Coming into today’s game the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing for their season. You may as well call this a playoff game because with a loss they would slip back into a large group of teams all vying for the same playoff spot. They were also still playing without their starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and things were looking bleak.
So what did they do? They battled the Baltimore Ravens for 60 full minutes and they won it 23-20 on a last second field goal by kicker Shaun Suisham. It was an emotional win, a huge win for the rest of the season going forward. There were a few points in this game that really stood out to me, good and bad.
The Good-The running game was on point again today. The Ravens stacked the line, dated the Steelers to throw it, and they stuck with the run game. Running backs Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman pounded it between the tackles and a patchwork offensive line did it’s part in making lanes for the backs to run through.
The Bad-While quarterback Charlie Batch didn’t have a perfect game, if there is something to point to in the passing offense that was the problem it was the drops. Wide open receivers who couldn’t hold onto good throws. This is inexcusable, especially when you are starter trying to pick up a backup. Bath was putting his fate in his receivers hands, and on too many occasions.
The defense-Props to the defense for keeping the Steelers in this game. For a huge chunk of the game they kept putting the offense out of the field, giving them decent field position and even forcing some turnovers and putting good pressure on quarterback Joe Flacco. But the biggest thing they did was they changed the entire gameplan of the Ravens. You can bet at least part of their goal was to give running back Ray Rice enough touches to wear down the Steelers defense. But because of how the Steelers played Rice he ended the game with only 12 carries. That might be the most important stat of the game.
You could tell at the end of the game just how emotional this win was and how much it meant to this Steelers team. To finish off a division rival on the road so short-handed really showed just how good this Steelers team is, and once Roethlisberger returns, just how great they can be.