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Ravens News 10/7: Lessons, takeaways and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

What we learned from Sunday’s Week 5 games - Chris Wessling

The Ravens (3-2) played their ace in the hole with the game on the line, trotting out the best kicker in football to send the game to overtime with a 48-yard field goal. Justin Tucker then proceeded to tantalize Steelers fans with a game-winner that seemed to be hooking left before drawing back in and tucking inside the upright for the narrow victory versus an undermanned division rival. On a day when Lamar Jackson took five sacks and tossed three interceptions, Baltimore needed a game-changing play by cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who punched the ball out of JuJu Smith-Schuster’s hands and watched Steelers backup QB Devlin Hodges overrun the the dancing prolate spheroid before picking it up himself, giving Tucker a shot to play the hero.

NFL Week 5 ReFocused: Baltimore Ravens 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 23 - PFF

Despite running the ball a ton, the Ravens did not create a lot of holes against the stout Steelers’ interior. Holes that were created were often made by left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who blew Pittsburgh linebacker Mark Barron into his own end zone and cleared the path for the game’s opening touchdown.

Earl Thomas recorded two defensive stops and zero missed tackles on his way to a strong single-game performance against Pittsburgh.

After giving up almost 200 rushing yards a week ago, the Ravens turned around and gave a solid performance against the Steelers’ rushing attack. The unit struggled in the first quarter, giving up 19 yards on three carries, but it solidified itself in the remaining frames. Interior defensive lineman Michael Pierce was the biggest disrupter for the Ravens, as he disrupted the flow on multiple runs while recording a couple of stops.

Week 5 NFL takeaways: Texans, Vikings and Ravens get back on track - Jamison Hensley

The Ravens can always rely on Justin Tucker.They ended a two-game losing streak and jumped back into first place in the AFC North on the strength of Tucker’s leg. The most accurate kicker in NFL history hit four field goals, including the winning 46-yarder in overtime in the notoriously tough open end of Heinz Field. Quarterback Lamar Jackson said, “That’s the best kicker in the game ... I knew he was going to make that.” On a day when Jackson threw a career-worst three interceptions and the defense allowed big plays, Tucker remains the most consistent part of the team. He is now 24-of-25 (96%) on field goal attempts in Pittsburgh.

The Breakdown: Five Thoughts on Ravens vs. Steelers - John Eisenberg

Quick Hits: The locker room was emotional about the news that safety Tony Jefferson is out for the season with a serious knee injury. He is a popular team leader who will be missed. It opens a window of opportunity for DeShon Elliott and Chuck Clark. Three of the team’s top five defensive backs have suffered major injuries, Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith being the other two … It was disturbing to see Marquise “Hollywood” Brown limping around and in and out of the game, but if there was any solace, it’s that the injury was to his ankle and not the foot he worked so hard to rehabilitate during the offseason … My thoughts on Earl Thomas’ hit that gave Mason Rudolph a concussion: It was an awful scene, but Thomas was just playing football, not headhunting … Final tally for the Ravens’ offense: 40 rushes and 33 dropbacks