Ravens vs Steelers Preview: Baltimore Looks to Move on From Ray Rice

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Updated: September 11, 2014
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After a week filled with Ray Rice discussions, the Baltimore Ravens get back on the field Thursday night to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It’s a game between two teams that absolutely hate one another. So I’m sure the Steelers won’t show any type of pity on the Ravens because of Rice.

For Baltimore’s sake, it has to be difficult to completely focus on tonight’s game after all that’s happened in the last three days. But, they have to do their best to put all the distractions behind them, and move on.

In Week 1 the Ravens played another division rival in the Cincinnati Bengals — played them tough — but wasn’t able to come away with the victory.

They get to face Pittsburgh on their home field, which is beneficial based on all they’ve been through as an organization this week.

But, it’s the only thing that’s beneficial.

Thursday night games are tough to prepare for due to the lack of practice time. Not only are they facing that challenge, but they’re playing against the Steelers. To add the cherry on top, all of the Rice chatter is still going on.

I know this Ravens team has done well at responding to adversity in the past, but I’ll be surprised if they come out crisp Thursday night.

Joe Flacco didn’t look too great in Week 1, as he threw the ball 62 times. Yes, 62 pass attempts — which entails that he was playing from behind all game long. He completed 35 of them for 345 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The Bengals led 15-0 for the majority of the game, but allowed the Ravens to stick around. Baltimore actually took the lead after Flacco connected with Steve Smith for an 80-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to put them up 16-15.

But, Bengals wideout A.J. Green caught a deep touchdown pass from Andy Dalton on the very next drive to give his team the lead for good — Cincinnati won 23-16.

The Steelers also faced an AFC North opponent in Week 1. They played Brian Hoyer — not Johnny Manziel — and the Cleveland Browns. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had his team on top 27-3 at the half. However, Cleveland bounced back in the second half to make it a game.

Pittsburgh held on, and won 30-27 on a 41-yard Shaun Suisham game-winning field goal.

If the Steelers from the first half of that game shows up against Baltimore, the Ravens may have their hands full. Le’Veon Bell rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown for Pittsburgh against Cleveland, while Big Ben threw for 365 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

Running back Justin Forsett should get the majority of the carries for the Ravens, as Bernard Pierce is expected to get his share of touches as well.

Remember those two names, because for now, they’ll be the two running backs in Baltimore — not Rice.

Get ready for a nationally televised contest between two teams we love to watch faceoff, the Ravens and Steelers.

 

Josiah Turner

@JsiahSports

Photo Cred (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Josiah Turner

Josiah is the founder and editor-in-chief at Sideline Sports Report. He has written for ESPN.com and is currently a digital editor at the SEC Network. He has covered the Washington Redskins for FanSided, and he has also covered high school basketball for Rivals.com and the Mechanicsville Local newspaper. Josiah is from Chesapeake, Va., and a college graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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