The schedulers only knew half the story when they lined-up division rivals Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens for tonight’s Thanksgiving NFL Thursday Night Football showdown. This rivalry game is always good, but the NFL had no way of knowing these two teams would both be 5-6 and fighting for their playoff lives. Sure, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers visiting Joe Flacco and the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens sounded good. But going into tonight’s 8:30 EST / 5:30 PST kickoff, they (and all NFL fans) know they’ll see a game with huge implications. This is a crucial AFC North game, and no amount of post-turkey sleeping or Black Friday shopping should keep you from seeing it. So if you’re not near a TV, you can watch Steelers vs Ravens online free using one of several different methods.
The 2013 season started slow for the Steelers, but Pittsburgh is now playing some of its best football this year, and quarterback “Big Ben” Roethlisberger is putting up some great numbers. Through 11 weeks, Roethlisberger has completed 269 of 417 passes for 3,118 yards and 19 touchdowns. Although he struggled early getting used to a playbook that doesn’t feature as many vertical throws as previous years, Roethlisberger has begun to capitalize on the big-play opportunities it creates for the explosive playmakers in the Steelers’ receiving corps. With Mike Wallace gone, the biggest beneficiary has been wide receiver Antonio Brown, who’s already made 80 receptions for 1,044 yards and six touchdowns. Yet because of their slow start, Pittsburgh still finds itself on the outside of the AFC’s “anyone’s guess” playoff picture.
The Baltimore Ravens, meanwhile, have fallen hard since last year’s Super Bowl campaign yet still hold out hope for a playoff berth. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will need to start justifying his massive off-season contract soon in order to pull that off. Flacco’s had an awful season, with a #23 Quarterback Ranking that’s below such QB luminaries as Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon and Carolina’s Cam Newton. With 14 interceptions in 11 games, Flacco already has more picks this year than he’s had in any other season in his career. Going into tonight’s game against the NFL’s 13th-ranked defense, which allows fewer passing yards per game than the Ravens’ vaulted D, that’s not a good sign.
Tonight’s Thursday Night Football game is still poised to be a grudge match, though, so there’s good reason to watch Steelers vs Ravens online free. If the Steelers win in Baltimore, it would be their fourth in a row and take them to a .500 record, with their past three wins being by a combined 39 points. With three of their final four games at home, a victory over the Ravens on the road would give them a sweep over their arch-rival and a key tiebreaker to keep their playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, Baltimore desperately needs a Thanksgiving Thursday Night Football win against the Steelers, and not just for pride. Still on tap for the Ravens are the Lions, Patriots and Bengals, all of which will pose tough matchups. Baltimore needs any win it can muster to keep its postseason dream alive.
Tonight’s game is likely to go down to the wire. Close games, it seems, are all the Steelers and Ravens known how to play; since the start of the 2009 season, eight of the teams’ nine meetings have been decided by three points. In fact, the last time these teams met, on Oct. 20 this year at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh held the Ravens out of the end zone until Baltimore tied the score with less than two minutes in the game. Steelers QB Roethlisberger drove his team downfield, with kicker Shaun Suisham nailing a 42-yard field goal to win the game. Wouldn’t you know, that three-point margin held true. And that was just five weeks ago.
Pittsburgh’s playing its best football of the season, just in time for a high-profile Thanksgiving Thursday Night Football AFC-North showdown. If you’re not near the HDTV (or have passed out due to turkey), you can watch Steelers vs Ravens online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including tonight’s 8:30 EST / 5:30 PST Thursday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.