The Ravens late game magic ran out in their 20-19 loss to arch rival Pittsburgh. Despite a 13 minute advantage in time of possession and an inspired comeback attempt, a failed two-point conversion attempt resulted in their fourth loss of the season.
Baltimore’s best position group in Week 13 was their defensive line, they combined to limit Najee Harris to 3.4 yards per carry. Brandon Williams made an impact on 36 snaps (60%), tallying six solo tackles including one for a loss. Calais Campbell notched the Ravens lone sack during his 49 snaps (82%). On 26 snaps (43%), Justin Madubuike disrupted several plays in the backfield. Justin Ellis and Broderick Washington completed the rotation with nine and six snaps, respectively.
Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s quick release passing offense effectively neutralized the Ravens edge rushers. Tyus Bowser had a quiet 55 snap (92%) outing. On 40 plays (67%), Justin Houston contributed a pass deflection, as did Odafe Oweh during a 35 play (58%) opportunity.
Patrick Queen led the inside linebackers with a 92-percent snap share (55 plays) and recorded six total tackles. Veteran Josh Bynes managed seven total tackles on 41 snaps (68%). Chris Board and Kristian Welsh pitched-in 11 and four plays, respectively.
For the fifth straight game, the secondary was unable to corral an interception. Anthony Averett played on all 60 defensive snaps, allowing six receptions into his coverage. Captain Chuck Clark had a strong showing, including a pass breakup during his 59 snaps. Marlon Humphrey missed two snaps and suffered a season-ending pectoral injury.
Rookie safety Brandon Stephens fared well with five solo tackles and two catches allowed during 55 snaps (92%). Slot corner Tavon Young was limited to eight snaps (18%) after battling illness, which thrusted veteran Jimmy Smith into a prominent 40 snap (70%) role. Dime safety Geno Stone posted a quarterback hit among his 11 plays (18%).
Due to a combination of Lamar Jackson’s indecisiveness, individual mismatches against the Steelers talented front and schematic deficiencies, the Ravens surrendered seven sacks and nine tackles for loss. Alejandro Villanueva, Ben Powers, Bradley Bozeman and Kevin Zeitler blocked on all 74 offensive snaps. Right tackle Patrick Mekari was sidelined with a hand injury after 40 snaps (54%). Tyre Phillips replaced Mekari for the final 34 snaps (46%) and struggled to contain T.J. Watt.
Marquise Brown paced the receivers with five caches for 55 yards on seven targets and an 86% snap share (64). On 50 snaps (68%), Mark Andrews caught four of nine targets for 50 yards. Devin Duvernay out-snapped both Sammy Watkins and Rashod Bateman in Week 13. Duvernay had two receptions during 44 snaps (59%), Watkins caught four balls including a fourth quarter touchdown during 34 snaps (46%) and Bateman was held without a catch during 33 snaps (45%).
Fullback Patrick Ricard was called upon for 38 plays (51%) and contributed a nine-yard reception. After returning to action recently, Nick Boyle was again deactivated, resulting in Eric Tomlinson’s 25 snaps (34%) as the blocking tight end. Backups Josh Oliver, James Proche and Tylan Wallace saw eight, six and one target-less snaps, respectively.
Devonta Freeman was a bright spot on offense and earned the lion’s share of running back reps. On 51 plays (69%), Freeman produced 52 rushing yards, 45 receiving yards and a touchdown. Latavius Murray saw just two carries and 14 snaps (19%) but made two receptions for 34 yards. And Nate McCrary was elevated in lieu of Ty’Son Williams for a two play experience.
While the Ravens remain atop the AFC North, Lamar’s regression and Humphrey’s season ending injury are causes for concern. Humphrey joins premium position All-Pros Marcus Peters and Ronnie Stanley on injured reserve. Baltimore will travel to face a rested Cleveland Browns team in Week 14.