensley’s prediction of Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith and Ronnie Stanley barely playing is true, it should only make life easier on the Steelers who can help their cause by winning their game.

Steelers fans know how they lost control of their playoff destiny with their Week 16 loss to the New York Jets, but the easiest path for them to get into the playoffs is for them to beat the Ravens, and the Houston Texans to beat the Tennessee Titans.

Get your popcorn ready, today could be a crazy day...

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17.

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