The Pittsburgh Steelers will look to get back on track against the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC North rivalry matchup.
The Steelers are 2-2 on the NFL season. But after a 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans last weekend, it’s apparent that the Steelers are trending downward.
Will the Ravens take care of business against a Steelers team starting to fall apart?
Look at the Ravens vs Steelers betting lines for this rivalry matchup in Week 5.
Location: Acrisure Stadium
Isaiah Likely’s Role Continues to Diminish
At the start of the season, many Ravens analysts and fantasy gurus believed that Isaiah Likely would be a significant portion of this year’s Ravens offense.
But that hope is all but gone now.
Likely played in just 14 snaps and didn’t earn a single target in last week’s game against the Browns. He’s seen a drop in snap count every week since Week 1.
Last week was the first time he didn’t have a target.
One month ago, Sports Illustrated published a story about how Zay Flowers and Likely would be “at the heart” of the new look offense.
Flowers has been a gem. He’s led the Ravens with 24 catches and 244 yards. But Likely hasn’t been close to those numbers. He’s got three catches on four targets, with 32 receiving yards in four NFL games.
It’s not like the Ravens are playing other tight ends instead of Lively. They haven’t played any of the other tight ends much at all, either. But Likely showed some flashes last season and was expected to grow this year.
Now, Likely will struggle to do much of anything with few snaps and targets.
Mitch Trubisky’s Turn
Mitch Trubisky will likely get his first start of the season on Sunday. It’s not because Kenny Pickett has performed poorly. It’s more because Pickett just suffered a bone bruise in his knee that could require him to sit out a game or two to heal. He’s just one of many quarterbacks with NFL injuries to begin the season.
Pickett has completed 60.6% of passes for 803 yards through four games. He’s thrown four touchdowns but also has four interceptions while taking 11 sacks in those four games.
The offense hasn’t figured it out at all this season. Many expected Pickett to take a leap this season in his sophomore year. But he’s taken steps backward. But it’s not just him.
The entire offense has struggled. The run game has never been good with Najee Harris, and the receiving core is below average to begin the season.
It’s unlikely that Mitch Trubisky does any better for the Steelers this week against the Ravens.
In his career, Trubisky has completed 64.2% of passes and has thrown 68 touchdowns with 43 interceptions. He’s a veteran quarterback with a lot more starter experience than Pickett. But his ceiling is much lower than Pickett’s. At least for now.
Last season, in seven games played, Trubisky threw for 1,252 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. These stats look very close to Pickett’s stats to begin this season.
At the end of the day, the offensive success is likely the offensive coordinator’s fault. Fans in Pittsburgh have been calling for Matt Canada to be fired since last season.
We’ll see how the offense responds with Trubisky under center.
Check out the Ravens vs Steelers betting lines for Sunday’s AFC North matchup.
Ravens vs Steelers Betting Lines
The current NFL odds have the Ravens as a 4.5-point favorite on the road against the Steelers on Sunday. Meanwhile, the total is 38.5, with the uncertainty of who will be under center for Pittsburgh’s offense.
The Ravens have started the season with three against-the-spread wins in their first four games. Baltimore most recently covered a -1 favorite with a 28-3 win over the Browns on the road.
Meanwhile, the Under has hit in three of four games for the Ravens this season. Dating back to last year, the Under has hit in seven of the previous ten Baltimore games.
On the flip side, the Steelers have hit the Under in seven of their last ten games. The total has also gone Under in three of Pittsburgh’s first four games.
Against the spread, the Steelers have covered two games and have lost against the spread in two games. Most recently, the Steelers were 3-point favorites to the Texans on the road and lost by 24.
If Trubisky takes over at quarterback this week, the Ravens will have played a backup quarterback in three straight games.
Baltimore’s Getting Dominant
The Baltimore Ravens have averaged 349.5 yards per game on offense behind Lamar Jackson. Jackson has led the team with four passing touchdowns and four more rushing touchdowns. He’s also accounted for over 1,000 yards of offense in the first four games.
Jackson has had to play with a shorthanded group of receivers. The Ravens are hopeful some could be back this weekend, including Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman.
They’ll face a Steelers defense that has allowed 421.3 yards per game. Teams have averaged 272.8 yards in the air and another 148.5 yards on the ground. They’ve been terrible against the run and haven’t played better in coverage.
On top of that, the Steelers continue to miss tackles, which, at times, have been super costly.
Pittsburgh’s pass rush is terrific, but Jackson can escape pressure and run around the field slightly.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh’s pass protection of offense has been horrendous. Pickett has already been sacked in the double-digits and is now hurt. Mitchell Trubisky or Kenny Pickett won’t have much help on Sunday. The running game has earned only 78.8 yards per game, and they also don’t have much depth at receiver right now.
George Pickens is essentially all this team has, with a little sprinkle of Calvin Austin.
The Ravens have been dominant against the pass, holding teams to 203 yards per game. They’ve also held teams to 92.5 yards per game on the ground, which is terrific. That amounts to under 300 yards per game as a defense.
The Ravens will have their way against the Steelers. We might even get to watch Justin Tucker hit the longest NFL field goal.
Take the Ravens at -4.5.
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