ReFo: Steelers @ Ravens, Week 2

The Ravens moved to .500 after a divisional win over a Steelers unit that will rue mistakes that left them suffering their first defeat of the year.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Steelers @ Ravens, Week 2

2014-REFO-WK02-PIT@BALAfter 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.


Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • MTA000

    is it pretty typical for rookie LBs to face a higher learning curve against the pass?

    • Adrian Edwards


  • Andreas Haakshorst

    I’d love to hear something about Cameron Hayward’s grade. Was he really that bad in run defense?

    • keth Naab

      no, he wasn’t. Not even close. Heck he was the only one on the DL who did much of anything, except he had to do it against double teams frequently.

      • gmod

        Steelers player…. they are gods remember!

  • Jay

    Maybe the league should consider doing away with Thursday game this early in the season. With only two days of preparation this early and for a young team like the Steelers it is really a disadvantage and if the NFL is so focused on a high level of competition (which isn’t prevalent in early season Thursday night matchups like this) they should wait until about week 8. That way teams who do participate in these games will get valuable extra days off.

    • Myth

      That goes for both teams. And the Ravens are younger than the Steelers.

      • Jay

        The Ravens were the home team. The home team in these thursday games is the ear favorite. No travel and one more day to prepare.

        • Myth

          Ill give you that. But as far as age, Pitt is the 3rd oldest team.

          • Izach

            I don’t think that’s accurate only 3 player a on D and Ben are even over 30 can’t be 3rd oldest team anymore

          • Myth

            They are the 3rd oldest with an average team age of 28.8 years of age. The Ravens are the 5th oldest team. The 2 teams older then Pitt are San Diego and Atlanta. This is at the start of the season, we all know rosters constantly change.

          • Izach

            Is that just starters or whole team? I think the team average is over rated, 2-3 old part time players skew the whole thing, keisel plays 60% of time with a rookie but about 6 players are over 30 the rest of team is younger than 28 steelers struggle more because of bad play from young players than they do from old players being old

  • Izach

    Like to see le’veons grade on this game, seemed like he was only one doing work, but only 11 carries? Should have had that in first half alone IMO