5 Baltimore Ravens who impressed vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers
Five Ravens who shined vs. Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers once again played to a tight ballgame Thanksgiving night, but the Ravens held on for the 22-20 win to propel them to a 6-6 record. Currently, Baltimore holds the coveted sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC, while Pittsburgh hurt their chances, but didn't eliminate themselves with a loss and now a 5-7 record. Several players stood out the other night for the Ravens, but there still are a few concerns looming over with this team going forward.
First and foremost, the run game is exactly what we thought it was. Against the 30th-ranked run defense of the Steelers, Baltimore's run game was pedestrian once again and it showed that the game against the Chicago Bears was just a one-time occurrence.
Second, this offense will continue to struggle finishing drives, converting third downs and making touchdowns as opposed to field goals. It's nice to score and the Ravens had six scoring drives the other night, but when only one results in a touchdown, it has to be a concern.
Third, the defense continues to underwhelm in the second half of games and keeps opponents in the game too long. Letting teams linger around and sneak out points and sometimes victories when they shouldn't is unacceptable. The Ravens will always win ugly in 2013, but there's no reason they can't somewhat improve upon these things, even though they represent who they are this season: mediocre.
5. Joe Flacco
Easily one of Joe Flacco's best performances of the season: 24/35, 251 passing yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions, 83.1 QBR, 98.6 passer rating.
4. Jacoby Jones
Four catches for 53 yards and that controversial 73-yard kickoff return ... Jacoby Jones was a gamer Thursday night and has been a pleasant surprise at wide receiver this season. You have to wonder what he would have been had Brynden Trawick not collided into him Week 1 against the Denver Broncos.
3. Jimmy Smith
A guy who I've knocked a lot in the past, Jimmy Smith not only played well this game as Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown weren't bad, but weren't great either, but he's played well all season long. It's possible he's the most-improved player on this roster.
2. Justin Tucker
5-for-5 on field goals and 27 in a row ... Justin Tucker is pretty good at kicking footballs among other things.
1. James Ihedigbo
Probably one of the fastest emerging players on this defense, James Ihedigbo once again lead the Ravens in tackles with 10 total and two passes defended.