Ravens Eye View: Mark Andrews Did It All vs. Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) tackles Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (89) in the second half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023.

The Ravens lost to the Steelers, 16-13, in Week 17 after Pittsburgh won the ground battle on both sides of the ball.

After watching the film, Head Coach John Harbaugh said he was "very impressed" with his team's effort, but disappointed in the run defense, and that the Ravens didn't do a good job of "attacking the commitment" the Steelers made to stopping the run and running the ball.

Here's a look at the film:

The Ravens ran for 120 yards, its fewest amount since Week 13 against the Broncos. Baltimore broke five runs of 10-plus yards, showing exceptional blocking and running across the board, but too often ran into a wall against a heavily stacked Steelers box that featured at least an extra defensive lineman and linebacker, especially in critical situations.

Steelers defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal (No. 98) played a season-high 52% of the defensive snaps and rookie linebacker Mark Robinson (No. 93) played 26 defensive snaps after previously taking just seven snaps all season.

"We had to throw a little bit more schematics at them, and we did," Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin said. "Can't say enough about young guys, Leal and Mark Robinson, stepping up."

A major bright spot for the Ravens was the play of tight end Mark Andrews, who caught all nine passes that came his way for 100 yards. He did it against a variety of different coverages as opponents keep trying to mix it up to limit Baltimore's top pass catcher.

The routes we've been running, there's a lot of scheme things in there, but they were playing a lot of man coverage. Mark got them in man on some crossing routes, and some sail routes and things like that, and just ran some outstanding routes," Harbaugh said. "I thought Tyler [Huntley] made a couple really great throws, some under pressure, right on the money, which you have to do against man coverage. [He] hit Mark on the run a few times. To see that happen was big for us; it's very important to get Mark going. We've been talking about that for a number of weeks, that we needed to do that."

Andrews isn't just getting it done as a receiver. He's also become a very strong blocker.

The Ravens gave up 198 rushing yards, including 111 to Najee Harris and 76 to Jaylen Warren. It was an uncharacteristically tough day for one of the league's top units, which was certainly hurt by not having veteran Calais Campbell (knee) for a second straight game. But the mistakes weren't just because of his absence.

"It wasn't any one thing. It was just not being quite up to standard across the board probably," Harbaugh said. "Guys were fighting, and there was effort. I give them credit – [the Steelers] blocked and ran hard. It's a good team, now, and we respect them. They were better than us in terms of the fundamentals of running the ball and run defense, is really the bottom line."

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