Steelers vs. Ravens: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Pittsburgh

Dan Snyder@@dsnyder34Correspondent IOctober 20, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 02: Center Maurkice Pouncey #53 of the Pittsburgh Steelers holds off Baltimore Ravens defensive linemen in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 2, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Pittsburgh Steelers won, 23-20. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have improved their record to 2-4 on the season as they defeat their archrivals, the Baltimore Ravens, 19-16 in another classic between the two teams. 

The Steelers had their best game of the season in terms of running the ball, and rookie Le'Veon Bell fell just seven yards shy of the century mark on the game. Conversely, the Steelers held the Ravens' Ray Rice to just 45 yards on the ground today.  

Pittsburgh advances to 2-4 while Baltimore falls below .500, currently standing at 3-4. 


Ravens: 16

Steelers: 19

Pittsburgh Steelers Game Grades
Positional Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseBB
Run OffenseA-A-
Run DefenseA-A
Pass DefenseB-C+
Special TeamsB+B+
vs. Ravens, Week 7

Final Analysis

Pass Offense: It was a very quiet, but effective day for Ben Roethlisberger. The 10th-year signal caller attempted only 23 passes on the afternoon, completing 17, including a first-half touchdown.

Pittsburgh's run game was effective today and, to their credit, Baltimore did a terrific job of covering the Steelers’ receivers in the secondary. But at the end, when his team needed him, it was Ben who led the game-winning drive to set up Suisham’s fourth field goal of the day.  

Run Offense: In terms of rushing, today was by far the best game of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh ran for a season-high 141 yards and averaged nearly five per carry. Le’Veon Bell showed great patience today and fell just seven yards shy of reaching the century mark.

The run game was a huge reason why the Steelers came away with the victory. Pittsburgh was able to sustain drives and keep the defense off the field. If the Steelers can continue to run like this, we could be looking at a new team.

Run Defense: Pittsburgh was on top of their game in terms of shutting down the Ravens ground attack this week. Ray Rice struggled to find any room, rushing for just 45 yards on the day. Baltimore, as a team, ran for only 82 yards on the afternoon.  

Pass Defense: It wasn’t the best performance by the Steelers’ secondary, but it was just enough to get the job done. Joe Flacco was very efficient, throwing for 215 and a score, but in the end, Pittsburgh came out on top.

The Steelers need to get better pressure on opposing quarterbacks as they left some receivers running free in the zone. They’ll also need to create some turnovers if they want to continue to be successful.

Special Teams: Despite having Emmanuel Sanders’ big return called back, it was another banner day for the Steelers’ special teams unit. Shaun Suisham connected on four field goals including the game-winner from 42 yards out.

Pittsburgh’s special teams unit has improved this season from what it was in the past few years. Jacoby Jones couldn’t find any room to hurt the Steelers.

Coaching: It was a very creative day by Steelers’ offensive coordinator Todd Haley. He used a lot of Wildcat schemes and some different looks to confuse the Ravens defense. In the end, he stuck with the run and it paid off for him.

Defensively, it was another good game by the Steelers. Aside from the Ravens' final drive, Pittsburgh was in control all game.  


First-Half Analysis 

Pass Offense: Ben Roethlisberger has jumped out to a good start in this game, connecting on 10 of his first 13 passes for 99 yards. Roethlisberger’s touchdown shovel pass to Heath Miller is the difference in the game right now.

Ben has started this rivalry duel as more of a game manager than a lead role and it's worked well for Pittsburgh so far. Look for the Steelers to continue to lead with the run and work the pass in when needed in the second half.

Run Offense: This has been, by far, the best rushing half the Steelers have had all season. As a team, they’ve carried the ball 17 times for 83 yards, 22 yards more than they average per game on the season.

Le’Veon Bell has led the way for the Steelers compiling 68 yards on his first 12 carries. Expect a heavy dose of Bell as Pittsburgh continues to find lanes through a banged-up Ravens front seven.

Run Defense: The struggling Ravens rushing offense hasn’t found much more success today against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The black and gold have held Baltimore to a meager 30 rushing yards in the first half of Sunday’s contest.

Baltimore hasn’t been able to get Ray Rice heavily involved thus far in the game and Pittsburgh needs to keep it that way. Rice is the Ravens' best offensive weapon and needs to be kept in check.

Pass Defense: Joe Flacco has found some space against the Steelers in the first half, hitting on 11 of his 16 attempts for 90 yards. But the Steelers haven’t let Flacco and the Ravens find the end zone.

Pittsburgh has blitzed early and only LaMarr Woodley has been able to reel in a sack on the afternoon. The Steelers need to do a better job of getting to Flacco in the second half or the Ravens may continue to convert big third downs.  

Special Teams: Pittsburgh has opened the game with another good half of special teams play. Felix Jones had a very nice kickoff return out to the 40-yard line and the coverage unit has done a terrific job on the always dangerous Jacoby Jones.  

Coaching: The Steelers coaching staff did a nice job of getting the team prepared for this showdown with the Ravens. Pittsburgh committed only two penalties in the first half and came out playing hard.

Offensively, the Steelers have run their offense well to the tune of 172 total yards and are 1-for-1 in the red zone. Defensively, the Ravens haven’t had a whole lot of opportunities in this game. 

Follow me on Twitter: @dsnyder34.


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