Jacoby Jones ran back a punt return 64 yards for the Baltimore Ravens’ only touchdown as they stole a key 13-10 road victory from their archrival Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 18 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa.
It was the third straight win for the Ravens (8-2), who extended their lead over the AFC North division. It was also the Ravens’ third straight win over the Steelers (6-4) in Heinz Field.
The Ravens defense is currently ranked 28th in the league, an alarming fact considering Baltimore has been a top-10 unit throughout most of its 17-year existence. But the defense came alive for their worst enemies, holding the Steelers to a mere 10 points and only one touchdown, scored early in the first quarter.
Steelers backup quarterback Byron Leftwhich, a Washington D.C. native who attended H.D. Woodson, ran for a 31-yard touchdown on Pittsburgh’s opening drive. But Leftwhich wouldn’t find the end zone again, as he was banged up by the Ravens defense for the remainder of the game. He completed 18 of 39 passes for 201 yards and an interception.
Most Outstanding Player of the Game:
If it wasn’t for veteran receiver Jacoby Jones’ 64-yard punt return touchdown, the Ravens probably would not have won the game. With Baltimore’s offense struggling against the Steelers’ top-ranked defense, Jones’ return came right on time, giving Baltimore a 10-7 lead in the second quarter. With another three points tacked on from a 39-yard field goal by rookie kicker Justin Tucker, the Ravens were able to hold off Pittsburgh for the tough win.
Unsung Hero of the Game:
Baltimore’s defense has given up a ton of big plays this season, but that wasn’t the case against the Steelers, thanks to veteran cornerback Corey Graham. The crafty defensive back made a huge impact starting in place of the injured Jimmy Smith. Graham intercepted Leftwhich in the first half, stopping Pitt while they were in scoring position. He also made a huge hit on Steelers tight end Heath Miller, forcing the usually sure-handed tight end to drop a catch that would have placed Pittsburgh in range of a game-tying field goal with only seconds left in the game. Graham also registered four solo tackles.
More Game Notes:
Both Ravens offensive stars, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, were held in check by the Steelers’ defense. Flacco completed just 20 of 32 passes for 164 yards, while Rice ran the ball 20 times for a dismal 40 yards. Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin caught eight passes for 79 yards, but speedy, big-play receiver Torrey Smith was held to just one catch for seven yards.
Linebacker Danelle Ellerbe led the Ravens with eight tackles, while Jameel McClain followed with six; the team recorded three sacks.
The Ravens will travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers (4-6l) on Nov. 25.
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