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Pittsburgh Steelers Lose Game And Division Lead To The Baltimore Ravens – Week 9 Recap

Ravens Steelers bethtenser via flickr


Pittsburgh Steelers offense gets shut down, as the Baltimore Ravens take the division lead in the AFC North.

Heading into week 9, the Pittsburgh Steelers held a one game lead in the AFC North and went to Baltimore to try to extend their division lead. Both offenses struggled to move the football down the field in a rivalry game that typically seems to go that way. The Baltimore Ravens were able to come out with a home victory and take the division lead in the AFC North.

The game started with both teams trading punts for nearly the entire first quarter. After another stalled drive for the Steelers, Jordan Berry dropped a perfect punt into the Ravens five yard line with just over a minute left in the first quarter. Two plays later, Mike Wallace would get revenge on his former team with a 7-yard slant that he would turn into a 95-yard touchdown to break the scoreless tie. With Artie Burns playing bump coverage on one of the fastest players in the NFL, and Mike Mitchell expecting run, the Pittsburgh Steelers had no chance to catch Wallace.

As the first half would progress, the Steelers offense wouldn’t. They went on to punt two more times in the second quarter, and commit a number of penalties that would continue to push them backwards. But the Steelers defense didn’t allow the game to get out of hand, only allowing a field goal just before the end of the half that would keep the score 10-0. The oldest man on the team, James Harrison, led his defense in tackles and was Pro Football Focus‘ highest rated Steelers‘ player with a 86.3 grade.

The third quarter would be very similar to the first half. The Steelers offense could not get anything going as they punted two more times and forced their defense to continue to make plays to keep them in the game. Ben Roethlisberger looked like his typical road-game self as he threw an interception that would lead to a 13-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. In four road games this year, Ben Roethlisberger has five touchdowns and five interceptions.

The fourth quarter would immediately start with the dagger, as the Ravens special teams forced a block punt and took it in for a touchdown and two-point conversion that would give them a 21-0 lead that would be enough to win the game. The Steelers didn’t cross the 50-yard line until halfway through the fourth quarter, not exactly a recipe for a win. But the Steelers offense did show signs of life as they scored two touchdowns in the final minutes to gain some confidence heading into next week.

The Pittsburgh Steelers would go on to lose the game 21-14 but did finally make it out of a game without any serious injuries. Artie Burns started his first game in the NFL and caught his first interceptions as well, but his one mistake would loom large in the end. Le’Veon Bell was held under 50 all-purpose yards for the first time this season, and continues his scoreless season as well.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now 4-4 and are heading back home to play against the Dallas Cowboys who are 7-1 and show no signs of slowing down. As the AFC wild card race continues to get tougher as the season goes on, the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to stay neck-and-neck with the Baltimore Ravens, and the AFC North division title on their mind.