- The 10-0 Pittsburgh Steelers open as 2.5 home favorites over the Baltimore Ravens in the Thanksgiving edition of Thursday Night Football
- Pittsburgh will look to sweep the season series from Baltimore for the first time since 2017
- The 6-4 Ravens have lost two in a row and three of four
People have accepted that the Pittsburgh Steelers are for real. It appears, however, that the experts are still struggling to accept that these Baltimore Ravens are nothing like the 2019 version of the club.
Despite losing for the second straight week and third time in four games, the Ravens, who go to Heinz Field on Thursday night to face the unbeaten 10-0 Steelers, were just 2.5-point road underdogs in the opening line. Last season, Baltimore finished an NFL-best 14-2.
On the other hand, perhaps the message is beginning to register. Almost immediately following the posting of the opening odds, Pittsburgh’s line lengthened to -3.
Ravens vs Steelers Odds – Week 11
|Baltimore Ravens||+140||+3 (-110)||O 46 (-110)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||-175||-3 (-110)||U 46 (-110)|
Odds taken Nov. 22nd at DrafKings.
Kickoff for the Thanksgiving edition of Thursday Night Football is 8:20pm EST. The forecast is calling for clouds, 3 mph wind and a temperature of 54 degrees.
It’s Better To Receive
For the fourth time in five weeks, the Ravens surrendered a pair of touchdowns through the air. Tenneesse quarterback Ryan Tannheill threw for 259 yards and a pair of scores as the Titans rallied to beat Baltimore 30-24 in overtime.
Coughing up passing TDs is a dangerous strategy when facing the Steelers. They have as many pass-catching TD threats as any team in the NFL.
Chase Claypool is the first rookie receiver to score 10 TDs in 60 years. Though he didn’t find the end zone in Sunday’s 27-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Diontae Johnson made 12 catches for 111 yards. He’s pulled in four TDs this season.
Chase Claypool diving TD ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 22, 2020
Add to that list JuJu Smith-Schuster (5), James Washington (3) and tight end Eric Ebron (5) and it could be a long evening for the Baltimore pass defense. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger found both Ebron and Claypool for TDs in Pittsburgh’s 28-24 win over Baltimore on Nov. 1.
Meanwhile, the Ravens are so desperate for help at wideout that they pulled Dez Bryant out of free agency. Sunday, Bryant caught his first pass in an NFL game since 2017.
It’s In The Sack
Pittsburgh has recorded at least one quarterback sack in 67 consecutive games. That’s the longest active streak in the NFL and two games shy of tying the all-time NFL record, held by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Steelers are also on an impressive streak of takeaways. They picked off Jags QB Jake Luton four times on Sunday.
6️⃣7️⃣ straight games with at least 1️⃣ sack ?
We’re 2️⃣ games away from tying the longest streak in NFL history ? pic.twitter.com/vpqVu20h8h
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 23, 2020
That’s the fourth successive game in which the Pittsburgh defense has forced at least two turnovers. Over that stretch, they’ve recorded seven interceptions and recovered five fumbles.
In the previous win over Baltimore, Pittsburgh picked off two passes thrown by Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. The Steelers also recovered two of Jackson’s three fumbles.
Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams (ankle) and defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) are currently listed as out. Linebacker LJ Fort (finger) is questionable. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (ankle) is also questionable.
JuJu Smith-Schuster hurt his ankle stepping on the refs flag. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/3quSxkXm8C
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) November 22, 2020
For the Steelers, Smith-Schuster suffered a freak foot injury Sunday after stepping on the weighted portion of an official’s penalty flag. He’s listed as questionable for Thursday.
Anyone doubting that the Steelers were legit must be over that notion by now. Likewise, those thinking the Ravens had merely hit a bump in the road must surely realize that they’ve detoured far away from their excellence of a year ago.
#Ravens’ LB Patrick Queen accidentally got cleated by Derrick Henry. Ouch ? pic.twitter.com/tdxN4X59iA
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) November 22, 2020
This line should continue to lengthen in Pittsburgh’s favor.