Can Ravens Backups Keep Steelers out of Play-Offs?

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Justice Hill Baltimore Ravens running back. Pittsburgh Steelers.
Justice Hill has emerged as a rookie, and now has a chance to gain more experience in a key game against the Steelers.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The regular season concludes on Sunday, with the Ravens already confirmed as the number one seed in the AFC. Bitter rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers need to win to secure their own playoff berth, and with Baltimore resting key starters, they have an improved chance.

The games are always heated, and with so much on the line for Pittsburgh, this is a significant game. The Ravens won the earlier matchup in Pittsburgh 26-23 back in October. However, since then, the team has made significant strides. Despite missing key personnel on both sides of the ball, this won’t be a walkover for the Steelers.

Who Can Emerge to Stop Pittsburgh?

Head coach John Harbaugh announced on Monday that quarterback Lamar Jackson, running back Mark Ingram, right guard Marshal Yanda, defensive tackle Brandon Williams, and safety Earl Thomas III would not play in this matchup. Now that play-offs are secured, this will be a game for rotation players to impress.

This will be a chance for rookies to impress, such as edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson and running back Justice Hill. Robert Griffin III will be the starter, with rookie Trace McSorley also likely to play. This game is an excellent opportunity to impress and earn a spot in the playing rotation.

Ravens
Justice Hill has emerged as a rookie and now has a chance to gain more experience in a key game against the Steelers.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Expect a Low Scoring Game

The pressure is on the Steelers to win this game, but they will do it without their starting quarterback. Mason Rudolph was placed on IR this week with a shoulder injury. Center Maurkice Pouncey (knee) and running back, James Connor (thigh) are also out.

These injuries are massive for the Steelers, with all three big losses for the offense. The strength of the Steelers has been their defense. The Steelers rank fourth, and the Ravens are fifth in the NFL, and with RG3 and undrafted rookie Devlin Hodges at quarterback, this is likely to a low scoring affair.

Ravens
The Ravens defense has improved massively, with cornerback Marlon Humphrey a key element to this. Photo: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson For MVP

With the regular season winding down, talk is now turning to the off-season and league awards. The Ravens equaled the NFL record, with 12 players voted to the ProBowl. Many pundits are speculating that Jackson will be the league MVP. Check out his season highlights here.

Jackson has taken the league by storm this season, smashing the NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. He ends the year with 1,206 yards in 14 games, which currently is good for sixth in the NFL among all running backs. The next highest quarterback is Kyler Murray in 34th with 544 yards. His throwing has dramatically improved, leading the NFL with 36 touchdowns this year.


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