For the ninth time in their last 11 meetings, the winner won by only three points. This time, Shaun Suisham remained perfect on the season by kicking a 42-yard fiel goal at the end of regulation. Prior to that kick, both teams had three field goals and impressive touchdowns by their tight ends.
One of the main reasons the Steelers won was because they actually were able to run the ball. Rookie Le'Veon Bell had his best game so far with 93 rushing yards. This is extremely disappointing considering the Steelers had previously struggled mightily to run the ball, coming into the game with the 31st best rushing offense in the league.
A lot of the Steelers rushing success came from some strange looking Wildcat packages. Unlike the Ravens backs, Bell is confident in churning in yards up the middle so that's where most of his damage was done. It worked, as the Ravens defense seemed confused during these direct snaps to Bell.
In terms of Ravens rushing, today was actually a little better. Ray Rice got 45 yards on 15 carries, while Bernard Pierce, Vonta Leach and even Joe Flacco all had just over 10 rushing yards. Still the fact that 82 total rushing yards is seen as an improvement is really an indictment on how bad things have gotten in the running game.
While the defense again only allowed one touchdown, some sloppy mistakes hurt the unit greatly. Elvis Dumervil commited an unnecessary roughness penalty and a face mask penalty on the same play. This contributed to a third quarter drive that resulted in a Steelers field goal and a 13-6 lead.
The last drive saw both Corey Graham and Jimmy Smith mess up on tackles as the Steelers successfully got into field goal range. There was also a kick return touchdown that drive where Emmanual Sanders slipped past the entire return unit. Thankfully, they caught a break when Sanders just narrowly put his right foot out of bounds.
Of course this loss hurts, there's no denying that. For the first time in the Harbaugh era, the Ravens are under .500 with seven games or more completed. They are now two games behind the Bengals with the Browns and Steelers essentially right next to them.
It's now bye week time for the Ravens who now have two divisional opponents on tap. On November 3, they face the Browns in Cleveland and the following week, the Bengals at home. These games really have the look of must-wins if the Ravens have any serious hope at winning a division title.