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Ravens/Steelers Post Game Recap

The Ravens go into one of the most hostile environments in the NFL and absolutely humble the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both Coach Wink and Coach Mornhinweg did a fantastic job game planning for this game and they out coached the Steelers. Flacco was sharp and the O line kept him clean most of the game. The Ravens defense held the Steelers to just 283 yards of total offense which is widely considered one of the best in the NFL. Ravens have more work to do to improve and if you don’t believe me just watch the second quarter of the game again, but they are getting better each week especially on the O line.

Other thoughts on the game are below:

• First play on offense the Ravens get an 11-yard run from Collins which was a tone setter for the night
• Starting fast in Pittsburgh was key and going up by 2 scores on the road was outstanding. Ravens have traditionally had a hard time getting going in road games so this is a great sign for this team
• Marty did a great job using Lamar in the game and it did create confusion on the Steelers side and resulted in them needing to burn a time out to get the right personnel
• The 33-yard pass from Flacco to Smokey Brown was perfectly thrown and Brown really burned past the secondary. Having a deep threat that can consistently catch is paying off big time for the offense
• Jefferson’s strip fumble on the Steelers first possession was huge and put the Steelers back on their heels
• First time in the red zone Flacco hits Collins on a flare for 6 points and they made it look easy
• Can someone explain to me why the Ravens called a time out when the Steelers were getting ready to punt? Did they not enough players on the field? That TO made no sense to me.
• Ravens defense really ran to the ball in this game and you have to imagine that there are several Steelers sitting in the tubs this morning
• JuJu catches a ball in the end zone only to have Brandon Carr pry it out at the last second – an absolutely brilliant play! I have been critical of Carr’s play so far this season, but last night he was a Pro Bowl caliber player and defended several passes
• The Ravens were about to put their foot on the Steelers necks when Collins fumbled on the one-yard line. I don’t think you will see Collins getting any carries near the goal line any time in the near future. If he fumbles again in the next few games you will definitely see him slide down on the depth chart
• Collins fumble also interrupted the Ravens offensive flow not to mention created a mood shift in the game that clearly benefitted the Steelers who had a dominant second quarter
• Ravens defense cannot defend the middle of the field and they are giving up big yardages in that part of the field. Somehow Coach Wink is going to have to figure out how to provide tighter coverage
• So glad the Refs didn’t react to JuJu’s flop on the field when he was lightly bumped. This is now back to back weeks that the Steelers (Last week Ben) have tried their thespian skills to get flags – shame on them.
• Crabtree dropped another one right in his hands and it cost us a first down and killed a drive. Not sure what is going on with him, but he is dropping at least one pass a week and he seems to lack concentration when he is on the field. You have to wonder if Moore and White will start to get more snaps if he continues to have drops
• Ravens have no consistent pass rush and when we blitz we don’t seem to be getting to the quarterback. Judon for the hype he was given before the season that he would have a break out year – it just has not materialize so far this season. I very much hope that someone on this team emerges as a dangerous pass rusher
• Not sure why the Ravens wasted a play before the 2:00 minute warning in the 2nd half, but it gives you the impression that they were not interested in moving down the field before the half
• I would have liked to see the Ravens throw more seam routes with their TE’s because I don’t think the Steelers could have defended it
• CJ looked a little slow to me last night and he missed a few tackles but he was around the ball all night and the Ravens are better when he is out there. Where was his side kick, Kenny Young, who was missing in action and did not record a tackle.
• Hats off to the Raven’s D for stopping the Steelers on their first possession in the second half – this was key to getting back some momentum
• Penalties kill drives and that was certainly the case for the Ravens offense at times
• The Refs were terrible and missed so many calls on the Steelers O line. I saw at least two plays where the left guard tackled Suggs from behind and the Ref is standing there watching smoking a cigarette
• Going for it on 4th and 1 was a gutsy call in the 4th quarter and gave the Ravens 3 points
• You have to appreciate how much more the Ravens offense is pushing the ball down field and stretching the field. What a difference a year makes. I hope we can sign Smokey in the off season
• Anthony Levine was great last night and defended three passes and picked off Ben to seal the game in the final minutes
• The Ravens are 3 and 1 so far and I would have been happy with 2 and 2 given the schedule. Keep in mind you will likely get Smith and Hurst next week which will make them even that much stronger
• There are so many Coaches in the NFL that close their eyes when their kickers line up for a FG, but not here in Baltimore because Tucker is like money in the bank
• Snead is putting together a nice season and he is giving to the Ravens offense what we had hoped we could get from Campanaro – someone who can get separation, catch the ball and move the chains
• Ravens D shut down the Steelers run game to just 11 carries and 19 net rushing yards, and for the 4th straight game kept their opponents out of the end zone in the second half

Game Predictions                                                     Game Statistics
Score Ravens 24 Steelers 30                              Ravens 26 Steelers 14
Turnovers Minus 2
Net Rushing Yardage Ravens 84                       Steelers 98 Ravens 96 Steelers 19
Net Passing Yardage Ravens 302                     Steelers 343 Ravens 355 Steelers 265

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Alex Collins leads the Ravens run game with 18 carries/70 yds                Nope, 11 carries for 42 yards, 1 fumble
• A. Brown gets 10 receptions for 146 yards, and 1 TD                                      Nope, 5 receptions for 62 yards, and 1 TD
• Ravens tight ends combine for 12 catches and 133 yards                             10 catches for 99 yards
• Refs make terrible calls                                                                                                      Missed some blatant holds on the Steelers O line

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers
• Ravens come up short in the Sling Fest

Keys to the Game
• Contain Brown/JuJu and don’t give up big plays              Correct, keeping this duo to 1 TD and 112 yards is a win to me
• Get Big Ben to the ground – without the flag                     Just one sack is not quite enough
• Win the turnover battle                                                                  Correct, plus one for the Ravens

2 comments

  1. Mitch says:

    I may have been more impressed by the mental toughness. In the span of about 10 minutes, the Ravens went from about to be up by 18 to tied, and the blown games of years past had to be weighing heavily. I know I felt it. One of the simplest adjustments they made in the second half was to stop falling for the play action fakes as the Steelers never ran the ball effectively to begin with. In the first half, our LB’s were getting caught with their eyes in the back field. When we closed down the middle of the field, everything changed.

    After Brandon Carr’s struggles against the Broncos, he came up huge. Considering the time Ben had to throw, he and Humphrey were phenomenal. Could be a special group when Smith comes back. I wonder if they will rotate Carr in some at nickel, although I think he is better suited for outside. Anthony Levine is just one of those guys that flies under the radar buts makes important contributions.

    I think we will know more about the Ravens after next weeks (trap) game against the vastly improved and talented Browns. They really do need another win because the following week will be another very tough match up with the Titans on the road. We need at least one of these games, because I have to admit Cincinnati looks impressive.

    1. Dan Gahagan says:

      All great points Mitch. The Browns game feels different now as they have improved significantly, but this is a road win that the Ravens really need because week 6 in Nashville against the Titans will be a really tough game.

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