Monday's events were a dark chapter in the history of the league and definitely in the history of the Ravens. The Ravens needed a win Thursday night, not only to keep the rest of the season from being an uphill battle, but to forget all of this week's problems.
And what better painkiller than a crushing win against the hated Steelers?
The offense was smooth, as Joe Flacco was 21 of 29 for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Not flashy, but better than Sunday's performance. The offense truly is a pick-your-poison offense as Steve Smith and Owen Daniels took advantage of silent games by Dennis Pitta and Torrey Smith. Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett alleviated concerns about the running game as they ran for a combined 152 yards on 30 attempts. The Ravens would possess the ball for over 35 minutes and would punt only twice.
The defense was excellent. Le'Veon Bell only rushed for 59 yards on 11 carries, most of which came off of one run. Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton were held to seven receptions for 90 yards and five receptions for 38 yards, respectfully, after having big games against Cleveland. Elvis Dumervil had two sacks, and would have had three if not for a Courtney Upshaw penalty that wiped out a sack that surely would've been a drive-killer. Daryl Smith forced a fumble that DeAngelo Tyson recovered, C.J. Mosley forced and recovered a Heath Miller fumble in the Steelers redzone, and Haloti Ngata intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass to end the game. Overall it was a good win.
Player(s) of the game: The secondary. Roethlisberger had 365 passing yards and one Touchdown vs. Cleveland. For me, holding him and his formidable receivers to 217 yards and no scores is an impressive feat. Even more so when the secondary is missing Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson. Fortunately Webb and Jackson have 10 days to ice up.