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

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Steelers vs. Ravens: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Pittsburgh
Vincent Pugliese/Getty Images

In a game that was filled with controversies and injuries, the Ravens and the Steelers gave us a classic showdown with Baltimore coming out on top 22-20.

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers turned it on late, but it just wasn't enough. Ben passed for 257 yards and two scores while Le'Veon Bell totaled 136 yards and a score on 23 touches.

The Steelers now fall to 5-7 on the season and have a steep uphill climb to the playoffs.  

Final

Steelers: 20

Ravens: 22

Pittsburgh Steelers Game Grades
Positional Unit First-Half Grade Final Grade
Pass Offense C B+
Run Offense F C-
Run Defense B+ A-
Pass Defense B- B-
Special Teams C- D
Coaching C+ C+

@ Baltimore, Week 13

Final Analysis

Pass Offense: Ben was so much better in the second half that it looked like a completely different QB. Roethlisberger thrived in the no-huddle offense while connecting with Heath Miller on several occasions.

The pass game was basically all they had in the second half, and Ben executed it perfectly. It just wasn’t enough to bring the Steelers a win. Roethlisberger finished with 257 yards and two scores on the day. Miller was the leading receiver with eight catches for 86 yards.

Run Offense: There wasn’t much of a run game in the second half, other than a big burst by Le’Veon Bell that went for 43 yards. Bell also scored in the third quarter and had a controversial touchdown called back in the waning minutes.

Bell was phenomenal in this game, and not just on the ground. He totaled 136 yards on 23 total touches before leaving with a scary concussion late in the game. He’s the real deal.

Run Defense: Baltimore continued to try to run the ball in the second half, but really to no avail. The Ravens managed just 74 yards on 25 carries, and it really didn’t seem like that much.

This was a great effort by the Steelers run defense and as an entire unit. If they can keep it up, it could go a long way toward a playoff berth.

Pass Defense: Joe Flacco was certainly less than stellar in the game, but he did enough passing to get the Ravens the win. The biggest misses for the Steelers were their inabilities to stop the big plays and get off the field on third downs.

Jacoby Jones, Torrey Smith and Ray Rice each had catches of more than 20 yards, and the Ravens were 10-of-17 on third downs. Both of those stats really killed the Steelers.

Special Teams: For the Ravens, it was basically the Justin Tucker and Jacoby Jones show. Jones ripped the Steelers on big kick and punt returns while Tucker nailed five field goals. Shaun Suisham, on the other hand, had a terrible game. His botched field-goal attempt ended up being huge at the end of the game, and his late onside kick was nothing short of pathetic.

Coaching: For starters, that was a terrible call on the two-point conversion attempt. Why throw that pass to Emmanuel Sanders with Brown and Miller on the field? But they did call a much better game offensively in the second half.

Defensively, they could not get off the field on third down, and field goals eventually killed them. It’s a tough loss for Pittsburgh.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

 

First-Half Analysis

Pass Offense: Well, it hasn’t been Ben’s best half of football, but then again, it hasn’t been his worst. The Ravens have held Roethlisberger to just 78 yards through the air on 11-of-18 passing. But he hasn’t helped himself either. Roethlisberger has been very erratic on his throws early, and that’s cost the Steelers a few plays.

Ben’s got to step up in the second half or Pittsburgh will have no chance of coming back in this one.

Run Offense: Really, it’s the same ol’ story for the Steelers run game. No lanes from the offensive line have led to just 20 yards rushing in the first half. Granted, kicker Shaun Suisham accounts for a 12-yard loss, but even with that, it’s still not pretty.

Le’Veon Bell has continued to run hard, but a big reason the Steelers won the first meeting was because of the 140 yards they ran for. They need to be better on the ground so the offense can stay balanced.

Run Defense: Ray Rice hasn’t found a whole lot of running room, accounting for just 16 yards in the first half. But Bernard Pierce has found success in a limited role. All in all, Baltimore has rushed 13 times for 47 yards in the half.

The Steelers have cut Rice down early and often, and, outside of a few big gainers from Pierce, it’s an excellent job by the defense today.

Pass Defense: It wasn’t a pretty start for the Steelers secondary at all. Jacoby Jones beat William Gay early, but Gay was able to make a play on a well-underthrown ball. But, just a few plays later, Torrey Smith made his way behind the defense and down to the 1-yard line. Since then, however, Pittsburgh has buckled down.

Joe Flacco has thrown for 118 yards today, and Pittsburgh is getting a good rush. But they have to do a better job of getting off the field earlier.

Special Teams: Obviously the disastrous field goal stands out in the first half. Shaun Suisham could have been called for a false start, but instead it ended up as a 12-yard loss and an awful play. Mat McBriar has actually punted the ball pretty well in the first half, but that’s really where the positives end for the Steelers special teams.

Coaching: Defensively, the Steelers came out and let the Ravens get the ball behind them, which was, obviously, a poor choice. But they’ve clamped down since the Ravens' first drive and have allowed only a field goal since.

Offensively, they’ve tried to establish the run, but yet again all they’ve done is show the Ravens there’s no threat there.

Follow on Twitter: @dsnyder34 

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