The Ravens exorcised their Pittsburgh Steelers demons as they win a close contest 16-14.
MVP: J.K. Dobbins
After returning to the lineup following a knee scope to clean up scar tissue from his previous knee surgery, Dobbins steam-rolled for 120 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, including the 44-yard rush early in the game to set up the Ravens’ lone touchdown.
QB Anthony Brown — His first NFL start and he’s facing the Pittsburgh Steelers defense on his one-yard line, and proceeds to throw a five-yard completion. It took serious mettle to not crack there with a defender in his face barreling toward him and he helped get out of dangerous territory. Though he didn’t throw it much, going 3-for-5 for 16 yards, he operated the pocket well and got the ball to his running backs smoothly.
RB Gus Edwards — In relief of Dobbins, Edwards spelled in and bulldozed for 66 yards on 13 carries, helping to ice the game. On the final drive to ensure the Steelers couldn’t get the ball back, Edwards received all three carries and on 3rd & 3 found the lane for six yards on his game-sealing rush.
QB Tyler Huntley — Prior to exiting the game with a concussion, Huntley navigated the game as best you could imagine. He went 8-for-12 for 88 yards and only one sack. He also moved the chains numerous times on the ground, rushing nine times for 31 yards. Huntley will need to avoid these big hits and it’s a shame he suffered a concussion in this game.
WR Demarcus Robinson — A solid performance from Robinson who looks to be Huntley’s favorite target. He caught five balls for 52 yards, and on one drive gained 34 yards to lead the offense into field goal position where Tucker knocked through three points.
K Justin Tucker — Speaking of Tucker, he became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Matt Stover. In a game decided by only two points, and with three off the board for the Steelers because of a blocked field goal, Tucker remains worthy of every penny and the recognition he righteously deserves.
DE Calais Campbell — Just connecting the dots here, Campbell’s blocked field goal was a critical play for the Ravens. Boswell is about as surefooted as non-Tucker’s get in this league, and he, along with a brilliant audible by Special Teams Coordinator Chris Horton schemed and executed the block.
LT Ronnie Stanley — It was here where Stanley suffered his first serious injury which kept him off the field for two years. To finish the game was a critical moment for Stanley and to play his ass off in a win was all the more impressive. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh spoke on his performance after the game.
“He does it all,” Harbaugh said. “He’s pass protection; he does it in the run game coming off the ball. He does it pulling. You probably noticed that, too. Right there at the end, he pulled around there in that last couple plays. Just proud of that.”
LB Patrick Queen — He said it all week that he doesn’t feel like a Raven because he was “0-and-4” against them. On Sunday, he helped take part in the win by intercepting Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the red zone. Now, he feels like one.
“Yeah, I feel like a Raven for sure,” Queen said. “I think that just solidified it but now like I just said, it’s time to move on to the next one and the next time we play them stack another one. My record’s still not where I want it to be [against] them.”
LB Roquan Smith — Before Queen’s big-time red zone interception came Smith’s, who seemed a bit happy to intercept his former teammate’s pass.
“You know, I have a lot of respect for the guy,” Smith said. “But he made a throw and he had to pay for it... I was in the right place at the right time and made a play.”
Trystan Colon/Ben Cleveland — Originally, it was only going to be Colon here. It’s still not ideal for Colon to be getting the start over Cleveland, a 2020 third-round pick, but it wasn’t solely Colon at right guard with Cleveland rotating in. It helped that Cleveland’s first play in was Dobbins’ 44-yard run and the next was the touchdown. Overall, a big moment for these two to step up with right guard Kevin Zeitler out with a knee injury.
S Marcus Williams — In his first game back since injury, Williams hauled in Trubisky’s third interception of the game. Williams now has four interceptions in six games as a Raven and proves to be worth every dollar of his five-year, $70 million deal.
RB Kenyan Drake — In a game like this, a fumble in your territory with the Steelers just begging to be let back into this game proves costly. The Ravens coaching staff doesn’t need much coaxing into playing only Edwards and Dobbins and this won’t help.
CB Marlon Humphrey — A game to forget from the otherwise star cornerback this season. It was striking to watch him struggle like that today. I did double-takes when I saw it was him allowing such receptions cause it’s been foreign all season to see him allow much of anything.
CB Marcus Peters — He was not unprovoked on the personal foul penalty where he head-butted Steelers offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor, but Peters just can’t do it. The officials are standing right there and he’s targeting Peters with the knowledge of trying to get that flag and getting the extra yardage. Fortunately, the Ravens won and it will be forgotten and in the rearview.
TE Mark Andrews — This is not at all due to Andrews underperforming. He hasn’t been. He’s been open and available to make plays but it hasn’t formulated his way. He was wide-open for a touchdown in the first quarter but Huntley was under duress and couldn’t look his way. He was turned upfield on a different throw that was looking like the same miscommunication as last week where Huntley threw it to the flat. This will be something to monitor as Andrews is there for plays to be made.
Tackling — Writ-large, this was a game that wasn’t pretty for the defense. Trubisky was taking short throws (until he would go for the whole thing and get busted for it) and the Steelers’ skill position players would seemingly make a player miss with each reception.
S Kyle Hamilton — Struggled in coverage and didn’t make the sharp plays he’s made the past month or so. He had a tough matchup this week with tight end Pat Freiermuth but he had some costly angles at times that looked behind him after high performances previously.