|Jacoby Jones' punt return for a touchdown was the difference in the Ravens' 13-10 win over the Steelers on Sunday. (US Presswire)|
The Ravens-Steelers' rivalry typically has a flare for the dramatic and Sunday night's game was no exception.
Baltimore edged its most-hated foe 13-10 on the road, building a two-game lead on Pittsburgh in the AFC North race in the process. It wasn't pretty, but not many Ravens-Steelers games have been over the years.
Though the offense has the most firepower its ever possessed, it still struggles on the road. Against Pittsburgh, the NFL's No. 1 ranked defense, it hiccuped once again.
But that's not to take anything away from what the Steelers were able to do defensively. It stifled Ray Rice at the line of scrimmage and forced Joe Flacco into throws he didn't want to make. Flacco and the offense played conservatively for the most part, which worked out in their favor. They didn't commit any turnovers and played mistake-free football for the most part.
There wasn't much room for Rice to run the ball as he finished Sunday's game with 20 carries for 40 yards. He did become a factor in the passing game, though, catching five passes for 53 yards. Anquan Boldin was Flacco's go-to target, however, as he caught eight passes for 79 yards. The offense failed to score a touchdown, though it didn't turn the ball over or make any costly miscues. Previous game's grade: A-
The Ravens gave an inspired effort, especially after giving up a 31-yard rushing touchdown to Steelers QB Byron Leftwich on the opening drive. Baltimore held the Pittsburgh offense to 311 total yards, despite the Steelers possessing the ball for over four minutes longer. LB Dannell Ellerbe was all over the field, totaling 12 tackles. The Baltimore pass rush swarmed Leftwich regularly, forcing him into some quick throws. OLB Paul Kruger recorded a sack, as he had his way with Steelers RT Mike Adams the entire game. After looking like one of the league's worst defenses through weeks five through seven, the Ravens are beginning to figure out their strengths and how they can succeed. Previous game's grade: B+
Special teams: A-
Enough can't be said about WR Jacoby Jones and what he's meant to this Ravens team in the return game. In the first quarter, Jones returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown, giving him three total special teams returns for scores this year. His return against the Steelers turned out to be the deciding factor as Baltimore's offense couldn't find the end zone, relying on two field goals from rookie K Justin Tucker (though Tucker missed a 41-yarder at what's one of the tougher stadiums to kick in.) P Sam Koch had another outstanding day, averaging 46.5 yards on eight punts with a long of 54. Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders averaged four yards on three punt returns. Previous game's grade: A
It's clear the coaches are now implementing a different game plan for when Baltimore is at home and when it's on the road. At home, the entire playbook is open. On the road, the Ravens play it closer to the vest -- because they must. This team hasn't proven it can be the dominant team it is at home when it travels away from M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore stuck to a conservative game plan offensively and relied on special teams and defense to win the game. DC Dean Pees continued to impress with implementing different packages, moving players around to take advantage of their strengths. Previous game's grade: A-
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter @CBSRavens and @JasonButtCBS.