Ravens-Steelers Now On Wednesday

Updated AFC Playoff Picture: Ravens-Steelers Now On Wednesday

Written by on December 1, 2020

The Pittsburgh Steelers remain atop the AFC Standings at 10-0 as the league’s only unbeaten but they now will not play their Week 12 game until Wednesday against the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens. That game originally was to be played Thanksgiving Night but has been pushed back three times because of a major COVID-19 outbreak on the Ravens.

Updated AFC Playoff Picture | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Wednesday’s game will kick off at the unusual time of 3:40 p.m. ET. That’s because NBC, which is broadcasting the game, wanted to honor its commitment to broadcast the 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday night. Assuming it gets played, it will be just the sixth Wednesday game in NFL history and only the second since 1948.

With the latest postponement, the Steelers’ Week 13 game on Sunday against the Washington Football Team will now be played Monday at 5 p.m. ET and the Ravens’ Week 13 game against the Dallas Cowboys, which had already been moved once to Dec. 7, will now be played Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Among the players the Ravens will be missing on Wednesday: Quarterback and reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson, who tested positive. Players who test positive are required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days as long as they test negative, per NFL protocol. Those considered high-risk contacts must be out for a minimum of five days.

Robert Griffin III will start vs. Pittsburgh. You may remember that RGIII, the former NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, started a meaningless Week 17 game last year for the Ravens also against Pittsburgh – Baltimore won 28-10.

The Ravens had already locked up the top seed in the AFC playoffs and rested many starters against Pittsburgh’s top-flight defense, which was playing all of its starters. Griffin, in his first start since 2016, was 11-of-21 for 96 yards passing and one interception in a steady rain. He ran eight times for 50 yards.

The stakes are much different this time around, with Pittsburgh in position to ensure Baltimore won’t win a third straight AFC North crown and deal their rivals a tough blow in a competitive AFC playoff race.

Kansas City remains the AFC’s No. 2 seed currently and is the betting favorite at Mybookie to repeat as both conference and Super Bowl champion. Patrick Mahomes was sensational in this past Sunday’s 27-24 win in Tampa. He completed 37 of 49 attempts (75.5 percent) for 462 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 124.7 rating.

Mahomes is the first player with at least 30 completions and 300 passing yards in four consecutive games in league annals. Mahomes how has five career games with at least 400 passing yards and three touchdowns, joining Hall of Famer Dan Marino (six games) as the only players with at least five such games in their first four seasons in league annals.

Mahomes also has 15 career games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns, tied with Marino (15 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first four seasons in NFL history. Only another Hall of Famer, Kurt Warner (17 games), has more.

Chiefs speedy wideout Tyreek Hill had a career-high 13 receptions for a career-best 269 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Hill had 203 receiving yards in the first quarter and became the third player since 1980 with at least 200 receiving yards in a single quarter, joining Qadry Ismail (210 receiving yards in third quarter on December 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in first quarter on November 19, 2006).

Tennessee (8-3) leads the AFC South after a big win Sunday over Indianapolis and would be the third seed in the conference as things stand. Derrick Henry rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ 45-26 win at Indianapolis.

Henry is the fourth player in NFL history with three games with at least 175 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in their first five seasons. Henry has recorded at least 100 rushing yards in eight consecutive road games, tied with Chris Johnson (eight games from 2009-10) for the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Only Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (10 games from 1996-97) has a longer streak.

The rest of the AFC looks like this: Buffalo (8-3) as the fourth seed, Cleveland (8-3) as the fifth, Miami (7-4) as the sixth and Indianapolis (7-4) as the seventh and last. Baltimore would also get to 7-4 with an upset in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

 
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