Steelers Defense Shines In 13-10 Loss To Ravens – Game Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers knew that they were going to need solid performances in all three phases in order to beat the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night minus their injured starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown, but unfortunately only one of the units delivered in the 16-13 loss.

The Steelers defense played lights out in the loss at Heinz Field as they allowed just 200 net yards of offense and two field goals to the Ravens. The Steelers offense and special teams units, however, failed to hold up their end of the deal as their offense turned over the ball twice and their special teams unit allowed a 63 yard punt return for a touchdown by Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

Byron Leftwich, who was filling in for the injured Roethlisberger, was a dismal 18-of-39 passing on the night for 201 yards and an interception. His one rush for a 31 yard touchdown on the games opening drive was one of very few significant plays made on the night by the offense that was 5-of-17 on third downs in the game.

Leftwich was also sacked 3 times in the game and those sacks, combined with several other hits that he endured, seemed took their toll on the 32 year-old quarterback, who appeared to injure his shoulder and ribs in the losing effort.

The Steelers stable of running backs rushed for 96 yards on the night as Rashard Mendenhall, Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, and Baron Batch all saw carries in the loss that dropped the team to 6-4 on the season and 2 games back of the Ravens in the division.

The offense scored in the opening minute of the game as Leftwich scrambled around the right end for a 31 yard touchdown just two plays after the Ravens were flagged for pass interference on a deep ball intended for Mike Wallace on the first play of the game. That would be the only touchdown the Steelers would score as their only other score came via a 22 yard-field goal from kicker Shaun Suisham after stalling inside the Ravens red zone late in the third quarter.

The Pittsburgh defense did everything but force a turnover in the game as they sacked Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco twice and held Baltimore to just 47 yards rushing on 23 attempts. Flacco was 20-of-32 passing in the game for a 164 yards but he did not turn the ball over unlike the Steelers.

Cornerback Keenan Lewis had another solid effort in the loss as he recorded 10 total tackles and 2 defensed passes on the night.

The Ravens offense had to settle for a Justin Tucker 26 yard field goal following a recovery of a Wallace fumble on the Steelers second possession and their other field goal by Tucker came off of the lone interception thrown by Leftwich midway through the third quarter.

The Steelers must now regroup for another divisional game as they will travel to Cleveland next week to face the 2-8 Cleveland Browns.

  • SteelSpine

    Sorry cant resist adding random notes.
    – Our offense only mustered 10 pts, at home, in a game we needed to win more than Ravens did, sums it up. Good thing our defensive 2ndary played so well.
    – The closest Lefty got to completing any bomb was just the first play when Ravens committed pass interference.
    – Expect Lefty to be on injured report & not be the starter next game. So hello FA QBs on the street. Lefty’s run for TD was sweet. But watching him in 4th quarter was like had a baseball pitcher there intead, in full windup but bouncing pitches into dirt in fronta home plate.
    – Adams was a turnstyle in pass protection, again. I dont expect more from any rookie. I just tired of having read writing about our previous games “he played great except on pass plays”. Those posters & writer(s) shoulda instead called it like it was. Moving our TEs over there to help, probly took them outta being safety nets for Lefty to throw to.
    – Mundy gave up another TD just like the ol days when all he did was play on STs. On the return for a TD, Mundy was 10 yards right in fronta the returner facing the returner. Altho he did get bumped, & our other defenders missed too.
    – It’s official: Wallace is not as good as ABrown, so whichever team offers Wallace a contract it should be for less $$ per year than whatever AB’s deal was for.
    – Sorry but Colon is overpaid & overrated. And this is comin from one of the many who at the time informed he will move to guard, was very optimistic. Not sayin he’s bad, he is only average. But he gets paid more, & his performance when one-on-one hasnt lived up to any strength hype. Squirming on top of a defender who is on ground, doesnt make up for the times colon is blown back. I hope he improves & if not I hope he can take a pay cut next year.

  • Tim Culligan

    I thought the offense was very similar to the KC game last week. Running game came and went, but was not there for the most part. In the passing game, Leftwich could not get any rhythm with his WRs. Haley said he would cater the came plan to his strengths, not sure if I saw that today, especially on 3rd & goal. Leftwich missed short a number of open guys as his passes didn’t have the zip I expected. Pass protection was OK but there were just a few too many plays that led to the pocket collapsing.

    Defensively I think the corners are only getting better and better. Ike had a superb day minus the dropped INT. It was a hard catch and I’m used to Ike’s hands anyway tho so Ill let it slide. Keenan locked up Boldin well for the most part, didn’t allow many YAC. There were a couple of mismatches with LBs, which we knew the Ravens would target coming in. Larry Foote was burned on 2 plays by Rice and Woodley gave up the long completion on the sideline- I’ll have to wait for the 22 cam to make a judgement on that though. The line played well, even tho Hood was out. Harrison made a number of backside tackles on the stretch running plays to the right. They got pressure on Flacco, but not enough to force a fumble or very bad throw.

    Special Teams was poor. Rainey had a poor return game. Sanders had some big catches but didn’t get anything going on Punt Returns, which there were several of. Kick coverage all around was not great, and obviously the touchdown was inexcusable, looked like he made one cut and was gone. Mundy, C Brown and Batch didn’t have great games. Suisham was about 10 yards away 2/3 times from attempting a kick in the 45-52 range but the offense never got there, he did his job.

    All in all, Steelers need to win 1 out of 2 vs the Ravens to keep up in the division. Didn’t get this one. Focus on a capable Browns team, and if they can get through that and a W in Baltimore, then we’re back where we were last week, just a game back.

  • Leftwich is not good. I have never understood what makes them think he is a better alternative than Batch. At least in BA’s offense they went deep more often which plays to Leftwich. In this offense, I see very little that would ever make me want to start Leftwich, who has not won a game as a starter since 2006, over Batch. It seems to me Tomlin just does not like Batch.

    And you are absolutely right about Wallace not being better than Brown. I’ve been saying that for a while. He and Mendenhall are rapidly declining in value to the Steelers. At least in Mendenhall’s case, it is as much through injury and improved play of his backups. For Wallace, he is just failing to leverage his contract year. I doubt he will be the third Steelers WR to get a contract extension.

  • Buccos9

    I’ve been a harsh critic of Dick Lebeau lately, but he called a great game for the most part last night. His defense applied lots of pressure on Flacco and gave up only 6 points, three of which were handed to the Ravens by a Wallace fumble. However, there was also some sloppy tackling on two third-down plays that could have forced the Ravens to punt. It was simply inexcusable for Keisel and Woodley to jump offside just before the two-minute warning. That’s twice that Keisel has done this in key situations late in games that the Steelers ended up losing. He’s supposed to be a team leader. Just watch the ball!

  • Ian DeArdo

    I think the team can finally say goodby to Lefty. Besides being an incredibly mediocre player (generously), he just can’t stay healthy. Hasn’t Batch played more in relief than Lefty in his second stint? This team has too much dead, injured weight already.