Ravens Prepare For Rival Steelers on MNF

The Ravens take on their bitter Rival Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh tonight at 8:30 on ESPN.  It’s typically an entertaining week of banter between the players and articles in the local papers that also fuel the rivalry.  This year the players on the both sides have been conspiculously quiet, probably on orders from their young coaches who are still new to the rivalry.  There was a small incident where rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall sent a text message to his buddy and Ravens rookie running back Ray Rice saying that he thought he’d would have a big game in his first start against the Ravens top ranked defense.  Rice passed on the message to some of his fellow defensive teammates which only adds to the fun expected tonight. 

The four most recent games of the rivalry have ended with three blowouts, but the games over the past eight or nine years have typically been close physical games decided towards the end of the game regardless of each teams individual records.  In Las Vegas the linesmakers opened the lines at -8 Pittsburgh, but that line has moved to -5 Pittsburgh probably due to the injuries on the Steelers side.  I expect the game will be closer than that with neither team winning by more than a field goal.  My official prediction is 23-20, Ravens win. 

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