The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Baltimore Ravens 13-10 Sunday night at Heinz Field and below are my first half notes from the game with the second half notes to follow soon.
The first pass play deep by Byron Leftwich to Mike Wallace was slightly under thrown , but still a good one. The pass interference call on Cary Williams for hooking the arm of Wallace was a good call. Great block by Will Johnson on the end around to David Gilreath and the Steelers offense is in business. Crazy run by Leftwich for the touchdown and I still don\’t know how he fell on his right shoulder as awkwardly as he did. 7-0 Steelers
Hell of a hit by Brett Keisel on Joe Flacco on first down. Lawrence Timmons really rocked tight end Dennis Pitta on the third down play and that was the end of the night for Pitta, who suffered a concussion and did not return.
The holding call on Willie Colon was the right call unfortunately as that was just an outright takedown. On third down there is confusion and Leftwich is forced to burn an early timeout. Wallace fumbles a quick slant following the timeout as he has problems putting the ball away quick enough before Chris Johnson easily knocks it out.
Casey Hampton shoots the gap ahead of center Matt Birk on first down for a nice run stuff. The Ravens were attempting to run the lead zone on the play. The defense gets the hold and the Ravens settle for 3.
Leftwich to Emmanuel Sanders to start the next drive was a strike and it appeared that the Ravens blew a coverage on the play. Paul Kruger easily goes around Mike Adams on third down for the sack. Adams had his hands way too low in pass pro and never got them extended. The sack of Leftwich had him land right on the shoulder that he hurt on the touchdown.
Ike Taylor is right in the pocket of Torrey Smith on the deep pass and damn near picks it off. The defense gets a good push with a four man rush on third down and Flacco throws incomplete.
Jerricho Cotchery begins the next drive with a false start. Adams gets his feet crossed up on third down and allows Kruger to drive him back for the pressure. Leftwich has to step up into more pressure and the ball flutters out. Kruger easily got his hands inside Adams as once again the rookie does not have his hands up quick enough.
The Steelers punt and Jacoby Jones returns it for the score. Will Allen got blown up on the return and both of the gunners were doubled as well. 10-7 Ravens
The Steelers go three and out as Adams once again allows Kruger to go right around him with very little resistance. Leftwich suffers another hit on the play. It\’s all about the hands again here and Kruger continues to school the rookie.
On second down of the Ravens next possession both Hampton and Cameron Heyward get good pressure on Flacco, but he still finds Ray Rice, who releases down the sideline away from LaMarr Woodley, for a big play. The Ravens are able to drive but a nice defensed pass by Ryan Mundy on first down, a false start, a bad snap on second, and a solid play by Lawrence Timmons on a read blitz on third down stalls the Ravens drive. Justin Tucker misses the field goal attempt.
Adams and Ramon Foster are split for a pressure on Leftwich on the next series, but the quarterback is able to roll right and connect with Heath Miller. Cotchery follows that play up with his second penalty of the night, an illegal block in the block, and the drive falls apart.
The Ravens next drive includes some nice plays by Taylor and Keenan Lewis. Lewis sniffs out the wide receiver screen on the failed third down that kills the drive. Lewis went under the attempted block by Anquan Boldin on the play instead of over and this is what makes the stop happen. Great play.
The Steelers next drive is a three and out as Jonathan Dwyer fails to pick up a third and 1.
Hampton again shows up on the Ravens next drive with solid penetration to blow up a run. Hampton does this while even being cut. Good inside pressure by Keisel on second down forces a bad throw by Flacco, but missed tackles by Timmons and Ryan Clark on the third down throw to Boldin keep the chains moving for Baltimore. On the next 3rd down it is James Harrison and Heyward with the solid pressure. Flacco completes the pass to Boldin despite it, but he is wrapped up quickly and short of the first down.
On the next drive Terrell Suggs gets a free hit on Leftwich on a stunt and the hits are really starting to add up. The next throw is high to Chris Rainey and on third down Leftwich severely under throws Sanders to stall the drive. You have to wonder if that hit by Suggs might have been the one that really stung the Steelers quarterback. Those two throws were bad.
The Steelers punt and the Ravens take a knee to end the half.