The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens took part in a big divisional game at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, and the Steelers presented their loyal fan base with their fourth straight win of the regular season. The 23-16 victory might have been the team’s most complete performance to date, and there were some good, and bad, performances worthy of recognition.
During the game, some perform well, while others fall short of the standard. This is where the Winners and Losers column comes in. After the game, when the dust settles, we decipher who falls into which category.
As always, feel free to comment on the list in the comment section below. Be part of the conversation!
Stat Line: 24 carries, 107 yards, 4.5 ypc / 7 rec on 9 targets, 56 yards, 1 TD
What else is there to say about James Conner which hasn’t already been said? The Steelers second year running back has proven he can do it all, and then some. At this point, fans should stop comparing Conner to Le’Veon Bell, and talking about an historic season for No. 30. Just a tremendous game, and a joy to watch play the game.
Stat Line: 28/47, 270 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 Rushing TD
This wasn’t one of those games where everyone is gushing over Roethlisberger’s play, but No. 7 put together a tremendous game when the team needed it most. Did he make some mistakes? Absolutely. His pass to Brown in the waning minutes of the game was behind him, and his scramble which almost turned catastrophic was not the best decision. However, his pre-snap reads and execution on third downs were absolutely worthy of a spot in the Winner column.
Stat Line: 4 tackles, 4 solo, 2 TFL, 1 PD
The Steelers’ defense is better with Hilton on the field, compared to the alternative. Hilton missed the team’s first game with the Ravens due to an elbow injury, but made up for it in Week 9 with his tremendous play, especially in the first half. Hilton is just now getting recognition from the national media, but Steelers fans know how valuable he is to the defense on a weekly basis. He is someone who has to be accounted for every time he steps on the field.
Stat Line: 1 tackle, 1 TFL, .5 sacks, 1 QB Hit
Some will look at Dupree’s stat line and start proclaiming how poor a pick Dupree was by the Steelers. If you watched the game, and Dupree, closely, you saw him making plays. Sometimes, they resulted in penalties, and others just collapsing the pocket on Joe Flacco. This is the second game in a row Dupree has been a force off the edge, and the hope is this continues in Week 10 vs. the Panthers. Yes, he was going against backup tackles, but is he supposed to apologize for that? Nope.
Stat Line: 1/1, 22 yards
What was my reaction to Dobbs coming in and throwing the ball? Shock. What was my reaction after Dobbs hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 22 yard gain and first down? Laughter. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Maybe it was the guts of Randy Fichtner to have Dobbs throw the ball. Maybe it was how the Ravens somehow allowed Dobbs to complete the pass. Either way, this play was much larger than most might assume, even if Roethlisberger returned to the game on the next play.
Stat Line: 5 rec, 42 yards, 1 TD
For many superstars in the NFL, there comes a point when individual accolades and statistics don’t matter anymore. Winning Super Bowls matter. That’s all. I feel Brown is starting to enter this territory. He isn’t putting up gaudy receiving statistics, but his 9 touchdowns through 8 games is certainly a statistic he can be proud of. The Steelers are winning, Brown is hitting the end zone with regularity, and for the time being all is right with the world.
Stat Line: 9 tackles, 9 solo
I’ve said this on our podcasts multiple times, but felt Davis deserves a spot in the Winner column for his complete body of work throughout the season. His 9 tackles led the team, but Davis has been tremendous at Free Safety. He has shown range, great instincts and tremendous tackling. Quite the difference from Mike Mitchell.
3rd Down Offense/Defense
Stat Line: Offense: 10/16, Defense: 4/12
The battle on third down was dominated by the Steelers on both sides of the ball. The offense went from going 2/12 in Week 4, to 10/16 in Week 9. The defense did a tremendous job as well getting off the field. Want to know a statistic which directly relates to wins and losses? Try this one...and the next one.
Stat Line: Offense: 3/4, Defense: 1/4
The Steelers’ offense has been tremendous in the red-zone this season, and the Steelers’ defense is starting to re-gain their bend, don’t break, style of play which holds teams to field goals and not giving up touchdowns. In fact, the only Ravens touchdown came after a very questionable defensive pass interference call set them up on the one-yard line.
Stat Line: Steelers 36:29 / Ravens 23:31
The Steelers sucked the life out of the Ravens, and M&T Bank Stadium, with a clock controlling offense which chewed up massive amounts of time. Want another ridiculous statistic? The Steelers ran 76 offensive plays to the Ravens’ 56. 20 more plays is remarkable in today’s NFL. Great game plan and execution by the Steelers in this huge AFC North game,
Stat Line: 8 penalties, 103 yards
There were a lot of issues with the penalties. Many were completely bogus, but penalties continue to haunt this team in big ways. Think about Stephon Tuitt’s offsides which negated a sack. Alejandro Villanueva being called for a hold on a big completion to JuJu Smith-Schuster and the three defensive pass interference calls were critical moments of the game. Steelers need to clean up their play if they want to not only win the division, but compete for a Super Bowl.