Flacco should cut up Steelers

The NFL’s best rivalry looks to be decidedly one-sided this year.

The Baltimore Ravens have everything in their favour at the moment. Joe Flacco is progressing as a quarterback, Baltimore have a comfortable 9-2 record and even their depleted defence has made big stops when needed.

Meanwhile, the 6-5 Pittsburgh Steelers are in a fight for their playoff lives with injuries sidelining two of their biggest stars in Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu.

Pittsburgh have every reason to play inspired against Baltimore on Sunday, 2 December, at 4.25pm on CBS. However it seems unlikely that an upset is in the offing. Expect another close contest, decided by a field goal, that should end in Baltimore’s favour again.

Sunday sees two other noteworthy games as the 5-6 Miami Dolphins battle the 8-3 New England Patriots at 1pm on CBS and the 6-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the 8-3 Denver Broncos at 4.05pm on Fox. Cayman pigskin lovers should support their Florida teams as the Dolphins and Bucs maintain realistic playoff hopes. However, both are heavy underdogs against division leaders.

It would be nice to see Miami pull off the upset behind Ryan Tannehill, Reggie Bush and company. But Tom Brady’s top-ranked offence has added help with former Buc Aquib Talib now on defence. The Pats should roll to a 10-point victory.

Tampa Bay has been a nice surprise behind quarterback Josh Freeman. However the defence will be tested by a Broncos offence that is rolling behind Peyton Manning. It should be close but Denver are favoured to win by six points,

A shake-up in the playoff picture could come on Thursday, 29 November, as the 5-6 New Orleans Saints challenge the 10-1 Atlanta Falcons at 8.20pm on NFL Network. New Orleans beat Atlanta this month behind stellar play from Drew Brees and a repeat showing should lead to a three-point Saints win.

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