Steelers vs. Ravens: Winners and Losers in Pittsburgh's 13-10 loss in Week 11

Joe Sargent

If your name is Mike and you play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, odds are good you did not have a good game in Week 11.

Steelers vs Ravens 2012: Defense Allows no Touchdowns, but Pittsburgh Falls to 6-4 with 13-10 Loss (via SBNSteelers)

Winners

Ike Taylor - In what could have been his best all-around performance this season, Taylor completely eliminated the Ravens' best big-play option, Torrey Smith, keeping him to one catch for seven yards on the game. He broke up a deep post throw on target from Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, and nearly made what would have been the best interception of his career. He also provided outstanding open field tackling for a defense that allowed 47 rushing yards all game.

Lawrence Timmons - Echoing the credit given to Taylor in run support, Timmons was explosive and decisive, leading that dominating run defense to the least amount of yards it has allowed all season. Baltimore's tight ends caught three passes for 13 yards.

Casey Hampton - He destroyed Ravens C Matt Birk for most of this game, and helped open up the inside for an all-around outstanding game from Pittsburgh's linebackers.

James Harrison - Why Baltimore continued to insist on blocking him with a tight end was a puzzling aspect of this game, but Harrison looked closer to the powerful, explosive player he used to be. In fact, it looked as if the Ravens' tight ends were being used more by Harrison as weapons he could hurl at the Ravens runners.

Keenan Lewis - Easily the most improved Steelers' starter from Week 1, Lewis turned in another outstanding performance, battling with Anquan Boldin - a very difficult assignment - for most of this game. He led the team with 10 total tackles, and had two passes defensed. He's tied for the league lead with 18 of them now.

Jonathan Dwyer - While it's highly likely running backs coach Kirby Wilson got in his ear at halftime after an extremely poor run on 3rd-and-1 cost the Steelers a first down in the second quarter (a run that had him in the Losers category at halftime), Dwyer ran with much more purpose in the second half, saw seams in a run defense Pittsburgh's offense failed to exploit. This was not the Ravens defense of old. Dwyer was one of the few who played like it.

Losers

Mike Wallace - His inability to secure QB Byron Leftwich's quick slant pass - that gave the Steelers a first down on third-and-10 - resulted in a huge momentum-changing fumble. It was simply inexcusable. In a game often decided by one turnover, he made one of the two.

Byron Leftwich - Any commentary regarding how confident the team was in Leftwich was both accurate and absurd. Clearly, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was confident in Leftwich - it's the only explanation behind why the Steelers actively chose to throw 38 times against one of the league's worst run defenses. Failure to establish the run early forced Leftwich into winning or losing the game on the strength of his right arm. That right arm now appears injured, which is an excellent metaphor for his careless and sloppy performance.

Mike Adams - Not only did he allow enough pressure coming off the offensive right side to make onlookers feel as if he was going against fully healthy Terrell Suggs, he was beaten constantly by the same move, and appeared confused by straight-up pass rushing. The Steelers/Ravens game was clearly too big for the rookie, and Pittsburgh gets to face this same team on the road in two weeks.

Rashard Mendenhall - He ran for three yards a carry against the worst Ravens defense he's ever seen in his career, including a poor decision to cut back inside when the Steelers had no timeouts on their final drive with under a minute to play. It was just one of several circus-like plays on that last drive.


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