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.