Home > Steeler Articles > Steelers-Ravens Recap, Week 4

Steelers-Ravens Recap, Week 4

The Ravens come away with a huge win on the road over the Steelers in a big divisional game, 17-14. The Steelers and coaching staff looked completely unprepared and uninterested throughout most of the afternoon and frankly didn’t deserve to win this game. The game ended in an eerily similar way to many of the games from last year for the Steelers. Hats off to the Ravens who are now on top of the division, even though both teams are now 3-1. For whatever reason, this team just has letdowns whenever they get praised in the media.

– Charlie Batch (12/21 141 yards, 1 INT), for most of the game, looked confused and tentative in the pocket, missing open wide receivers and constantly underthrowing targets downfield. Outside of the two TD drives, Batch played a piss-poor game. Both Heath Miller and Mike Wallace were open a number of times and Batch simply didn’t get the job done. There’s a reason that Batch wasn’t going to be on the roster this year if not for Leftwich, Dixon and Big Ben being unable to play. Today we saw that reason – his arm strength sucks at this point. What was troubling and surprising is how confused he looked, even though he had open receivers to throw to. Another area where Batch really failed was in gameclock management. Too many plays were run with no time left on the gameclock, that give the Ravens defense a definite advantage in those situations. Arians could also be partially blamed for this if he was getting the calls in late, which he has in the past.

– Rashard Mendenhall (25 carries for 79 yards, 2 TD’s) had a solid game overall. He had a few nice runs of over 5 yards but at times throughout the game looked tentative and afraid of contact, not really pushing for the extra yards. Isaac Redman had a nice game with some solid pass protection and even a catch out of the backfield.

– On the Steelers 1st TD drive of the game, Antwaan Randel El had probably the best catch of his career, with a terrific snag down the sideline on 3rd down that would be spotted at the 2 yard line, setting up the easy 6. He also made a nice grab on the Steelers other TD drive on 3rd down as well. Overall, his best game so far as a reunited Steeler. Mike Wallace had a fairly quiet game with only 2 grabs but did have a nice catch and run in the 1st half. In the 2nd half he had a chance for a TD catch in the endzone but had the ball swiped out of his arms by a Raven CB. Maybe a play he should’ve made but the Steelers ended up scoring on the drive anyway. Ward was quiet as well with just 2 catches. Miller had two nice grabs downfield but was arguably underused in a game where he should’ve probably been used more in the passing game.

– The O-line was fairly solid once again, until the end that is. Flozel Adams had his usual false start penalty and trouble sustaining blocks for longer than 1 second. New RG Legursky was solid but was blown up on a couple runs. Rookie Pouncey had an up and down game. He was called for a holding penalty in the 1st half (and it was holding) but then recovered a fumble by Batch that would’ve set the Ravens up at the Steelers GL for an easy TD. The play was called back on penalties but a great hustle play, nonetheless. At times Pouncey clearly had his hands full with a tough D-line but overall held his own and it’s a great learning experience for the kid. With the Steelers leading 14-10 and backed up at their own GL and needing to run the clock and at the very least give Sepulveda room to punt it, the Steelers O-line were called for two false start penalties. Inexcusable. The end result was Sepulveda punting out of the back of his own endzone.

– The defense as a whole had a simply bad game and allowed points at the worst times possible. Throughout the game this unit simply looked unprepared, lethargic and uninterested. I knew the Steelers might be in for a long day when the defense allowed a struggling Ravens offense two long drives to start the game. Sloppy tackling? Yes. Bad pass coverage? Yes. The Steelers D-line had, by far, their worst game of the year. Looking more interested in playing patty cake with the Ravens O-line than in actually containing the Ravens run game or getting any pressure on Flacco, these guys did virtually nothing all day.

– The LB corps had a OK game void of any real “impact” plays, outside of Harrison hitting Flacco and causing a fumble (recovered by the Ravens). Harrison continues to be the most consistent LB on the team, with a motor that just doesn’t quit. He didn’t have a great game today, though, but still did his job. Lawrence Timmons once again lead the team in tackles with 6 and 7 assists. His tackling has improved immensely. James “old man” Farrior is starting to show his age once again. He looked good and “spritely” in the first couple games this year but against the Ravens Farrior was consistently chasing players, missing tackles and overall had a subpar outing. Lamaar Woodley had another game where he simply didn’t do much at all. That’s starting to become a little bit of a concern. It seemed like he never got close to Flacco and it’s not like he was going up against an all-pro RT in Marshal Yanda. He didn’t contribute much in pass coverage either.

