Steelers Winners And Losers – Week 11 – Ravens

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Baltimore Ravens 13-10 Sunday night at Heinz Field to fall to 6-4 on the season. It was a game that they certainly had a chance to win and below are the players, or group of players, that I thought had winning and losing performances in the game.


Keenan Lewis & Ike Taylor – The Steelers starting cornerbacks combined to record three defensed passes and 12 total tackles in the loss. Although both did allow catches in the game, they stood tall in pressure situations as the Ravens wide receivers combined to catch just 11 passes in the game for 86 yards and no touchdowns on 23 targets. Lewis especially played well in the loss and was targeted by Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco several times. He was responsible for two of the four defensed passes in the game and made back-to-back big plays on a third-quarter drive that resulted in the Ravens settling for a field goal. This is the best a Steelers cornerback tandem has played for a stretch of games in a long time and it should be pointed out.

Jonathan Dwyer – The Steelers running backs combined to rush for 96 yards in the loss but Dwyer had 55 of those yards on 12 carries for a 4.6 average. The Georgia Tech product also added another 26 yards on 3 receptions and was clearly the hot hand that the Steelers should have stuck with more in the game than what they did.

LaMarr Woodley – Woodley perhaps had his best game of the season Sunday night as he recorded five tackles, one sack and two hits on Flacco in the game. The sack and 1 of his tackles came on two separate crucial third downs and the linebacker also seemed to be able to provide good pressure via the pass rush.

James Harrison – Although not a perfect game, it might have been the best we have seen from Harrison this season. He recorded eight tackles, including one for loss, and a sack.


Mike Wallace – The fumble by Wallace after a catch on the Steelers second possession gave the Ravens an easy 3 points and he failed to make a signature play in the game when provided the opportunity to make up for it.

Jerrich Cotchery – Cotchery was flagged for a false start and an illegal block above the waste in the game and dropped a pass on the final drive that would have put the offense in Ravens territory with around 20 seconds left in the game. He was hit hard by safety Bernard Pollard on the play, but has to make that catch at any cost. Hopefully he is not injured too bad.

Mike Adams – Adams struggled mightily from the start with Paul Kruger, who recorded a sack and several pressures in the game. The tackle failed to have his hands high enough and this was easily his worst game at right tackle since taking over for the injured Marcus Gilbert.

Byron Leftwich – Although visibly injured, Leftwich was not nearly consistent enough with his throws Sunday night and his interception midway through the third quarter in Ravens territory squashed a potential scoring drive. Sure, his touchdown run at the beginning of the game was a signature play, but he didn\’t make many more after that.

Mike Tomlin & Todd Haley – The third and two play call at the Ravens four yard line is enough to get both Tomlin and Haley listed here and the decision to not stick with Dwyer more in the game was the other reason. Haley also decided to throw on two other different occasions on third and very short and the offense converted neither of those opportunities.

  • SteelerDave

    What baffles me is that Dwyer was not the main focus. The skill set of our line plays to Dwyers strengths, not Mendys. The line has to be in sync and every time they became comfortable blocking for Dwyer in comes Mendy for a run resulting in the line having to adjust. Also why in the world do you not put in Batch when Leftwhich is in obvious pain and unable to make throws to his strength as a QB?

    By midway into the 3rd Charlie should have been the QB and Dwyer should have been running the ball for every run call. Game would have been different. Tomlin you lost this game, not our players.

  • You are right. I think Starks even said the O-line is more comfy with one main back as opposed to a running back committee. I feel bad for our Defense because they played some Steeler ball last night..

  • Reese Dare

    SteelerDave – I agree with everything you just said. My thoughts verbatim. Keep in Mendy for screens, other than that – let the Dwyer beast run the rock. And if your QB is in obvious pain that is affecting his play – pull him. I remember last year against the 49ers when we got murdered –> Big Ben shouldn’t have even played. Tomlin needs to man up and pull his ailing QB’s.

    Hopefully he’ll learn from this loss and we can comeback next week and win against a tough Browns team.

  • SteelSpine

    Agreed on all those points. I know Charlie doesnt have a strong arm but when Lefty’s passes stopped reaching receivers in 4th quarter & still didnt put Charlie in, I thought wow Tomlin’s sayin Charlie’s arm is even weaker than that dead arm of Lefty. That’s depressing. And Dwyer did have a decent yards-per-carry.

  • SteelSpine

    I too feel bad for our defense which played lights-out.

