The Steelers beat the Ravens 26-9 in a game where the defense dominated and the offense started to look like last year’s. Le’Veon Bell looked like his old self, rushing for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. This was a huge win on the road against their arch rival. This game may have given the Steelers the AFC North division, as crazy as it sounds after only 4 games. Lets look at the winner(s) and losers:
Heeeeee’s baaack!! Bell finally was like his old self, recording 186 total yards and 2 touchdowns. The Steelers offense hasn’t looked right all year and the general consensus is because Bell was rusty or recovering from surgery in the offseason. If Bell is back to his form where he’s the best running back in the league, that’ll make the rest of the offense return to top form.
The Offensive Line
If part of the blame for the lousy running game before this game was put on Le’Veon Bell, the other part could be on the offensive line. This was supposed to be one of the best lines in football and it has under-performed. The line created some huge holes for the running backs and only gave up 1 sack.
Say hello to the new slot receiver. Eli Rogers was a healthy scratch and JuJu Smith-Schuster looked just fine in the role. He’s getting more and more comfortable and had 3 catches on 4 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown
The Defensive Line
Stephon Tuitt played his first game since getting injured in the first game, so this was the first time Tuitt, Javon Hargrave and Cameron Heyward played together this season. They wreaked havoc on the Ravens.
Lets look at the stats:
Heyward: 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits, forced fumble, fumble recovery
Tuitt: 3 tackles, .5 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 2 QB hits
Hargrave: 1 tackle
If this line can stay healthy, they’re going to have a lot of days like this.
Ryan Shazier was all over the field Sunday. He had 11 tackles, 10 solo tackles, 3 passes defended and 1 interception. He’s another player that, if healthy, can dominate.
Mike Hilton looked great Sunday. He did it all as he recorded 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended and 1 interception. He’s another player that is looking better and better every game.
The Steelers are still committing way too many penalties. They had 8 penalties this game, all on offense or special teams. Many of the penalties killed drives.
Antonio Brown had a very below-average day, with 4 receptions for 34 yards on 9 targets. Ben Roethlisberger this week said he was focusing too much on throwing to Brown, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he spread the ball around. But what lands him on the ‘Loser’ list is his temper tantrum after being wide open on a play and not getting thrown to. That kind of behavior doesn’t help anyone and hopefully he realizes this and acts more professionally.
Ben was 18 of 30 for 216 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 ‘interception’ (which was actually the officials making a horrible call). The numbers were ok, but there are times when Ben looks old and can’t make the throws he used to. It’s hard to argue with the quarterback of a team that’s 3-1, but he’s not as good as he used to be and that’s concerning.
Photo Credits: USA Today
Lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan here.