Joe Flacco will need to build on his solid performance from last week.
When the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers get together, it's always a special game. This one was even more meaningful for everybody involved because it was on Thanksgiving night and has serious playoff implications.
Baltimore took control of the game early and was able to hold on at the very end after Pittsburgh scored a touchdown but couldn't convert the game-tying two-point conversion.
Baltimore Ravens - 22
Pittsburgh Steelers - 20
|Positional Unit||First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
Baltimore Ravens, Week 13
Final Grades and Analysis for the Baltimore Ravens
Pass Offense: A
Joe Flacco looked really good against the Steelers, connecting on some deep passes and making plays on third down (converting 10 of 17 third downs). The passing attack was clicking against Pittsburgh.
Run Offense: D-
The ground game looked a little bit better in the second half, but it was still ineffective and couldn’t give the offense any kind of balance. Baltimore finished with 75 rushing yards.
Pass Defense: C+
The secondary played a good game overall, but they had problems plastering and covering Steelers when the plays broke down.
Run Defense: B
Baltimore started showing some cracks in the run defense, giving up a 43-yard play (the longest run on the Ravens all year) and allowing a rushing touchdown where Le’Veon Bell strolled into the end zone untouched.
Special Teams: A+
Ravens special teams played well in the first half, but they were phenomenal in the second half. Justin Tucker made five field goals in the game, and Jacoby Jones broke a few long returns, including a 73-yarder.
There weren’t any controversial decisions or gutsy calls made by head coach John Harbaugh in this one. The Ravens came out with the plan to attack Ike Taylor in coverage, and it worked well. On defense, they had some problems with Pittsburgh’s no-huddle.
First Half Analysis for the Baltimore Ravens
Passing Offense: A-
Joe Flacco went after Ike Taylor from the very beginning, testing him with deep balls. The results were great for the passing game, picking up some big plays and yardage in chunks. Flacco looked good, and the offense looked dangerous with the return of the deep passing game.
Run Offense: D
There were some good runs, like Bernard Pierce’s 12-yard scamper, but for the most part, the running game went nowhere for Baltimore.
Pass Defense: B-
The secondary had been playing excellent football in recent weeks, but there were a few signs of vulnerability in the first half. There wasn’t much pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, and he was able to make some plays.
Run Defense: A
The defense did a good job of shutting down the run, holding Le’Veon Bell to 21 yards on 2.3 yards per carry. Pittsburgh’s longest run of the half was eight yards.
Special Teams: A
Justin Tucker’s 43-yard field goal extended Baltimore’s lead, and the rest of the special teams unit played well. Jacoby Jones returned a punt 11 yards, and the Ravens have won the battle of field position.
The Ravens clearly came out with the plan to attack the Ike Taylor-Torrey Smith matchup, and it’s worked out brilliantly so far. The only possible criticism of head coach John Harbaugh was the clock management at the end of the half, but he was playing it safe in a game that is sure to come down to the wire.