The Ravens' 17-10 loss in Pittsburgh in Week 5 was a frustrating one, but there's a lot to like on film.
If Baltimore eliminated even some of the unforced errors (mostly drops), the Ravens would have won that game and would have come out of this game looking extremely dangerous.
Lamar Jackson had the highest Pro Football Focus grade (94.6) of any quarterback in the league in Week 5. Though another loss against the Steelers went on Jackson's record, dropping him to 1-3 as a starter, Jackson had his breakout performance against the Ravens' AFC North nemesis.
Here's a dive into the tape:
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken spoke last week about wanting to hit more explosive plays. The Ravens certainly attacked more down the field, as 21.1% of his passes traveled 20 or more air yards. That's more than 10% higher than the Ravens' average heading into the game.
Tight end Mark Andrews was credited with three drops, but he also was giving the Steelers fits on crossing routes.
The Ravens also had the ground game cranking behind Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and strong run blocking early in the game.
Baltimore's defense was again dominant.
And now for what didn't go so right …
The Ravens' drops obviously stunted what was generally outstanding play by the offense.
TruMedia credited Baltimore with seven drops, tied for the third-most in a game by any NFL team in a game since 2013. Looking at each of the drops, there's often a common issue of hand placement – specifically that the receivers' hands were too wide.
The Ravens' failure to attempt a field goal at the end of the first half cost them, most likely, three points. Center Tyler Linderbaum was not supposed to snap the ball, and instead let the clock run down, but he snapped it thinking the Steelers jumped into the neutral zone.
It wasn't a drop, but Zay Flowers fell down on a deep ball that could have gone for a possible touchdown or at least a long gain. After the game, Flowers said the wind caught the ball, which didn't come out of Jackson's hand cleanly, and changed the trajectory. He was absolutely right.
The blocked punt in the fourth quarter, resulting in a safety, changed the game. Steelers special teams ace Miles Killebrew ran through the block of safety Geno Stone.
The Ravens had a chance to make a game-changing special teams play of their own, as Kevon Seymour recovered a Steelers fumble on a punt return, but wide receiver Laquon Treadwell tried to hold the stumbling Seymour up on his feet instead of blocking the one Steelers player in the way of a scoop-and-score that probably would have won the game.
The strength of the Steelers defense is pass rushers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, and they gave Baltimore issues. Going first against backup Patrick Mekari, and then against third-string right tackle Daniel Faalele after Mekari suffered a chest injury, Watt had two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was back for his first game since a Week 1 knee injury and mostly went against Highsmith. He allowed 13 pressures on 46 pass blocking snaps, a 28.3% pressure rate, the most Stanley has allowed in a game since 2018 and the second-most any offensive lineman has allowed this season.
In the end, the Steelers offense essentially made three plays on the game-winning touchdown drive. Two came against heavy Ravens blitzes.