Although different from last year’s matchup, Baltimore once again suffered a heart wrenching loss against Tennessee in overtime. While the game was much closer and competitive this season, Titans star running back Derrick Henry saved his best play for last. After leading 21-10 early in the third quarter, the Ravens saw Tennessee climb their way back to send the game into overtime. On the first possession, Henry ran through the Ravens defense after being held in check during regulation. On what would be the final play of the game, Henry rushed for 29 yards into the end zone. Baltimore players and fans felt a familiar pain watching a beatable Tennessee squad sneak away with a victory. Besides one costly interception, Lamar Jackson had an impressive game against a stingy Titans defense. Jackson connected with tight end Mark Andrews for a gorgeous 31-yard touchdown in the third quarter, which Ravens fans would love to see more of on Thanksgiving night.
As the nation celebrates Thanksgiving differently this year, the traditional triple header of Thursday football will remain as it always has. The Houston Texans will face the Detroit Lions at 12:30 p.m., Washington versus Dallas at 4:30 p.m., and the Baltimore Ravens will battle the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers during the prime time 8:20 p.m. slot. While the other matchups of the day may be entertaining while fans stuff their faces with turkey, a divisional matchup with the fiercest rivalry in all of sports is a must-watch. The Steelers can clinch a playoff berth with a victory on Thursday night, while the Ravens will be fighting to maintain a wildcard spot in the playoffs.
Baltimore will be dealing with some setbacks as several players have landed on the COVID-19 reserve list, unable to play in this week’s matchup. Running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins have each tested positive, with defensive lineman Brandon Williams noted as a close-contact. Williams will now miss two games in a row, opening up holes for opponent rushers. Baltimore hopes to get back Calais Campbell this week after he has missed time due to injury. Mark Andrews also showed up on the injury report with a sore thigh, but is still expected to play.
Just a few weeks ago, Baltimore fell to Pittsburgh 28-24 in a game they had control of and dominated time of possession. They managed 265 total yards on the ground against one of the league’s top rushing defenses. The Ravens will look to continue that dominance with Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and Lamar Jackson leading the charge. Edwards has looked more impressive each week and is expected to have a much larger workload with Dobbins and Ingram out. Ravens players know their backs are up against the wall for a playoff push with several other AFC teams holding onto better records at 7-3. There isn’t seemingly a better way to kick off a run by handing historic rivals their first loss of the season, while also putting themselves back on track for a post-season appearance.
The Ravens must once again control the ground game and time of possession, keeping the ball away from Ben Roethlisberger and his dangerous pack of receivers. Baltimore saw themselves held to three field goals last week, and as much as Justin Tucker is appreciated by players and fans, his work must be limited to extra points in order to win big games. Thursday night will give the Ravens a chance to show the world that they still have what it takes to be a top AFC contender. Final score prediction: 28-24 Ravens.
UPDATE: The Ravens-Steelers game has been moved from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon to ensure player safety.