The 2-4 Pittsburgh Steelers had their backs against the wall on Sunday and played exactly that way. In the end, it was not the prettiest game, but the Steelers held on to pull out a 19-16 victory over their AFC North rivals, the Baltimore Ravens; dropping the Ravens to 3-4 in the process.Shaun Suisham 42-yard field goal as time expired. While this game may have been closer than fans would have liked, it is typical in this rivalry. In fact, one look at the statistics will show exactly how close these two teams are, with one yard separating their game totals (287-286).
For the Steelers, it was a re-emergence of a physical defense and a running game that got them rolling. The offense was balanced, with running back Le’Veon Bell recording his best statistical performance as a professional with 19 carries for 93 yards, more importantly he sparked a running game that finally broke their 11 game streak of futility in the running game. In all, they rushed for 141 yards on 29 carries.
Of course, all was not perfect with the offense, as they again relied on the right leg of Suisham for the majority of their points. Yes, he is perfect on the season, but the team must start picking up some touchdowns when given a chance. In all, Suisham connected on four field goals, including the game winner, in this solid outing.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was also solid, completing 17-of-23 passes for 160 yards and 1 touchdown. That early touchdown to tight end Heath Miller staked the Steelers to an early 7-0 lead. From there, the offense played with a ball-control mentality and controlled much of the clock and action throughout.
Defensively, the Steelers put on a workman-like display, and held the Ravens out of the End Zone until late in the game when Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco connected with Dallas Clark late in the fourth quarter; a score that tied the game at 16 until the final seconds. In all, Flacco went 24-of-34 for 215 and the 1 touchdown.
The Ravens also struggled to run the ball, something that made them almost one-dimensional at times. The Steelers held them to 82 yards on 26 carries, with Ray Rice leading the way 15-45.
The Steelers did lose offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert early in the contest, an injury that forced veteran offensive tackle Guy Whimper into the line-up. Gilbert, who had been battling a quad injury throughout the week, did not return to the game and his status for next weeks match-up against the Oakland Raiders is unknown.
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