The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens played was in Week 14 in Pittsburgh when things went off the rails for the home team. Not only was rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett knocked out of the game early in the first quarter, but the Pittsburgh defense was beaten to the tune of giving up over 200 yards rushing throughout the game. Throw in Mitch Trubisky’s three interceptions thrown in relief and you have the recipe for a loss.
The 16-14 loss was a dagger in the Steelers’ playoff hopes, but despite the loss Pittsburgh remains in the AFC Playoff Picture after back-to-back wins over the Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders in Weeks 15 and 16.
To add significance to this matchup, the Steelers and Ravens game Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, which was originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, was flexed to the Sunday Night Football time slot. There is a lot of significance to this matchup for both teams. The Ravens are still vying for the AFC North crown, while the Steelers playoff hopes reside solely in the Miami Dolphins losing. If the Dolphins are winners in Week 17, the Steelers could be eliminated from playoff contention before the two AFC North rivals kickoff.
Even if the Steelers are eliminated from the playoffs, don’t think for a second these two rivals won’t want to win this game. This will be Kenny Pickett’s first game in Baltimore, and also his first extended playing time against the rivals.
It’s Steelers vs. Ravens. These two teams still despise one another, and that won’t change just because of one team’s playoff fortunes. As Mike Tomlin likes to say, this is a double chin strap kind of game.