Nover’s View: Ravens-Steelers Free Play

On December 2, 2020, in Free Picks, NFL, by Stephen

By Stephen Nover

Steelers minus 10 hosting Ravens  

The Ravens are dealing with a stacked deck here. But this game sure looks like it is going to be played. That’s too bad for the Ravens because they are missing so many key components that I can’t see them staying within double-digits of the Steelers.

This is who is going to be missing in action for Baltimore:

Offense: Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson. Robert Griffin III has long been washed up. The last meaningful game he started was 2016 when he was with the Browns. The Ravens also are going to be minus Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andews, All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley, slot receiver Willie Snead and fullback Patrick Ricard. They are down to their third-string center and third-string tight end. So Griffin will be playing behind inexperienced linemen and tight ends against an elite defense. The Ravens figure to stay on the ground a lot because of this, but they have little back-door capability if they should fall behind.

Defense: Calais Campbell and Matt Judon – the Ravens’ two best pass rushers – are out. So is nose tackle Brandon Williams. The bottom line is the Ravens will try to contain Ben Roethlisberger with a depleted defensive line, rookie linebackers and backup pass rushers. This doesn’t sound like a recipe for success.

Special teams: Morgan Cox, the Ravens’ reliable longtime long snapper, is out.

If these were normal circumstances, the Ravens would never find themselves in this spot, nor would the NFL let this game be played. But this is 2020 and the NFL showed on Sunday with the Broncos that protocols must be followed and that the show will go on regardless of the situation.

Baltimore would be hard-pressed to beat the Jets or Jaguars given this situation. But they draw the 10-0 Steelers, who are in the argument for being the best team in the NFL. A dominant Pittsburgh defense surrenders the fewest points in the league and third-fewest yards. Roethlisberger has thrown for 1,003 yards and 10 TD’s with just one interception during his last 13 quarters. He has not been sacked during this span.

Pittsburgh has no pity for Baltimore’s predicament. These are long-time rivals. The Steelers have been jerked around all season by rescheduled games that were not of their making. Look for them to take out their frustrations on the helpless Ravens.

(In addition to this free selection, I have three college basketball plays going today. I have won 61 percent of my CBB plays during the past two plus seasons. If you’re interested in my sports service please email me at, or message me via Twitter. Thanks and best of luck!) 


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