Ah, the kneel-down formation. It's the absolute best way to end a football game if you're the winning team.
The Ravens got to run it twice against their fiercest rival to finish a 21-14 victory at M&T Bank Stadium, snapping a four-game losing streak and taking the top spot in the AFC North.
Blame the Steelers' loss on Presidential candidate Donald Trump, right Sports Pickle? Actually, I give credit to the Ravens' suffocating defense.
Internet Can't Stop Laughing At 'Worst Onside Kick Ever'
Steelers kicker Chris Boswell might want to stay off the Internet for … the rest of the season. It's having too much fun with what is being dubbed the "worst onside kick ever."
In his quick defense, he has attempted and succeeded kicking the Rabona – a soccer trickshot – in a college game at Rice and it really was a thing of beauty.
But on Sunday, when the Steelers were down by seven points with 48 seconds left in the game, Boswell's attempt was an epic fail. He kicked the ball into the back of his own leg, and then drew a flag for kicking it again. The Ravens declined the penalty and won the game.
The attempt was compared to river dancing, Charlie Brown and made news in England.
Flacco Mangles Knee Brace In 'Worst Slide Known To Mankind'
The Internet also had a lot of fun with quarterback Joe Flacco's awkward slide. Heck, even his own teammate, Steve Smith Sr., called it the "worst slide known to mankind."
For a quick defense of Flacco, it looked to me that his knee brace got caught in the grass, which caused the awkward slide. It wasn't the awkward slide that caused the knee brace to get caught and subsequently mangled.
But Twitter doesn't care about those details. It was only a matter of time before the "not elite" slide jokes surfaced.
Roethlisberger's Injured Knee Wasn't The Problem, It Was The Ravens' Dominating Defense
Just 54 passing yards in the first three quarters?
That's so unusual for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' prolific offense that the problem must have been the injured knee, right? Well, the thing is that Big Ben showed his knee was just fine in the fourth quarter when he threw for 210 yards while the Ravens defense was playing conservatively to preserve the win.
Sunday's performance was like a throwback to the 2000 defense with a member of that unit, Tony Siragusa, at M&T Bank Stadium being honored as the Legend of the Game. Of course, the 2016 defense isn't on the same level as the 2000 defense, but …
"This is the best Ravens defense we’ve seen in five years," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Childs Walker.
"This is not the flashiest defense. There's no Ray Lewis barking for the cameras or Ed Reed zig zagging to the end zone after an impossible interception. But when they're healthy, these Ravens control every layer of the field. Their interior linemen consistently win battles for the line of scrimmage. Their corners prevent home-run passes on the outside. Their linebackers and safeties clean up the middle of the field."
Win Masks Offense's Continuing Woes
You can't overstate how important this win was for the Ravens, whose season was seemingly spiraling out of control. With a single victory, Baltimore would suddenly be playoff bound if the season finished today.
That said, many of the leaders were even-keeled after the game because they know there are still plenty of corrections to make.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said the team still has "a tremendous amount of work to do." And Flacco admitted to a "little frustration" for not playing as well as the offense would like.
Flacco wasn't much better than Big Ben outside of a 95-yard catch and run from wide receiver Mike Wallace. Not counting that single play, the offense gained just 179 yards on 14 drives, and Flacco threw an ill-advised interception.
“[T]he victory obscured another disappointing performance by the Ravens offense, which could not sustain drives and failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities because of penalties and poor decisions," wrote Walker.
"Is this Ravens defense good enough to sustain a playoff drive with little help from the other side of the ball? That may be the story of the next eight weeks."
Wallace Excited To FaceTime Antonio Brown After Beating Former Team
Wallace still has love for the team that drafted him, but that doesn't mean he's not going to relish in this moment. It's not every day that you score a 95-yard touchdown, let alone against your former team – a unit that hadn't allowed such a play since 1966.
Wallace isn't about to let this moment pass him by without a little ribbing. He said in the CSNMidAtlantic.com video below that he wasn't just going to call Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, but he was going to FaceTime him to rub it in a little.
"Oh yeah, I'm going to give him about two hours," Wallace said. "I need to see his face, [and say,] 'We got the W, you know?'"
"But, I know he's going to tell me that he's going to see us again on Christmas."
Flacco received one of the lowest Pro Football Focus grades (45.6) from Sunday's game, and neither pressure nor a lack of playmaking from the receivers can be used as an excuse.
"The majority of the Ravens offensive line did a fine job of protecting Flacco," wrote Jordan Plocher. "Alex Lewis and Ricky Wagner were both on the field for 41 pass-blocking snaps and neither one surrendered a pressure. The Ravens' receivers made some plays with their legs, as Flacco didn't have success throwing downfield. Mike Wallace had 105 of his 124 receiving yards come after the catch, and Steve Smith had 29 of his 47 receiving yards come after the catch."
Top offensive grades:
G Alex Lewis, 87.2
T Ricky Wagner, 83.4
WR Mike Wallace, 77.1
WR Steve Smith, 76.9
FB Kyle Juszczyk, 74.4
On the defensive side of the ball, several players stood out, but linebacker C.J. Mosley, who returned after missing two games with a thigh injury, led the group.
"Linebacker C.J. Mosley was the standout for the Ravens defense," wrote Plocher. "Mosley led the team in tackles (seven) and run stops (four). Mosley was very effective in coverage as well, as he was targeted five times but only allowed three catches for 23 yards, and he broke up one pass. Tavon Young was the Ravens' best coverage defender against the Steelers, as he was thrown at 11 times but only gave up seven catches for 42 yards."
Top defensive grades:
LB C.J. Mosley, 87.0
CB Tavon Young, 84.2
LB Zachary Orr, 79.1
S Lardarius Webb, 79.0
S Eric Weddle, 77.8
Ravens Planning On Bringing Back Campanaro Today
It looks like a former Ravens receiver will be back on the roster Monday.
The Ravens plan to re-sign today after waiving him with an injury settlement (quadriceps) on Sept. 13, according to The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.* *
With returner Devin Hester struggling with a thigh injury and fumbling issues, Campanaro could compete for that job.
"Per league rules, the Ravens had to wait eight weeks before re-signing a player who they let go via an injury settlement," wrote Zrebiec. "Monday is the first day they're able to sign Campanaro. Now healthy, Campanaro could play Thursday against the Cleveland Browns depending on how practice goes early this week.
"Several teams, including the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos, offered Campanaro an opportunity to work out for them."