I wrote some reasons why I'm concerned about the Ravens, but Beanie's gameday thread is broken.
So forget your cares, and mine......let's use this as the gameday thread.
I've been very quiet about this game, and there are several reasons. I've shared the reasons with Michael Bean, and want to share them with you....moments before kick-off.1. It's too easy. The Steelers are a public team. They have backers from coast-to-coast. They have the Ravens' number and they have Flacco's number. For them to be two-and-a-half point underdogs makes it too easy a pick to bet on the Steelers. (Just like it was too easy to take the points against the Packers) The guess here is that more money will be bet on the Steelers than the Ravens. When Homer sees this, he doesn't walk in the opposite direction. He runs.
2. Line of scrimmage. Pre-season games mean little, but the Steelers simply have NOT been able to control the LOS with their first team defense against other teams' first string offense. Harrison has not shown his power or explosiveness, and Worilds has not shown much of anything against the run. And the sack he had against Carolina, Betty White could have had it. It was a totally missed assignment. If the Steelers can't control the line of scrimmage against Baltimore's makeshift line, it's going to be a long, challenging afternoon. I know that Baltimore's offensive line is patchwork, but that patchwork includes an all-pro center. They're not as bad as you think they are.
3. The Steelers' running game. Again, pre-season games mean little, but the Steelers have not been able to put together a consistent running attack. If they can't do it today, Ben's gonna take some serious shots. And if they can't block for the run, will the Ravens be able to pin their ears back and come full tilt? Will Ben have time to find young money?
4. The defensive backfield. If Ray Rice and Company can run the ball, it's gonna be a tough afternoon for the cornerbacks.
5. Hidden vigorish. Some day, somehow, Flacco is going to have a good game against the Steelers. And there's a certain Baltimore DB who hasn't intercepted a pass against the Steelers in four years or something. Sooner or later...
Of all these concerns, number two is the most serious. If the Steelers can't control the line of scrimmage, it's going to be a rough afternoon. And in recent years, James Harrison has been the key to LOS dominance. His play has increased the effectiveness of every single player on the Steeler defense. He is coming back from two back surgeries. Without him - and with him - the Steeler defense has been pushed back during the pre-season.
Maybe that's why the oddmakers in Vegas are daring us to bet on the Steelers.
Homer still loves his Steelers, but he is extremely concerned.