ReFo: Ravens @ Steelers, Week 9
After a second road defeat in as many games the Baltimore Ravens have now slipped from first to last in the AFC North in eight days. Already reeling from a close loss in Cincinnati last week the Ravens frittered away an early lead as the Pittsburgh Steelers rediscovered the form that saw them power past the Indianapolis Colts a week ago.
All four AFC North teams now sit above .500 with the Steelers sporting the longest winning streak in the division at three. For the first time this season Le’Veon Bell was kept quiet but Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game paired with some vintage moments of Pittsburgh defensive defiance saw off the Ravens. Roethlisberger is just the second quarterback to pass for six touchdowns in the same season since Y.A. Tittle but he’s done it in consecutive games.
Baltimore Ravens – Performances of Note
Brandon Williams, NT, +0.6
Breakdown: The Ravens’ stop machine at nose tackle turned in another impressive display in run defense taking his season total to 20, including nine in the Ravens’ last two defeats. A non factor as a pass rusher Williams’ five stops in run defense came on 19 snaps; better than one stop for every four snaps in run defense.
Signature Stat: For the season only Damon Harrison of the Jets has a better Run Stop Percentage than Williams among defensive tackles.
Jeremy Zuttah, C, -6.6
Breakdown: One of a number of sobering performances for the Ravens came from Zuttah in the heart of their offensive line. While Marshal Yanda turned in another strong performance next to him, Zuttah all too often allowed Pittsburgh defenders to lock onto him and was consistently driven back on both run and pass plays.
Signature Stat: The eight pressures Zuttah surrendered yesterday were more than he surrendered in the Ravens’ first eight games combined (7 Hu).
Lardarius Webb, CB, -5.6
Breakdown: Not that the stat sheet doesn’t imply it but the Ravens’ secondary neither covered nor tackled the Steelers’ receivers well last night. Webb registered a team high three missed tackles and surrendered his fourth 100 yard game in the last two seasons.
Signature Play: That was thanks in large part to surrendering the Steelers’ third touchdown just before the half, beaten deep by Markus Wheaton for a 53 yarder with 0:53 left in the second quarter.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Performances of Note
Antonio Brown, WR, +0.8 receiving
Breakdown: Drops and a false start draw Brown’s grade down a little but this was another productive display by the league’s best receiver to this point in 2014. Once again devastating after the catch Brown racked up a season high 93 yards after the catch evading five tackles which is a career high.
Signature Play: The Steelers didn’t build on their half-time lead until the 14:01 mark in the fourth when Brown stiff armed Will Hill to ground before picking an angle through the rest of the secondary for his 54 yard receiving score.
James Harrison, OLB, +4.7
Breakdown: Arthur Moats may have had the start at ROLB but Harrison had more snaps (41 to 30) and the greater impact as he terrorized Joe Flacco in the pocket as he has so often before. His six takedowns of Flacco (2 Sk, 4 Ht) takes him to 13 in his last three games converting all but two of his quarterback pressures in the Steelers’ three game home stand into sacks or hits.
Signature Play: Harrison re-acquainted himself with Flacco at the 3:37 mark in the first, his first sack against the Ravens since Week 13 2012, driving outside Eugene Monroe to see the Ravens off the field on third down.
Antwon Blake, CB, +2.3
Breakdown: Seeing the first significant action of his career (37 career snaps before his 35 snaps last night) Blake provided the Steelers with the best coverage they have had all season across from William Gay. Surrendering only three catches on seven targets Blake got his hands to two passes and only surrendered one yard after the catch on the three completions he did allow.
Signature Play: Recorded his two pass defenses on the Ravens’ final scoring drive, the second of them coming on a perfectly timed drive & hit on a slant by Torrey Smith with 4:15 left in the game.
PFF Game Ball
This was like a Ravens-Steelers game of old with James Harrison leading the line for the Steelers defense knocking down Joe Flacco multiple times as the Steelers’ offense piled on the points in the second and fourth quarters.
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