It was tough to pick out anything to call a winner from this game, but here are the winners and losers from the week 11 loss against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers came out of the gate fast with an early touchdown and then forcing the Ravens to punt the ball on their first possession.
Then, Byron Leftwich hit Mike Wallace on a nice third-down throw which he then ensued to fumble and give the ball to the Ravens in great field position.
The Ravens offense was held in check the entire game and who knows what would have happened if they weren’t gift wrapped a field goal early in the game.
Keenan Lewis has really had a good season opposite Ike Taylor and he was solid again in the game versus the Ravens.
The Ravens were able to get a few completions on Lewis in the game, but overall he had a good game in both pass and in run support.
Like Ike Taylor over the years, Lewis’ season won’t look as good as others because he can’t catch picks. However, he has really locked down that starting spot to this point.
Todd Haley seemed intent early in this game on proving he didn’t have to change much of the play calling without Ben Roethlisberger.
The most egregious failure on the offenses part in this game was a 3rd and 1 on the goalline, after the team just ran the ball down the Ravens throats, Haley calls a fade to Mike Wallace.
Haley is just consistent because that is just the type of play he would call if Ben was in there no matter how well the running game was going.
I have been as hard on Ike Taylor as anyone this season but he really had a great game versus the Ravens this week.
Ike made Torrey Smith a non-factor the entire game and almost made a great leaping interception as well.
I am one of those people who thinks this could be Ike’s last year in Pittsburgh but here’s hoping he plays like this the rest of the season.
The Steelers were doing a great job of keeping the Ravens offense out of the endzone which made losing because of a punt return touchdown that much more frustrating.
Jacoby Jones was barely touched on his way to the endzone and the Ravens scored 10 straight points off of the return and the fumble by Mike Wallace.
Not to mention that the Steelers own return teams couldn’t do anything and the team seemed to be on its own 15 the entire night.
When the Steelers announced that Rashard Mendenhall would be starting versus the Ravens I really thought that Jonathan Dwyer would get lost in the shuffle.
Then Isaac Redman left the game with a concussion and all of a sudden Dwyer seemed to be the feature back in the offense.
Dwyer continues to run hard and look good when healthy and the Steelers should have ran him even more versus the Ravens.
The Steelers are always talked about as being one of the more mentally tough teams in the league because of Mike Tomlin.
Versus the Ravens, however, there were two big plays that occurred that really ultimately ended the game for the Steelers.
The first one was on the Ravens last drive on 3rd down when the Steelers jumped offsides on the play when they got a sack and could have gotten the ball back with two minutes remaining.
The other play was when they did get the ball back Rashard Mendenhall caught a pass and decided to stay in bounds which ran about 25-30 seconds off the clock and effectively ended any real chance the Steelers had at going down the field.
Byron Leftwich started out the game great getting a long pass interference to move the ball downfield and then running 31 yards for a touchdown.
Everything seemed to go downhill for Leftwich after that and he looked like he hurt himself on the touchdown run.
Leftwich did not look good throwing the football in the game and by the end it looked like he just couldn’t get anything behind his throws anymore.
The Steelers offense came into the game leading the league in 3rd down efficiency converting about 50 percent of the time.
A huge part of that statistic was Ben Roethlisberger and it really showed versus the Ravens as the offense only converted 5 out of 17 3rd downs.
The offense in general wasn’t consistent and Leftwich needs to convert some more 3rd downs if he even wants to beat the Cleveland Browns next week.
Even though the Steelers lost the game and did not force a turnover versus the Ravens, I think this was their best defensive game of the season.
I’ve already mentioned Ike Taylor and Keenan Lewis but the rest of the defense held the Ravens to 164 yards passing and 47 rushing.
If not for the Steelers offense and special teams giving the Ravens 10 points, the defense would have won this game for the team.