Ravens-Steelers defensive predictions

Ravens-Steelers defensive predictions
December 1, 2012, 6:30 pm
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The Ravens can completely take over the AFC North with a win on Sunday against the Steelers. A lot of things look good for the Ravens heading into the contest, but the Steelers certainly won't just roll over and give up. They will push the Ravens. 

Here's a few predictions on what could happen in the game on defense:

1. The Ravens will be more aggressive with their pass rush, trying to put more pressure on quarterback Charlie Batch-- When the two teams last met and Byron Leftwich ran the Pittsburgh offense, the Ravens turned up the heat more as the game went on. Leftwich isn't very mobile -- never was, even in his best NFL days -- and Batch might be better, the Ravens don't have to worry about him in ways they do about Big Ben.

2. Pass coverage is going to continue to improve--This is an area that really had problems earlier in the season but has improved in a big way recently. Despite losing three key defensive backs, the Ravens have gotten good performances from safeties Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed, better play from cornerbacks Corey Graham and Cary Williams and others. Better pass coverage takes pressure off the pass rush, something that would help the Ravens.

3. The Ravens will create turnovers to help their offense-- The Steelers had an amazing eight turnovers in last week's loss to the Browns. That will not happen again, of course, but the defense should cause trouble since the Steelers have so many people at key positions who just don't have a lot of playing time and experience. That's a recipe for a defense to come up with interceptions and fumbles, all of which help the offense. 

Prediction: Ravens 24, Steelers 10-The Steelers are missing too many people, and the Ravens have recovered from their injury problems to get in a good groove defensively. That's going to prove to be too much for Pittsburgh to overcome