ReFo: Steelers @ Ravens, Week 2
After a disappointing home defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals the Baltimore Ravens were in dire need of a victory to right the ship and ensure they weren’t behind the 8-ball in the AFC North just five days into their season.
At the end of another physical contest with the Pittsburgh Steelers, they had it.
The Steelers, who let a big lead slip before recovering the victory late against the Cleveland Browns, prevented any chance of a move to 2-0 with a number of mistakes and turnovers and will need the extra days til their next encounter to regroup and address those issues.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Performances of Note
Ryan Shazier, LB, +0.4
Breakdown: An up-and-down night for the Steelers’ first-round pick who struggled in coverage but looked very good against the run. Particularly in the first half Shazier made a number of plays coming downhill to the runner either unblocked or particularly stifling the blockers (fullback and linemen alike) at the point of attack to disrupt and stop the runner.
Signature Stat: Rushed the passer four times registering the first two hurries of his career.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, -2.4
Breakdown: Much like the entire team, Roethlisberger’s night drifted toward the ineffective after a solid opening drive. Too often he was simply wide of the mark or not on the same page, with throws behind his intended receivers a particular problem last night. Matters only improved again on the final drive of the game when his pump fake helped open up some throws to Antonio Brown on in routes.
Signature Stat: Earned a -2.1 passing grade on his short throws, going 8-of-16 for 69 yards with a Haloti Ngata interception on passes aimed within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Cortez Allen, CB, -4.5
Breakdown: A night that started badly with a facemask and missed tackle on the same play and rarely showed any signs of improvement. Even when he broke on a lax pass by Joe Flacco to break up a pass at the front of the end zone he spurned the chance for an interception.
Signature Stat: His four missed tackles (three in run support) were a career high, topping his only other multiple missed tackle game, last season’s matchup with the Vikings in London.
Baltimore Ravens – Performances of Note
Joe Flacco, QB, +1.1
Breakdown: Rarely has accuracy in the short passing game been a positive aspect of a Joe Flacco performance, but that was certainly the case last night. He only uncorked the deep ball twice with one incompletion and one pass interference penalty. Flacco collected all but three of his completions on short passes and but for an ill-advised pass for Cortez Allen’s near interception, he was on point with every throw.
Signature Stat: A perfect 13-of-13 for 120 yards and a touchdown on passes between the numbers and within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
C.J. Mosley, ILB, -1.4
Breakdown: An up-and-down night for Mosley just as it was for fellow first round pick Shazier on the other sideline. A pair of stops and his forced fumble on Heath Miller tempered by a pair of missed tackles and being pulled around in coverage at times by Ben Roethlisberger.
Signature Play: Came up with the Ravens’ second turnover forcing the ball loose from Heath Miller and scooping it up to put the Ravens into scoring range for another Justin Tucker field goal.
Brandon Williams, NT, +2.1
Breakdown: The Steelers’ extensive use of three-wide sets (on 56 of 60 snaps) limited Williams to only nine snaps, but that didn’t stop him leaving his mark on the game. He registered a solitary hurry on one of his four pass rushes and notched a pair of tackles along with driving Maurkice Pouncey back to disrupt a pull block on the opening play of the game.
Signature Stat: Featuring in his ninth career game, Williams has now played 124 snaps earning a +5.2 run defense grade.
PFF Game Ball
The Ravens’ offensive line had their way with the Steelers’ three-man line last night. Generating 2.6 yards per carry before contact for their runners ensured the Ravens were consistently in favorable down-and-distance situations.
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