  • SteelSpine

    Speaking of Browns, since our special team’s Mendy & co gave up a PR for a TD, what’re they gonna do against Josh Cribbs. Cribbs yesterday looked as dangerous as ever. Hopefully Browns are worn out from that OT loss so they’ll hopefully give up on the season.

  • Matt Lipner

    Mendenhall is a big LOSER in this game. He consistently went down easily, easily less balanced than Dwyer with similarly mediocre blocking. But what really infuriated me was that short pass on the final drive where he inexcusably got tackled in bounds and wasted half of the remaining time. He had a clear route out of bounds, and he would have easily picked up the first down, but instead he lined up the defender and went right into him, foolishly trying to get an extra yard or two when we needed to allow Leftwich a full play clock to get the next play set up. Regardless of his “talent”, I will not be at all sad to see this moron go after this year.

  • Douglas Andrews

    That was a head scratcher Mendy should be aware of the clock in that critical point of the game. I been a Mendy fan thinking his speed and pass catching ability would open up the offense but now i’m convinced that my GA Tech product Jonathan Dwyer is better suited for our O…..I say at the end of the year sign a compliment to Dwyer and let Mendy n Redman go and running game will be fine.

  • Chris92021

    Starks has a point…I mean, let’s go over the RBs.

    1. Dwyer is a power back with sweet feet and underrated quickness, not to mention he has the best vision of all the backs.
    2. Redman is a power back who is classic “three yards and a cloud of dust”.
    3. Mendenhall is a hybrid back who prefers to bounce things outside and avoid contact.
    4. Rainey is a small back who is quick and fast but not strong enough to run between the tackles consistently.
    5. Baron Batch is just another guy with poor vision but he plays hard and is a good special teamer.

    Kirby Wilson, Coach Tomlin, and OC Haley need to realize RB by committee does not work for us. I will make a bold prediction: if he’s given at least 18 carries a game for the next six weeks, Dwyer will get 1,000 yards rushing.

  • Exactly… I did notice Dwyer tapping himself out of the game a few times after some nice runs so I am assuming he was tired? Give Dwyer the start vs Cleveland please.

  • Chris92021

    He did tap himself out…he usually does it after 3 consecutive plays or so. I think that’s SOP for all RBs.

  • Dan

    Am I wrong?
    Or did our team not play with the intensity this game deserved? This game was essentially for the division and it was against the Ravens! I didn’t see any blood. I didn’t see but one shoving match. I didn’t see anybody laying out to make a catch. I didn’t see anybody other than Dwyer fighting for extra yards. I didn’t see any screaming coaches. This nationally televised game deserved EXTREME intensity. They played like it was a foregone conclusion that we couldn’t win. If the remaining healthy Ravens are a better team than the remaining healthy Steelers then so be it. But I expected to see it all left on the field. I guess they were saving energy for their big trip to Cleveland.

  • Dan

    Agreed. I about lost it when he didn’t know to get out of bounce. If Redman didn’t have the concussion I’d be calling to cut him today. Maybe he saw Ray Lewis on the sideline and got scared.

  • kris

    I like Tomlin, but i question his decision making as a coach sometimes. I also get sick of his rhetoric at press conferences. Anyway, I feel like he doesn’t play to win games sometimes. Last night was a classic example. Here’s the scenario. it is 13-7 baltimore. steelers are down by the goal line. they didn’t get there much last night. they didn’t even get close but 3 times. the defense is playing great. dwyer is running hard. you’ve taken 2 silly time outs on this drive. your QB is banged up. it’s 3rd down and 3. I don’t care how much time is left in the game at this point. YOU ARE IN 4 DOWN TERRITORY. YOU NEED TO GO FOR A TOUCHDOWN. YOU NEED TO GIVE THE BALL TO DWYER. 3RD DOWN WOULD HAVE BEEN A PERFECT TIME TO DO IT. go 3-4 wide and spread them out and try to run for it. if not dwyer, then the regular 3rd down back, whoever that is. batch works fine here. try to be a little creative. let them think you are going to pass and run that ball. you could have gotten a TD or a 1st down. in my mind, you had 2 tries to pick up 3 yards and the first and then possibly 4 more tries to get in the end zone. if you turned it over on downs the Ravens are on the 2 yard line. your D is playing great. I thought for sure it was a no brainer we were in 4 down territory. I don’t care about putting myself in position to tie the game with another FG. I want to win the game.