Ravens Fall to the Steelers, Lose Marlon Humphrey for Season
The Ravens were riding high after a 16-10 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night, and looked to maintain control over the number one seed in the AFC. The Steelers however had other plans. With the Steelers reeling in dire need of a win to keep pace in a competitive AFC North, they did what they needed to do against the Ravens coming away with a 20-19 win in Pittsburgh.
Lamar Jackson showed his frustration after throwing four interceptions against the Browns, and was desperate to start quicker against the Steelers.
As the Ravens received the opening kickoff it looked like Jackson and the Ravens offense had some urgency as they wasted no time in moving the ball into Steelers territory. Jackson moved the Ravens down to the Steelers 10 yard line looking to take an early 7-0 lead. Jackson dropped back to pass and as would be a common theme for the day, was rushed by Steelers edge rusher T.J Watt. Jackson threw a pass off his back foot into the end zone looking for his tight end Mark Andrews. But Jackson’s pass was well short going right into the waiting hands of Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Luckily for the Ravens the turnover would do no harm as the Steelers went three and out on their opening possession.
After a Ravens three and out followed by another Steelers three and out, Steelers punter Pressley Harvin III, downed the ball inside the Ravens own one yard line.
The Ravens now in the shadow of their own goal line, looked to put a drive together that would give them their first points of the day. Jackson moved the Ravens out to their own 25 yard line as the first quarter ended still tied at zero. On the 10th play of the drive Jackson found his running back Devonta Freeman for eight yards, but an unsportmanlike conduct against the Steelers moved the ball into Steelers territory. Seven play later Jackson found Mark Andrews for 29-yards down to the Steelers three yard line.On the next play Freeman would find the end zone to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead after a Justin Tucker successful PAT. The Ravens 16 play 99-yard drive took up a total of 10:27 of game time.
The Steelers struggled early to move the ball, it wouldn’t be until 32 seconds left in the first half would the Steelers get their first points. A Chris Boswell 53-yard field goal would end a low scoring first half, with the Ravens taking a 7-3 lead into halftime.
The Steelers would get the ball to begin the third quarter but were forced to punt after their drive stalled.
The Ravens took over for their opening drive of the second half at their own 42 yard line. A 15-yard catch by Ravens receiver Sammy Watkins on the first play of the drive, quickly moved the Ravens to the Steelers side of the field. On third and long Jackson hit Freeman for an impressive 15-yard catch an run that would keep that drive alive, and move the Ravens offense to the Steelers 29 yard line. The Ravens would move the ball inside the red zone, but the drive would eventually stall at the Steelers 12 yard line. After a false start on Ravens long snapper Nick Moore, Tucker would finally connect on a 35-yard field goal to increase the Ravens lead to seven.
Both teams would trade punts on their next respective drives, as the third quarter would end the Ravens holding onto a slim 10-3 led.
The Steelers took possession of the ball to begin the fourth quarter and on the third play of the drive Roethlisberger would find his receiver Chase Claypool for 40-yards down to the Ravens 29 yard line, the Steelers biggest play of the day. On the very play the Steelers would find the end zone for the first time. A miscommunication between Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett would leave Dionte Johnson wide open on a post route for a Steelers 29-yard touchdown. Chris Boswell would miss the extra point, keeping the Ravens in the lead 10-9.
Jackson and the Ravens offense returned to the field looking to answer right back. On the second play of the drive Jackson would look to take his fist deep shot of the game as he looked for Marquise Brown down the right sideline. Brown was interfered with, a 41-yard pass interference penalty gave the Ravens the ball just inside the Steelers 20 yard line. But again the Ravens would fail to put the ball in the end zone, leading to a 28-yard Tucker field goal extending the Ravens lead 13-9.
The Steelers would answer however on their next possession. Roethlisberger would lead a 10 play 50 yard drive down to the Ravens 25 yard line. An incomplete pass to James Washington on third down would force the Steelers to settle for a Boswell to 43-yard field goal, to once again bring the Steelers within one.
A Ravens three and out would give the Steelers a chance to finally take a late fourth quarter lead. The Steelers came out on their final possession looking to run the ball, as Steelers running backs Harris and Snell, rushed four times on the first seven plays of the drive. On third down from the Ravens 26 yard line the Ravens appeared to seal the victory on a Patrick Queen interception, but a holding penalty on corner back Anthony Averett, negated the turnover giving the Steelers a first down instead. The Steelers took the clock down to the two-minute warning as they Ravens began to use their timeouts in hopes of saving some time for a last second field goal. On third down from the Ravens five yard line Roethlisberger once again found his top target Johnson for the go ahead score. A Roethlisberger pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth on the two-point conversion would give the Steelers their first lead of the game.
With just one timeout remaining and just under two minutes remaining the Ravens looked to put together a game tying drive. Jackson and the Ravens quickly moved down the field, as Jackson found Brown for 22-yards on third and long, followed by a 18-yard completion to Duvernay down to the Steelers 24 yard line. After using their final timeout the Ravens moved to the Steelers six yard line after Jackson found Watkins for a five yard completion. With just 12 seconds remaining Jackson again looked Watkins way in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Now just an extra point away from tying the game and likely sending it to overtime, head coach John Harbaugh elected to keep the offense on the field looking instead to win the game with a successful two-point conversion. Jackson dropped back to pass throwing around an outstretched T.J Watt looking for his most reliable receiver Mark Andrews. Andrews stretched his left hand out as he tried to bring the pass in, but the pass was just too far outside as the ball hit the ground.
With just 12 seconds left down by one, the Ravens pinned their hopes on a successful Justin Tucker onside kick, but the attempt would be corralled by Steelers cornerback Tre Norwood, handing the Ravens their second loss within the division.
The loss will be tough for the Ravens as they fall to the three seed in the AFC behind the Titans and Patriots. However, with the Bengals losing to the Chargers on Sunday, the Ravens were able to maintain the top spot in the AFC North.
But while the loss to a hated rival like the Steelers is tough, even tougher is having to replace yet another key contributor, this time all-pro corner Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey was injured on the Steelers go ahead touchdown as he tackled Johnson into the end zone, and will miss the remainder of the season after an MRI revealed a torn pectoral muscle. Yet another injury the Ravens must overcome as the regular season comes down to the end.
As has been the mantra for the Ravens all season, it will be next man up as the Ravens will look to get back to their winning ways as they visit the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at 1, just two weeks removed from their previous meeting.
Sunday was the 30th meeting all-time between head coaches John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin.
The Ravens had a top of possession of 36:30, 13 minutes longer than the Steelers top of possession.
Marquise Brown led the Ravens with five catches for 55 yards.
Brandon Williams had a season high 11 tackles.
The Steelers T.J Watt and Chris Wormley combined for six of the Steelers seven sacks.