This is a real beauty to cap. I can prove easily that the Steelers are the best bet here and with the same success I can prove the opposite. One thing is for sure – the Steelers are going for a very strong season. Why? Ha ha ha. Statistically – each season Big Ben missed 4 games (he is expected to miss 4 to 6, but knowing his mental commitment to the game and the band of brothers – we will see him sooner than later throwing the ball for the Steelers) – the Steelers reached the Superbowl: 2005 when the Steelers went 2-2 without Big Ben and 2010 – when the Steelers went 3-1. Interestingly enough it happens every 5 seasons and now is the time the Steelers did it again.
Let’s examine the first games of Big Ben’s absences in those seasons to see how his absence has affected the rest of the team.
In 2005 the Steelers showed up for the game in week 9 against the Favre and the 1-6 Pack at Lambeau Field and won 20-10 utilizing Favre on turnovers.
In 2010 the Steelers opened the season without Big Ben and also won in OT 15-9 over the Falcons.
So, if I’d want to prove that the first game without Big Ben is stepped up play by his team mates – I guess I’d have a shot at convincing you.
Michael Vick says this is his last chance to start an NFL game and he was spending night after night this week memorizing the plays. I really don’t trust that person and the player as he cost me lots of money in the past always making me to be suspicious of him as an ex street gambler of a person. He paid his dues to the society and I am no one to judge him – but I can say that this week all the odds are against him so that may be a good reason it will work in the Steelers’ favor.
The other side would say – the Ravens are in a hole and need this game. Vick is a left handed QB and the Steelers have to readjust all their offensive play calling and may get confused during the game which can easily cause interceptions and fumbles. There is a lots of validity in those arguments and if the game was not in Pittsburgh and if it was not the rivalry where the Steelers fans expect the Steelers to leave the heart and soul on the field for their injured Brother – if not all this – I’d either pass or play the Ravens here. But the drama and the true heroism of the moment has a value here. The insult of being 2.5 point underdogs against a 0-3 team and all this at their home will give the Steelers lots of locker room steam. And I wouldn’t want to be a Raven’s player at that game. Lots of hard plays and penalties. That is how I see this game.
But the real tiebreaker for me was what Flacco had to say about this game. Because what he said is against all the logic. You all know that the Ravens quarterbacks coach Marty Mornhinweg was Vick’s offensive coordinator for five of the previous six seasons, including last season when both were with the Jets. This type of familiarity could prove valuable considering it’s a short week. But Flacco preferred to say that he would prefer to play against Big Ben rather than against Vick. Joe Flacco is 5-8 (including playoffs) against Ben Roethlisberger but he still wishes he was healthy for Thursday’s Ravens-Steelers game: “As a competitor, it’s always nice to face guys that you’ve been going against for a while. You never like to see somebody injured either, and have to sit out.” Wow. And all this 0-3 situation has not even affected the Ravens while same Flacco claims the lack of self confidence is the main factor of the Raven’s downfall.
All this and now go and decide. How can anyone not fear the Ravens when they lost last two games by a combined 8 points while the loss to the Raiders was the one that really surprised. But the Ravens aren’t only 0-3. they are 0-6 including preseason games and something is really rotten in that organization.
So, if your head is not mixed up enough – let me hand to you this – the public is all over the Ravens. Sharps especially. And there’s not a big money yet coming in on the Seelers. But Vegas is adamant to keep the line at 2.5 points while Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lead the way determining that line after all the bad week the books had. Invitation – certainly.
Will it happen? I don’t know but hope that by buying a half point I will enjoy the game for 3 units only. After all it is impossible not to have money on this game and if already a money – small amount.
If Big Ben was playing – I capped that game at 33-21 in favor of the Steelers, but with Vick it is a big unknown and big unknowns in my book of this sort end at the ties and going to the OT. But don’t take that prop because it is not handicapping but charlatanism to cap that way.
Ths is a 3 Units Play
PIT Steelers +3 -120