Pittsburgh Steelers

Stadium: Heinz Field | Coach: Mike Tomlin
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense19th86.4 (26th)251.1 (10th)
Defense13th115.6 (18th)221.6 (10th)

Steelers report: Strategy and personnel

The Sports Xchange
 
Strategy and personnel · Inside slant · Notes, quotes
 

PLAYER NOTES

--LB James Harrison played Sunday despite a badly bruised right biceps. He wore a wrap on it and basically played "one-armed" according to coach Mike Tomlin. He had no sacks for the fourth straight game but forced a fumble, his fifth of the season.

--DE Ziggy Hood had his first sack and his first fumble recovery as his rookie season comes to a close without a start.

--QB Ben Roethlisberger produced his third game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime this season, making it 20 for his career in the regular season.

--CB Ike Taylor recovered a fumble, posted the first sack of his career but has yet to come up with an interception on the season.

--LB LaMarr Woodley set a team record by getting at least a partial sack in seven straight games. Greg Lloyd had six in 1994.

REPORT CARD VS. RAVENS

PASSING OFFENSE
C -- Ben Roethlisberger followed his 503-yard effort against the Packers, with a run-of-the-mill performance. He completed just 17 of 33 passes in good weather for 259 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked four times. Rashard Mendenhall dropped what would have been a second TD pass and a few other drops hurt the QB's bottom line.

RUSHING OFFENSE
D-minus -- The Steelers seem to have lost all faith in their ground game, maybe for good reason. As a team, they managed just 48 yards on 23 carries, for a 2.1-yard average. Rashard Mendenhall had 36 yards on 17 carries, but he did score on a 4-yard run, pulling the grade up from an F.

PASS DEFENSE
B -- Joe Flacco completed 13 of 25 passes for just 166 yards and while he had two touchdowns, he was intercepted once and hit to cause a fumble just before he was to throw a pass. The Steelers sacked him four times in one of their better defensive performances in awhile.

RUSH DEFENSE
D -- The No. 1 rush defense suddenly cannot stop the run. Baltimore had 175 yards, including 141 on 30 carries by Ray Rice, the first back in two seasons to gain 100 against them, ending a 36-game streak (32 in the regular season) without one. The Ravens averaged 4.6 yards per rush although none of teir 38 carries reached the end zone. This, after Cleveland gouged the Steelers for 171 two games previously.

SPECIAL TEAMS
B -- A bright spot for a change. Jeff Reed made all three of his field goal tries, including a 38-yarder for the only points in the fourth quarter in a 3-point win. Stephan Logan was put back on punt returns and took one 17 yards back. He also averaged 32.3 yards on four kickoff returns, one for 49 yards, while setting the team record with 1,383 kickoff return yards in 2009. Punter Daniel Sepulveda had a subpar game with 36.5 yards gross and 25.5 net on four punts, including one that went into the end zone. The Ravens did average 29.0 yards on five kickoff returns.

COACHING
C-plus -- There were not coaching gaffes, per se, and no controversial decisions. Steelers' offensive linemen, however, acknowledged they were confused by a shifting Baltimore defensive line they have not seen in the past. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians recognized an early ineffectiveness running against Baltimore and ditched it.

Copyright (C) 2009 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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