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The AFC North Division has already seen a set of matchups between divisional rivals. This Sunday, one of the fiercest rivals in the entire NFL kicks off as the Baltimore Ravens (3-1) go on the road to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2).
The Ravens are off to a hot start through their first four games. Their only loss comes in a shocking 22-19 overtime home loss to the Indianapolis Colts. They do, however, have solid divisional wins at Cincinnati and at Cleveland. The Steelers have shown their potential, but their limitations on the offensive side of the ball are a big reason why they have disappointing losses to the San Francisco 49ers and at the Houston Texans.
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The Baltimore Ravens continue to possess one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. The Ravens continue to build around the dual-threat capabilities of quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has thrown for four touchdowns and rushed for four more. Baltimore ranks 12th in the league in points per game (24.8) and 13th in total yards per game (335). They also possess the fourth-best rushing offense as a result of Jackson, running back Gus Edwards and a stout offensive line.
Pittsburgh is famous for having one of the most defenses in the past several defenses. This season, to go along with the season-ending injury to defensive end Cameron Hayward, the defense has been put into terrible situations thanks to the horrible play of the offense. The Steelers are ranked 23rd in points allowed per game (25) and 30th in total yards allowed per game (403). Their inability to stop the run could be a serious problem against the offense of Baltimore.
The offense of the Steelers might be one of the worst overall units in the league. They have stockpiled first and second-round talent on the team and yet, the Steelers are only averaging 15.5 points per game (25th in the league) and 263 total yards per game (29th in the league). Matt Canada in his third season as the offensive coordinator and the offense is in terrible shape.
The Ravens, on the other hand, are playing at an elite defensively. Baltimore ranks in the top ten in all major defensive categories, including ranking third in points allowed per game (14.5) and third in total defense (260.8 yards). They are expected to get even better with star cornerback Marlon Humphrey expected to make his season debut on Sunday.
This might be one of the easiest prop bets to make going into week five on Sunday. Lamar Jackson has rushed for 220 yards in four games for an average of 53.7 rushing yards per game. With this game being a rivalry and the Steelers being a nightmare on defense, Jackson should have a great game on the ground.
The offense of the Steelers is in a state of panic. They are looking to desperately get all of their key players involved, including running back Najee Harris, who has yet to account for a touchdown this season. He will either help the offense scorer by pushing through for a run or being a receiver in the backfield.
The Ravens are one of the best-scoring offenses in the league. They are facing a rival that is having their worst defensive season in a long time. This will be a game where the Ravens will look to score from all across the board.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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