The Pittsburgh Steelers added to the Baltimore Raven Woes by beating them in front of their home crowd by the final score of 26-9. The Steelers recent road struggles are nothing compared to the issues the Ravens are dealing with. Because of that, Pittsburgh was able to open up a lead that Baltimore was not able to overcome.
The Steelers came into the game looking for a road win to kick their recent road blues. They were also looking to play better facing off against an arch rival AFC North Opponent. It was clear after watching today that Baltimore has taken several steps back and the Steelers, although not crisp, played much better this week. That could be because Chicago is better than Baltimore, though I am not ready to say that quite yet.
Joe Flacco came into the season injured and with no playing time in camp. Out with back issues throughout, it is clear that he is still struggling with something because his ability to throw the long ball is hindered badly and that has just compounded their offensive issues.
Steelers on the other hand were able to move the ball, but settles for field goals way too often. They walked away with a win though against a division opponent, and have officially opened up a full 1 game lead over the rest of the division. Not to mention, one of the teams they are chasing for the conference title lost again today. The Patriots would drop yet another home game against Carolina to fall to 2-2.
Another encouraging sign today was Le’Veon Bell who ran extremely well against the Ravens. Carrying the ball 36 times for 144 yards was just what the Steelers were looking for. Ben on the other hand had another so so game on the road going 18-30 for 216 yards, with a TD and an interception. The interception was a bit strange to say the least as AB went to the ground with the ball, then as the ground caused the fumble, the ball popped up and was taken by a Raven defender. It was called an interception because the ref claims AB never had possession and the ball never hit the ground.
Early on in the game, it looked like Ben was going to have a big day starting 6-6, but finished the game 12 of 24. And in the third quarter, the Steelers looked atrocious on offense. Luckily for them, Pittsburgh’s defense was there to hold down the fort.
Pittsburgh would finish with 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovered. The defense was able to control play for the most part, excluding a big run that set up the Ravens only touchdown. Alex Collins would run for 80 yards today, 50 of which came on that run I just spoke of. The Steelers had opportunities to bring him down but poor tackling reigned supreme on that play.
Antonio Brown would finish with just 4 catches for 34 yards and was visibly upset by this as he was seen throwing a fit on the side lines.
The Steelers are going to host the surprising Jaguars this week, followed by a huge test on the road in Kansas City the following week. The Jags fell today to the Jets in New York, but have played fairly well thus far this season otherwise.
“Not a perfect game, but a good game by us. ”
Thought we played the run game consistently, but can’t have the pop corn occur.” Those field flipping plays are killers.”
“We got some work ahead of us,” but it was great to get the win in a AFC North environment.
When asked about riding Le’Veon hard today, he said it was more about the extra opportunities to snap the ball.
“We came out with a game plan to run the ball out of the shot gun, and we did that.” “Coming out and being physical and running the ball, come out and establish that was important.”
When asked about how satisfying it was to win here… “Very!”
When asked about how they were going to handle the Anthem, he said they figured it out early in the week.
When asked if that was what the offense was supposed to look like, Ben groaned a bit…. “I personally did not make all the plays.” “I forced one to AB.” “Missed a deep on to Martavis.” Basically he said no without saying no.
Ben was also asked about AB showing frustration on the sidelines, he said he heard about it. Then went on to give us his typical AB is a competitor and a playmaker and sometimes there is not enough balls to go around. Blah blah blah blah….