Rapid Reaction: Baltimore Ravens
October, 20, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
PITTSBURGH -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 19-16 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What it means: The Ravens (3-4) lost for the third time in four weeks to fall two games behind the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (5-2). The Ravens also become the first defending Super Bowl champion to have a losing record through seven games since the 2006 Steelers. It marked the first time the Ravens lost at Heinz Field in the regular season since 2009.
Slipping at the end: In another close finish in this AFC North rivalry, the Ravens' secondary couldn't stop the Steelers in the final two minutes of the game. Corey Graham's missed tackle led to a 13-yard gain by Antonio Brown. Then, Brown beat cornerback Jimmy Smith on an 11-yard slant to put the Steelers in field goal range. Shaun Suisham's 42-yard field goal won it as time expired.
Stock watch: Falling -- pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil. He committed an unnecessary roughness penalty (pushing down Ben Roethlisberger after the play) and a face mask penalty (which negated a drive-ending sack of Roethlisberger) that contributed 30 yards to a 70-yard drive that ended in a field goal, pushing the Steelers' lead to 13-6 in the third quarter.
Fourth-quarter Flacco: Joe Flacco, who has two game-winning drives in Pittsburgh, tied the game at 16 when he hit Dallas Clark for a 1-yard touchdown pass. He went 9-of-10 for 60 yards on that drive.
Curious decision: After cutting the lead to 13-9 early in the fourth quarter, the Ravens attempted an onside kick. But kicker Justin Tucker didn't hit the ball hard enough and touched it before it had gone 10 yards, giving the Steelers the ball at the Baltimore 38-yard line. The Ravens held Pittsburgh to a field goal, which put the Steelers ahead 16-9.
Critical miss: Flacco had Jacoby Jones open deep and would've had a touchdown -- and a third-quarter lead -- had he thrown the ball longer to the wide receiver. But Flacco underthrew Jones, and cornerback William Gay broke it up inside the 5-yard line.
Struggling run defense: The Ravens gave up 141 yards rushing a week after giving up 140 yards on the ground to the Packers. It's disturbing that the Ravens gave up so many yards to the 31st-ranked rushing team in the NFL. The Steelers gained 82 yards in the first half, the most yards rushing they've had in any game this season.
What's next: The Ravens head into their bye week before playing at the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 3.