Leftwich, Steelers sputter in 13-10 loss to Ravens

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 19, 2012
Byron Leftwich hasn't won a game as an NFL starting quarterback in 2,234 days. After getting pounded relentlessly in the second half of a 13-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback will have to wait at least seven more. With starter Ben Roethlisberger not available because of shoulder and rib injuries, Pittsburgh's offense under Leftwich wasn't consistent enough in moving the ball and lost two turnovers that resulted in the only points the Baltimore offense would produce. ''We couldn't get into a rhythm,'' Leftwich said. Leftwich completed 18 of 39 passes for 201 yards and ran for a score but also threw an interception and was sacked three times. ''The difference is obviously that we didn't find a significant play, particularly in the waning moments ... to put points on the board and allow us to get out of the stadium with the win,'' Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. Not surprising. When the Steelers have needed that type of winning play in recent years, usually it comes from Roethlisberger. Jacoby Jones returned a punt for a touchdown and Justin Tucker kicked two field goals for the Ravens (8-2), who moved two games in front of the Steelers (6-4) in the AFC North by winning another slugfest between two of the NFL's biggest rivals. ''We knew it was going to be a defensive game coming in. It always is,'' Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote said. ''But in these types of games, we need turnovers. Their defense got two and we didn't get any.'' Citing the type of low-scoring games the Steelers and Ravens traditionally play, Tomlin termed Leftwich's performance as ''great'' before allowing, ''Obviously, not enough plays by him or by any of the rest of us to secure victory.'' Baltimore's Joe Flacco wasn't much better, completing 20 of 32 passes for 164 yards, but the Ravens didn't need Flacco to dominate to beat the Steelers for the third straight time at Heinz Field. The Steelers fell to 0-5 against the Ravens since 2005 when Roethlisberger doesn't start. The two-time Super Bowl winner is out indefinitely. ''He's the difference-maker,'' Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs said. ''He's a two-time Super Bowl champion, so you definitely want that guy under center. It's bittersweet. Glad to have the win, but we'd rather have those guys (Roethlisberger, receiver Antonio Brown and safety Troy Polamalu) playing. It just does good for the rivalry, for football, to have both teams have key components.'' The 32-year-old Leftwich took a series of shots, none more painful than a blindside sack by James Ihedigbo that forced Pittsburgh doctors to check him out for a rib injury. ''We just couldn't get our rhythm,'' Leftwich said. ''There were a lot of third and sevens, a lot of third and longs. We could just never put two, three, four, five, six plays together. We would make a big play and then we were right back at third and nine, third and eight. It's too hard to play a team of this caliber like that.'' Baltimore's offense struggled against the NFL's No. 1 ranked defense. Ray Rice finished with just 40 yards on 20 carries but it didn't matter. The Ravens ran out most of the final 4:33 behind Rice and a pair of Pittsburgh penalties. The Steelers could do little to stop the clock after Leftwich burned two timeouts in the span of two plays during a late third quarter drive. That drive ended with a 22-yard Shaun Suisham field goal that drew the Steelers within 13-10. They would get no closer. The Ravens aren't quite the snarling, intimidating force they have been in years past. The defense came in ranked 27th in the league in yards allowed and is missing spiritual leader Ray Lewis, who is on the injured reserve-return list with a triceps injury. Lewis was reduced to watching, just as Roethlisberger was. Clad in a gray sweatsuit, his right arm in a sling to protect his busted right shoulder, Roethlisberger spent the night as the highest paid assistant coach on the field. For a fleeting moment, it worked. Leftwich went deep on the game's first snap trying to hit Mike Wallace, drawing a pass interference penalty on Baltimore's Cary Williams. Two plays later Leftwich - who joked all week about his lack of speed - bought time in the pocket, rolled to his right and made for the sideline. Rather than slide or duck out of bounds, the 250-pound Leftwich got a block and raced - in a manner of speaking - 31 yards for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead. Roethlisberger lifted his good arm in the air in celebration after the longest run of Leftwich's career, and the play seemed to give Pittsburgh a sense of confidence. It didn't last. At least, not on offense. The Steelers' second possession ended with a Wallace fumble that Ed Reed returned to the Pittsburgh 14. Baltimore managed only a field goal, but it seemed to bring the Steelers back to earth. If that didn't, Jones did. The explosive return man drifted under a Drew Butler punt late in the first half, sprinted up the field, cut to the right and zipped untouched to the end zone for his third return touchdown of the season to give Baltimore a 10-7 lead. Baltimore moved in front 13-7 in the third quarter on Tucker's second field goal, more than enough to lift the Ravens to their 12th straight AFC North victory. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker