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Ravens-Steelers final score: Defense shines in 26-6 win

The Ravens defense limited the Steelers to two field goals.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

So many Ravens-Steelers games have come down to the wire over the years. Many have been decided by three points or less.

Thursday's night's renewal of the rivalry wasn't one of those.

From the onset, the Ravens played with an edge and with something to prove. And by the game's end, they'd run away with a 26-6 win.

The game was huge for many reasons. It keeps the Ravens level with their peers — Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Going 0-2 in the division would have been a tough setback for Baltimore early this year. Improving to 1-1, on the other hand, keeps their heads above water, especially with a road game against Cleveland coming up next week. The Steelers fall to 1-1 with the loss.

Unlike the Steelers on Thursday night, the Ravens' defense played in throwback fashion, despite not having cornerback Lardarius Webb in the lineup. While Steelers receiver Antonio Brown had 90 yards on seven receptions, most of those yards came with the game already decided. Ben Roethlisberger didn't reach 200 yards passing until the second half.

The Ravens also forced three turnovers, recovering two fumbles and recording an interception. In the first quarter, with the Steelers driving, Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith hit Steelers receiver Justin Brown, dislodging the ball. DeAngelo Tyson recovered and the Ravens turned that play into points, with Joe Flacco finding tight end Owen Daniels for a 2-yard touchdown.

In the second half, rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley recovered a fumble. Late in the fourth quarter, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata tipped a pass from Roethlisberger before diving and intercepting it.

With the Ravens starting slow in the running game, things changed in the second half. Bernard Pierce ended the game with 96 yards on 22 carries. Justin Forsett ran for 56 yards on eight carries.

Baltimore's leading receiver was Steve Smith, who had six catches for 71 yards.

The Ravens will take on the Browns in two Sundays.