Steelers Versus Ravens Week 7 – Second Half Notes And Observations
By Matthew Marczi
- As much as Lawrence Timmons has been criticized and scrutinized over the years, nobody is a tougher critic of his play than himself. He appears disgusted with himself after tripping up Ray Rice for a two-yard gain when he was looking to hold the back to no gain.
- The wide angle that Jason Worilds took on third and 11 allowed Joe Flacco to run for the first down—however, it should be noted that Ike Taylor’s holding penalty would have resulted in a first down anyway, and Flacco may have thrown to Taylor’s target if he was not being held.
- On the next play, Rice is left in no man’s land between Worilds and Timmons, and it results in a 14-yard gain. It is unclear whose responsibility took precedent here.
- Still, Timmons blew up the following run for no gain by bursting through the line.
- Troy Polamalu really pissed himself off by jumping offsides on third and one. So much so that he almost single-handedly killed the rest of the drive, first by blanketing Rice in coverage to defend the pass his way and then tackling him for a two-yard loss to set up third and 12.
- On that third down play, yes, Flacco put too much air under the pass, but William Gay still deserves a lot of credit for breaking up the pass, which would have gone for a sure touchdown.
- It is not often that a player is penalized twice on the same play for two completely separate infractions. Nice one, Elvis Dumervil.
- It still impresses me how much more patience Le’Veon Bell displayed this week, as opposed to last week, with the ball in his hands. Perhaps especially so while he was operating in the Wildcat.
- Credit to Jonathan Dwyer for blocking down the field on Ben Roethlisberger’s 19-yard scramble on third and one, even though Roethlisberger did not get a chance to utilize the block.
- And credit to Kelvin Beachum for sacking Roethlisberger a couple plays later. It seems as though he would have potentially been able to keep his feet if Beachum’s momentum did not bring him down.
- Dumervil again foolishly keeps the Steelers alive with an unnecessary penalty after getting the better of Guy Whimper at the last possible moment.
- David Paulson did a better job blocking over the past couple weeks than he had earlier in the season, helping open a hole with Heath Miller for a nine-yard carry.
- The false start penalty at the five-yard line was a tough one, but Corey Graham still made a nice play to break up the pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders.
- On the 41-yard completion to Torrey Smith, it seems as though Ryan Clark was caught in no-man’s land. He charged upfield at the snap as Smith and Taylor streaked down the sideline, putting him well behind the play. It seems that he would not have been near a receiver no matter which Flacco chose to target.
- I still like the decision by Mike Tomlin to challenge the spot of the ball that forced the Ravens into third and one, which was blown up by Steve McLendon. The fact that the Ravens felt the need to go for it, and then attempt an onside kick when they failed to get a touchdown after the fourth-down conversion, showed just how little faith John Harbaugh had in his defense, despite the fact that they had given up just 13 points.
- That they were held to a field goal is, of course, in large part thanks to the combined efforts of LaMarr Woodley, who chased Flacco across the field and forced him to attempt a desperate throw, and William Gay, who broke up that desperate throw.
- Not a damn thing went right for the Ravens on that onside kick, and as far as I’m concerned, it was deserved. Frankly, I found the move to be equal parts desperation and disrespect, and speaks to the arrogance of Harbaugh as a coach. But maybe that is just me. Either way, the play resulted in two penalties and Stevenson Sylvester slamming Justin Tucker’s head into the ground, while Vince Williams recovered the ball anyway. If I were a believer in karma, I would take this as an example of it.
- For as good as Daryl Smith has been for the Ravens against the pass, he has been soft against the run, as the 2nd and three play on the Steelers’ next drive showed, on which Guy Whimper easily turned him out of a hole.
- Derek Moye could have earned himself a lot of playing time next week if he were able to secure that touchdown pass, which he should have had. With Markus Wheaton out and Jerricho Cotchery a bit banged up this week, he could have played a big role—he still might, of course, but a touchdown would have increased the odds.
- The Ravens were lucky to get away with an obvious hold on Ziggy Hood on a third and three conversion in the fourth quarter, which helped them eventually tie the game. Hood was visibly frustrated after the play, especially so since he got the pressure that forced Flacco to flee the pocket on the play.
- I like that Dick LeBeau is creative with Jason Worilds, lining him up in different formations. It helps keep the offense guessing, and maybe helps him be more productive.
- I was really happy for Emmanuel Sanders on the kick return when it looked like he’d broken one for a score. He may have spent more time than any other player on the team being scrutinized this season and through the offseason.
- Still, a return out to the 37-yard line when you are looking for a game-clinching field goal with time expiring is nothing to sneeze at.
- Ramon Foster was visibly favoring his chest and bending over on the first play of the final drive. I’m not sure if he had been doing that throughout the game, but if it had been an issue all game long, kudos to him for stepping up and playing through the pain when the team could ill-afford to lose a lineman.
- What a great move by Antonio Brown to escape a tackle on second and 10 to not only get the first down, but to get out of bounds with 50 seconds left. He may not have had his most productive game overall, but he was critical to that game-winning drive.
- There is nothing else to say about how crucial Shaun Suisham has been to keeping this offense alive in the early portions of this season as the Steelers continue to struggle to finish off drives. In their two wins thus far, he has eight field goals, with three from beyond 40 yards.
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