At First Glance: Ravens At Steelers


John Eisenberg:  Their offense didn't produce a touchdown and generated just four first downs after halftime, but the Ravens still found a way to beat the Steelers for their biggest win of the season. Sure, it helped that Pittsburgh was without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, as his sub, Byron Leftwich, was not much of a threat. But the game remained a nail-biter because of the Steelers' defense, which shut down the Ravens' running game and also Torrey Smith. What little damage the Ravens inflicted on offense came on a few passes from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin. Pittsburgh simply was better on that side of the ball. If not for Jacoby Jones' punt return for a touchdown, this was probably a loss. But the Ravens' maligned defense was up to the task of protecting a slim lead, and the Ravens walked out of Heinz Field with a two-game lead in the AFC North.

Ryan Mink:  What a grind-it-out win for the Ravens. And it's a win the Ravens had to pull out. It seems only fitting that the Ravens did it with defense. It didn't matter who was missing, the defense finished the job, simple as that. The offense struggled yet again on the road, but Jacoby Jones is a difference-maker on special teams. His touchdown was the offense, for the most part. It again wasn't pretty and maybe it would have been different if Ben Roethlisberger were out there. But who cares? It's not easy to win in Pittsburgh, no bones about it. And the Ravens have done it three straight times in the regular season. They'll be thrilled with that.

Garrett Downing:This was a classic AFC North showdown. It wasn't pretty and the offense had plenty of struggles. But at the end of the day, the defense got the job done and the Ravens came away with a 13-10 victory. The Ravens now are in the driver's seat in the AFC North with six games to play, and another matchup with the Steelers looming in two weeks. Sure, the play of the offense will be dissected and discussed in the coming days, but the most important stat for the Ravens at this point of the season is coming away with a victory, and the Ravens did just that.

Sarah Ellison:  Ben Roethlisberger or no Ben Roethlisberger – it's tough to win at Heinz Field. And it has to feel good to get it. It would have felt like a missed opportunity had Baltimore let this one slip through its hands with Pittsburgh's two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback watching from the sideline. Credit the defense and special teams for this win. You have to be happy with the Ravens' overall defensive performance, baring the opening drive that shocked the world with backup quarterback Byron Leftwich, who has a reputation for being immobile, scoring on a 31-yard touchdown scramble. Other than that, the defense only gave up three points and came up huge with stops at the end of the game. The play of the Ravens offense was disappointing, which is becoming typical from this unit on the road. Just one scoring drive of its own could have made everyone breathe easier (the two field goals came off defensive turnovers and Jacoby Jones had a punt return). Heck, even just a few more third-down conversions to keep the ball out of the Steelers' hands would have been nice. But as the offense still tries to work out its road woes, the Ravens will celebrate and celebrate they should. Baltimore now has a two-game lead in the AFC North with Pittsburgh visiting in two weeks to try to settle the score.

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