– In the secondary, Lebeau’s 10 yard CB cushion schemes were consistently taken advantage of by the Ravens offense with 5-10 yard out patterns that resulted in completions throughout the game. It was pretty much an automatic completion, that is inexcusable. Ike Taylor had an overall good game, with a nice WR jam and pass defense at the end of the game when the Ravens were trying to take the lead at the Steelers GL. He did have a really stupid illegal hands penalty on Todd Heap in the 1st half. Hey, Taylor, the guy is a TE! McFadden got severely burnt on the Ravens game-winning TD pass in the waning seconds of the game. In his defense he had no safety help, not that Ryan Clark could be really considered “help” in pass defense. Troy was strangely absent throughout the game and didn’t do much outside of  4 tackles, which is always nice. Speaking of Clark, he was burnt real bad on a deep jump ball in the 1st half where he let “old man” Derrick Mason come down with the ball. Real nice pass defense there, Clark. The next play he nailed Todd Heap and lodged the ball loose. Overall, Clark had another game where he didn’t add much at all in pass defense but did contribute on a few nice hits. Nickel back Willie Gay had a real nice play on 3rd and goal in the 4th quarter where he broke up a pass intended for, you guessed it, Derrick Mason, who seemed to have about 100 catches in this game.

– The special teams were shitty again. No shocker there. Sepulveda had a nice day punting and there’s where the accolades end for the ST’s. Punt coverage was bad (allowed a 21 yard punt return). Jeff Reed missed two FG’s. No excuse for that. The kickoff coverage was decent. Keyaron Fox was called with a big holding call on the Steelers last punt, which gave the ball to the Ravens on the Steelers 40. For some reason, Randel El continues to field punt returns, why? Who the hell knows.

– OK, the coaching. Where to start? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, the coaching is potentially the biggest problem on this team. Mike Tomlin had another game where he was pumping his fist after certain plays, trying to look cool on the sidelines, the usual stuff. Hey, guess what, Tomlin? Your team looks completely unprepared out there! Your team looks like it wants to hit the bye week early! Your team just had 11 penalties called on them today! Your defense just allowed another TD in the waning minutes and seconds of a game and gave the win to the other team! I’ll give credit where credit is due, like in past weeks on here with Coach T. Today, Tomlin did a horrible job in getting his team mentally prepared for this game. Too many penalties, too much standing around, hardly any intensity from the defense. Lebeau called a very vanilla, at times almost a prevent style defense throughout most of this game. Too many 3 man rushes, too many 10 yard cushions by the secondary. Just a really bad game by the legend. Arians had an OK game called in the 1st half, not great but decent enough. In the 2nd half, it was apparent Arians didn’t know what to do and went back to his usual grab-bag affair with the playcalling. It’s almost as if Arians panicked and just started firing off random plays. Another totally baffling thing with the playcalling was when the Steelers did throw it, most WR’s were running way downfield, why? Batch doesn’t have a strong arm, just go for the first down. To start the 2nd half the Steelers get great field position in Raven territory off a turnover by the defense. First play? A completely retarded end around, almost the same exact call from the Titans/Bucs game with the same result, no gain! On the Steelers last TD drive, Batch continually faced 3rd and longs thanks to the run plays that Arians kept calling. With the way Batch had been playing and with those playcalls it was simply amazing the Steelers scored a TD on that drive. I guess it wasn’t meant to last, though.

– While it could be argued that the Steelers didn’t deserve to win this game, the team still supremely choked in the end. It almost takes a monumental effort to choke as bad as the Steelers did in this game. Consider this – The Steelers lead 14-10, there’s less than 3 minutes left in the game. The Steelers have the ball. The Ravens only have 1 TO left. The Ravens need a TD to win. How does a team end up losing in that situation? A team that is unprepared, that is coached poorly and that is playing poorly that’s how. The coaches and players obviously need to step it up after the bye because the effort we saw out on the field today is inexcusable.

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