Despite blowing out the Raiders by a score of 55-20 on Sunday to improve to 7-2 on the year, there were some troubling signs in the game that may lead to a long night against the Steelers this week. The biggest was the fact that Baltimore was held to just 79 rushing yard on 29 carries (2.8 yards per carry). It wasn’t without it’s benefits though, as the Ravens took advantage of a Raiders defense that had loaded up the box to stop the run. Joe Flacco used the play-action pass to burn the Raiders’ mediocre secondary repeatedly. He was 8/13 for 146 yards off of play action against Oakland, and that will be key Sunday if Flacco is able to exploit a Steelers defense that is playing outstanding football right now.
The Steelers needed a overtime to overcome the Kansas City Chiefs by a 16-13 score on Monday Night Football. The first overtime possession saw LB Lawrence Timmons intercept Chiefs QB Matt Cassel, and return it to the 5 yard-line to watch Shaun Suisham booted in the game-winning field goal.
The win wasn’t without a heavy price, as the team lost Pro Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a right shoulder injury, and reports are out that Big Ben will miss multiple games.
If Big Ben is out for a significant amount of time, not only will the Ravens win the division, but it will open the door for the Cincinnati Bengals to pass the Steelers in the race for one of the AFC’s two wildcard spots.