Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 11/19/12
BALTIMORE (13) d PITTSBURGH (10) The Headline: Ravens special teams make the difference The Story: You have to give Byron Leftwich credit, he hurt his throwing shoulder celebrating a touchdown on the game’s opening drive (which no one saw coming since it involved running further than 10 yards). But, wanting to avoid joining the illustrious company of Gus Ferotte he soldiered on and was almost able to pull out a win in this tough, physical game. Throughout the game, he tried throwing but his arm was noticeably weakening as the game went on and his throws struggled to find their targets. Luckily there was not a lot of offense to be found in this AFC North battle as both teams failed to do anything of note really. If you were a rival coach watching this game you couldn’t help but think that there wasn’t much to worry about from either side as they move deeper into the season but on their day they are both still capable of challenging as their other recent performances can show. Key Stat: Turnovers: Pittsburgh 2, Baltimore 0 In a game where every little inch gained counts for a yard, you cannot afford to give your opponent any extra type of advantage and the Steelers did just that with two turnovers while the Ravens avoided making any crucial mistakes. Their first turnover came off a Mike Wallace fumble who was hit hard by Chris Johnson and Ed Reed picked the ball up and took it down to the Ravens 12 yard line, assuring them of at least a field goal off that drive. Leftwich’s interception not only killed off a Steelers scoring chance but it also lead to a Ravens field goal to extend their lead to 13-7 which was all the points they could manage. Key Play: Jacoby Jones 63 yard punt return for a touchdown Most of the games today had been marked by some sort of signature special teams play and this one was no different as Jacoby Jones broke off an electric return in a night of few highlights. With that lone return he produced the Ravens longest play of the night, outgained every individual Steelers running back and the entire Ravens ground game as well as every individual receiver except for Emmanuel Sanders and Anquan Boldin. Man of the Match: Bernard Pollard 5 Tackles (3 solo) Honestly, this is the first time in the 50 odd games I have done this year where I haven’t wanted to give it to any single player but I suppose it has to go to someone so I’ll give it to Pollard for his crushing hit on Jericho Cotchery mostly because it wasn’t a Patriots player he damn near killed this time.
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