Pittsburgh (3-0) survived thus far without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the strength of their dominating defense. Yet, last week, against the Tampa Bay Bucs, the offense chipped-in as well, scoring as many points in a half as the team had scored in their first two NFL Picks games. Charlie Batch was thrown into the fray and made the most of a rare start, tossing three touchdown passes, including two long ones to Mike Wallace. Batch will get the start on Sunday against the Ravens. He poised and confident in the pocket, and benefited not only from excellent protection but a punishing ground game that ate-up 201 yards. Rashard Mendenhall ran for 143 yards.
Baltimore (2-1) will present a much tougher challenge this week. Look who is leading the Ravens in tackles again? Ray Lewis, the ageless linebacker, who is hitting as hard as ever. He will have his eyes trained on Mendenhall as stopping the run will be priority #1. The Baltimore secondary has not intercepted a pass all season so Batch will be targeting cornerback Chris Carr, among others. The Ravens, though, bring the rush, they have 5 thus far, so the Steelers will need to either max protect or get rid of the ball quick.
The Steelers, with our without Big Ben, should find some success against the Baltimore defense, especially through the air, and should beat the Las Vegas odds Makers and come out of this game with a NFL Week 4 Predictions win by one score or less. In other words, a typical Ravens-Steelers game. Vegas Odds makers have listed the total 34½ points.
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