The Baltimore Ravens are last in the NFL in total offense and are coming off an embarrassing loss in London to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens will try to put more points on the board and secure a key win against an AFC North rival on Sunday when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are coming off their own tough setback.
Baltimore is averaging just 263.7 yards on offense and put up 186 total yards while getting run off the field in a 44-7 loss in London last week. “On that side of the ball, we’re working really hard to be a lot better than we’ve been,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters of the offense. “We recognized that we’re not playing the kind of football on offense that’s going to put a lot of points on the board. We want to score points. We want to take pressure off the other two phases as much as we can.” The Steelers are enduring their own struggles on offense at an average of 302.3 yards and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is putting the blame on himself. “I didn’t play well enough to win,” Roethlisberger told reporters of last week’s 23-17 overtime setback at Chicago. “We lost the game because of me, because I didn’t play well enough. It’s not on anyone else. That’s how I felt, that’s what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to own it. And I’ll own it.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Steelers -2. O/U: 42
ABOUT THE STEELERS (2-1): The most curious thing about Pittsburgh’s offensive is running back Le‘Veon Bell’s slow start. Bell, who missed offseason work with a groin injury and sat out training camp waiting to sign his franchise tender, finally found the end zone for the first time last week but is averaging 3.5 yards per carry - down from a career mark of 4.4 - and has yet to combine for 100 yards rushing and receiving. “I haven’t been that special player yet,” Bell told reporters. “I’ve kind of been just playing football. I’ve got to go out there and be that special player I know I can be. I just haven’t made the plays yet necessary for my team to get the job done.”
ABOUT THE RAVENS (2-1): Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco was just 8-of-18 for 28 yards and two interceptions last week and is averaging 5.30 yards per attempt through the first three contests. Flacco, who missed all of training camp and the preseason with a back injury, is not getting much help from his wide receivers. Tight end Benjamin Watson leads the team with 103 receiving yards while Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman have a combined 11 catches on 31 targets for 121 yards.
1. Ravens DT Brandon Williams (foot) did not play last week and is questionable for Sunday.
2. Steelers LB T.J. Watt (groin) sat out last week but is expected to return at Baltimore.
3. Pittsburgh WR Martavis Bryant is sitting out practices this week due to an illness and is questionable.
PREDICTION: Steelers 27, Ravens 24