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Ravens News 11/2: Big-game Disappointment and more

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Steelers vs. Ravens score: Pittsburgh stays undefeated after rallying to beat Baltimore - Bryan DeArdo

Why the Steelers won

Pittsburgh scored 14 points off two interceptions of Jackson, who was sacked four times while failing to complete half of his 28 pass attempts. The Steelers also got their passing game going in the second half, with JuJu Smith-Schuster leading the way with seven receptions. Pittsburgh’s defense, after allowing Jackson, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins to rush for nearly 180 yards in the first half, held the Ravens to under 90 rushing yards in the second half. The Steelers’ defense also came up with two critical stops late in the game to preserve the win.

Why the Ravens lost

Despite outgaining the Steelers 457-221, the Ravens suffered defeat after losing the turnover battle, 4-1. Baltimore’s defense committed three costly penalties on Pittsburgh’s final scoring drive and also allowed the Steelers to score touchdowns on all three of their red zone possessions. Conversely, the Ravens came away with no points on two separate trips inside the Steelers’ 20-yard-line.

The Ravens also missed the absence of starters Stanley, offensive lineman Tyre Philips and defensive end Matt Judon during the course of the game. Phillips suffered an injury during the first quarter, while Judon was ejected after making contact with an official near the end of the first half. Baltimore did receive a strong game from Dobbins, who rushed for a season-high 113 yards while averaging 7.5 yards per carry.

NFL Week 8 PFF ReFocused: Pittsburgh Steelers 28, Baltimore Ravens 24 - Zach Tantillo

The Pittsburgh offense was stagnant for the majority of the game and was able to get away with a subpar performance thanks to the play of the defense. The Steelers were able to sack Jackson four times — tied second for most in a single game of his career — and force the former MVP to commit four turnovers, including a pick-six on the third play of the game.

Despite the mistakes from the Ravens’ offense, it was able to successfully run on PFF’s highest-graded run defense entering Week 8. The trio of J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Jackson each topped 60 yards rushing and combined for six rushes of 10 or more yards. Dobbins was able to run for his first career 100-yard game on a whopping 7.5 yards per carry on 15 attempts.

The Steelers offense was limited by Baltimore’s secondary, combining for only two pass plays that gained 15-plus yards. Baltimore’s Willie Snead had three such catches in his first 100-yard receiving performance since 2016 when he was a member of the New Orleans Saints.

ROOKIE WATCH

Dobbins was the leading rookie for both squads, finally getting his chance to showcase why the Ravens drafted him in the second round. He had three runs of 10-plus yards and forced five missed tackles on runs. Devin Duvernay was targeted twice and caught one pass for a huge 39-yard gain.

The Breakdown: Five Thoughts on Loss to Steelers - John Eisenberg

As tough as the defeat was, it wasn’t even the worst thing to happen to the Ravens Sunday. They thought they’d secured the anchor of their offensive line for years to come when they signed All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley to a massive contract extension late last week. But just two days later, Stanley was carted off the field with a major ankle injury that’ll sideline him for the rest of the 2020 season. Talk about a cruel fate. It’s a sequence of events that could easily depress a sideline and cause a game to get away, but the Ravens rose above it; they lost for other reasons. They had a solid Plan B ready to go, one they’d already executed earlier this season when Stanley missed a game with another injury. D.J. Fluker came off the bench to play right tackle. Orlando Brown Jr. switched to left tackle. It didn’t seem there was much, if any, drop off Sunday. In fact, the Stanley-less O-line was dominant, and that was with another starter, guard Tyre Phillips, also missing most of the game with an ankle injury. But let’s not kid ourselves. Stanley’s subtraction means the Ravens have to go forward in 2020 without one of the NFL’s most valuable commodities, an elite blind-side tackle. They paid him for a reason, and they’ll miss him.

NFL Week 8: What we learned from Sunday’s games - Kevin Patra

The loss is brutal for the Ravens, who fell two games behind in the AFC North and lost star offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley to a season-ending ankle injury. The defeat stings worse considering Baltimore controlled the game, leading 17-7 at halftime despite two Jackson turnovers. Jackson’s four-turnover day came after he turned it over three times last year against the Pittsburgh defense. Baltimore’s run game was nearly unstoppable against a defense that entered allowing the second-fewest rushing yards in the NFL. J.K. Dobbins did most of his damage on the outside, gashing for 113 yards on 15 carries. Gus Edwards drove his bus right down the Steelers’ throats for 87 yards and a score on 16 carries. Jackson went for 65 yards on 16 carries. It was Jackson’s pass attack, however, that continued to struggle. The QB looked rattled, and nothing in the pass game came easy or in rhythm for Baltimore. Jackson completed just 46.4% of 28 attempts, took four sacks, threw 2 TDs, two INTs and fumbled twice. It took busted coverages from the Steelers secondary for the Baltimore pass attack to gain chunks. The Ravens run game is great enough to win games this season, but to beat good clubs, Jackson’s passing must improve, and he can’t turn the ball over as carelessly as he did Sunday.

Where do Ravens stand in AFC after another big-game disappointment? - Jamison Hensley

33In another big-game disappointment, Jackson turned the ball over four times as Baltimore (5-2) fell two games back of Pittsburgh in the AFC North. His first career pick-six and an interception thrown deep in Ravens territory led to 14 points for the Steelers, and his fumble inside the Baltimore 10-yard line took points away from the Ravens.

Baltimore dominated running the ball, rushing for 265 yards against the NFL’s No. 2 run defense. The Ravens just couldn’t come back when they had to rely on their passing game.

Describe the game in two words. Uncharacteristic collapse. The Ravens were unable to hold a double-digit lead for the first time in the Lamar Jackson era. Jackson had been 21-0 when leading by at least 10 points in game. But the Ravens couldn’t close it out in the second half after leading 17-7 at halftime.