The Ravens have already clinched the No 1 seed in the AFC and home field advantage throughout the Playoffs, so have decided to rest several key players in this game, including MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson.
Robert Griffin III will be starting at quarterback for Baltimore and Devlin Hodges for Pittsburgh, who are 8-7 and could still make the postseason with a win and a Tennessee Titans loss.
Ravens resting key players ahead of Playoffs
John Harbaugh’s side are the hottest team in the NFL right now and, although this is a meaningless game for the Ravens, it also isn’t as they take on their divisional rivals.
Whenever these two teams meet, you know what you’re going to get. Nevertheless, the Ravens are resting key players ahead of the Playoffs after clinching the No 1 seed in the AFC and a bye to the Divisional Round.
RGIII, who has gone 12 for 17 for a touchdown and interception as a back-up this season, will lead this dynamic offense in Week 17. The Ravens are ranked second in yards-per-game and first in rushing yards-per-game. Rookie QB Trace McSoreley could also see some action in the game.
Rookie running-back Justice Hill scored his first career NFL touchdown last weekend and will share the workload in the backfield alongside Gus Edwards. Tight-end Mark Andrews is inactive, but Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle still pose a big threat, as they have done all season.
The Ravens won in dramatic fashion, against the Steelers, earlier in the season. Justin Tucker’s field goal clinched a 26-23 victory in overtime in Pittsburgh, which was the start of the 11-game winning streak for Baltimore.
Steelers facing must-win situation to reach postseason
After struggling to get going on offense against the Jets last week, the Steelers will be hoping Hodges manages to lead them to a victory over the Ravens on Sunday.
Pittsburgh’s Playoff hopes hang in the balance and is relying on two things happening in Week 17. The Steelers must beat the Ravens and then hope the Titans lose against the Houston Texans.
Hodges, as a starter this season, has thrown five touchdowns and eight interceptions. Pittsburgh’s defense has 36 takeaways – 17 fumbles recovered and 19 interceptions – which is tied-first in the NFL this season.
If the Steelers are to win this game, they will rely heavily on this impressive defense and TJ Watt will look to get pressure on RGIII from the early stages.
Despite the Ravens resting several key players, I feel they will still have too much for this Steelers team. It’s going to be a low-scoring affair in Baltimore, but Pittsburgh’s offense struggled against the Jets last week and many times this season.
The Ravens will look to continue with their run-heavy offense, with Edwards and rookie Hill taking the snaps with Mark Ingram picking up an injury in Week 16. Baltimore will have too much for Pittsburgh and will sweep them with a win at M&T Bank Stadium.
Steelers 10 Ravens 23