Ravens vs Steelers: Final Game Grades & Player Analysis for Baltimore
Baltimore Ravens: 13
The Baltimore Ravens have defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 13-10. This game was clearly a defensive struggle with each defense stepping up and playing at an elite level.
The Ravens ultimately had just a little more with a punt return touchdown and two field goals being enough to get the win. It's a huge win that gives the Ravens a two game lead in the division and also keeps them on pace for a first round bye.
Here are the individual grades for how the players did in last night's 13-10 victory.
Joe Flacco: C
This game will go down as another ugly road game for Joe Flacco. His final numbers were pretty pedestrian as he went 20-of-32 with no interceptions and no touchdowns.
Nearly all of his damage in the passing game came from Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice. Both were up to the task and were crucial in the two drives that ended in field goals.
Though Flacco may not have done much, he doesn't deserve too much criticism from this game. It was refreshing to see the defense and special teams win the game. For once it wasn't on Flacco's shoulders and his game management skills were needed in this low-scoring game.
Ray Rice: B
This game now marks two straight weeks that Rice has finished with under 50 rushing yards. Granted the Steelers have a stingy run defense and the Raiders game was a blowout where he didn't need much carries. Still it would be nice to see more rushing attempts for Rice as the season goes on.
What damage he did last night came in the receiving game. Rice had five catches for 53 yards, including a 31-yard pass play late in the first quarter. He's still very dangerous coming out of the backfield, so it was good to see Cam Cameron keep him involved even when it became clear that the run game was faltering.
Bernard Pierce: D
Rice's main backup had almost no impact on the game. He ran twice for eight yards and also had an 11-yard reception.
Anquan Boldin: B+
Boldin was pretty much the entirety of the Ravens receiving offense. He had eight grabs for 79 yards and was constantly finding ways to get open. It was interesting to see him instead of Torrey Smith take in some deep catches as the Steelers tried to sell out on stopping Smith.
Torrey Smith: D+
Smith was almost entirely taking out of the game by the Steelers pass defense. He did manage one catch although that went for only seven yards. Frustrating night for him nearly one year after his dramatic game-winning touchdown the last time the Ravens played in Pittsburgh.
Jacoby Jones: D
All of Jones' contributions would come from the return game. He did have two catches but one went for a three-yard loss as he struggled to get past tacklers.
Dennis Pitta: C-
Pitta left the game after he got a concussion early in the first quarter. This was after converting a third down and getting hit hard by Ryan Clark. Pitta did not return after the game and it's possible that he could be missing next week's game as well.
Ed Dickson: C
Dickson took over at starting tight end following Pitta's injury. He had basically no impact on the passing game but did put together some nice blocks.
Michael Oher: C-
Oher had a quiet game and for the most part he did his job. Still got beat on some pass rushes though.
Jah Reid: F
Awful start for the young left guard. He was manhandled all night and looked completely out of his element. Reid also had the dumb penalty of the night with a false start in the second quarter.
Matt Birk: D+
Birk was also manhandled by the Steelers defensive line.
Marshal Yanda: C
Did a good job with pass protection. Still struggled a bit in getting beat in run protection.
Kelechi Osemele: D
Struggled in providing run protection. Osemele also is partially to blame for the pressure that Flacco was feeling throughout the game.
Ma'ake Kemoeatu: C-
He was in the game but he really didn't do very much. With Terrence Cody sitting out due to injury, Kemoeatu didn't record a stat and looked tired through his time in the game.
DeAngelo Tyson: C+
Continues to look better, despite receiving limited playing time. Tyson had a tackle and he also helped to stifle the run game early on.
Arthur Jones: B
Jones made the most of Pernell McPhee's absence as he made several great plays. He also helped to collapse the pocket and he had three assisted tackles.
Haloti Ngata: A
Excellent game for Ngata. The Steelers had no answer for him and he repeatedly won the battle at the line of scrimmage. Ngata also had a crucial sack late in the game.
Albert McClellan: C
Continues to show that he's not ready to start in the NFL. McClellan had one tackle during his limited snaps.
Terrell Suggs: C+
Rather ordinary night for a guy who is sometimes called the Steelers Killer. Maybe Big Ben's absence had something to do with it. Whatever the reason Suggs is still not 100 percent though he did have some good assisted tackles and he looks like he's getting healthier.
Courtney Upshaw: B
Didn't have much of an impact on the game. Upshaw did recover the fumble on the final play of the game to give the Ravens the victory. Probably the biggest play of his career so far.
Paul Kruger: B+
This might have been Kruger's best game in a Ravens uniform. He was all over the place, getting a sack and also forcing a fumble. He did a great job keeping constant pressure on Byron Leftwitch.
Dannell Ellerbe: A-
Ellerbe again led the team in tackles, this time getting eight. He's consistently been a threat on the defensive side since the Ray Lewis injury and has proved to be a capable starter.
Jameel McClain: B_
McClain also racked up a lot of tackles with six in the game.
Corey Graham: B+
Graham made a great play with his third quarter interception. He looked extremely comfortable in his first start with the Ravens and also had a big hit on the Steelers final drive of the game. Could he potentially start even when Jimmy Smith gets healthy again?
Chris Johnson: B
Although he was only signed this past week, Johnson still made a big impact. He forced a fumble early in the game that led to a Ravens field goal. Unfortunately that was basically it as Johnson would later leave the game with a hamstring injury.
Cary Williams: C+
Started the game on the wrong foot with a pass interference penalty called on him. Williams also had some problems in containing Emmanuel Sanders, who would sometimes get open deep.
James Ihedigbo: B-
Even though he's a backup safety that mostly plays on special teams, Ihedigbo made an impact tonight. His big play was a sack on a safety blitz late in the fourth quarter.
Bernard Pollard: B-
You can always count on Pollard to deliver a big hit. He laid out Jericho Cotchery late in the fourth quarter. Pollard does indeed "deliver the boom" for the Ravens defense and he finished fourth on the team in tackles tonight with three.
Ed Reed: A-
It really was not surprising to see that Reed was the one who scooped up the Johnson fumble. He returned it 17 yards, adding to his ridiculous amount of return yardage that he's gained through his long career. Reed also helped in containing the Steelers deep passing game.
Justin Tucker: B
Finally had his second miss of the season. Still that's understandable given how difficult kicking conditions are at Heinz Field. Tucker provided of the Ravens points on offense, with kicks of 26 and 39 yards.
Sam Koch: B+
Koch was busy with eight punts in the game. Most of them were around 40 yards however he had two punts go over 50 yards.
Jacoby Jones: A
Jones's punt return touchdown could very well have been the gamewinner. It was Jones's only great return on the night but it's becoming obvious that he's a dangerous returner. It's also worth mentioning that Anthony Allen had a nice return on a Steelers squib kick.
John Harbaugh: B-
Harbaugh clearly had the team ready to go for this crucial Sunday night game. He did a good job capitalizing on Steelers mistakes, such as their stubborn refusal to take Byron Leftwitch out of the game. Harbaugh also managed the time well, unlike the Steelers who blew two timeouts relatively early in the second half.
Cam Cameron: C
The offense didn't produce again. It's at a point now where the rare offensive touchdown on the road is worth a major celebration.
Cameron again played it extremely safe in the second half mostly by throwing short passes with the run game being mostly ineffective. The defense held the Steelers to 10 points, however Ben Roethlisberger would have likely scored more and Cameron's playcalling would have put him under fire.
Dean Pees: B
Great to see the defense play at this level again. Pees might have called his best game of the season last night, even with so many key players hurt. After the Leftwitch run, the Ravens allowed only one field goal and with the way the offense was stalling, that was enough to preserve the win.