The Pittsburgh Steelers won a dramatic affair against their divisional rival Baltimore Ravens. Not only did the Steelers get back on the winning track they did it in such a fashion to make even the biggest critic a believer once more. The Steelers’ stars stepped up, and the players in minor roles punched above their weight. All in all, it was a great performance by your Steelers. The 17 point fourth quarter will certainly put rose colored lenses over this report card, but winning the game is really what is most important here.
What started off as such a lousy outing for the Steelers offense turned into a pretty good day from the unit. Ben Roethlisberger diced the Ravens secondary up in the second half of the game and the Steelers receivers came to play. Najee Harris took a bit to get going, but once he did it took multiple players to take him down on any given snap.
The two spots that need the most amount of praise goes to Diontae Johnson and the offensive line. With Johnson, he looked like the true No. 1 receiver many have believed him to be all this time. He shook off an early drop which would’ve been a touchdown to go off for well over 100 yards add multiple scores. The biggest of which being his game-winning touchdown where he absolutely torched the Ravens defender. Huge game by Johnson and a coming out party of sorts.
The offensive line had their finest day of the year today. Yes, it took a while for them to get going, but they were busting huge holes for Najee Harris and Benny Snell, and keeping Ben Roethlisberger clean all game long. They did this with missing a plethora of players and getting a massive game out of reserve guard, John Leglue. This was an inspiring day all around and a lot of that starts with the offensive line.
Final Grade: B+
Aside from giving up a 99-yard touchdown drive, the Steelers defense was dominant from wire to wire. The Ravens offense was often helped by well-timed penalties, and fluky plays. We also must talk about T.J. Watt, who went off for a season high 3.5 sacks which tied him with James Harrison for the Steelers all-time lead in a season. Watt’s efforts pushed the Steelers to victory and should be recognized greatly for what he accomplished on the field.
Minkah Fitzpatrick saved the Steelers an opening drive touchdown when he intercepted Lamar Jackson and led the team in tackles once again. And Cam Heyward and Chris Wormley were studs plugging up the center of the field. The Steelers needed to pull out all the stops in order to knock off the AFC conference leaders and they got the effort from each and every member of this defense. What a game from them and what a clutch moment to stuff the Ravens on the two-point conversion attempt.
Final Grade: A-
The Steelers special teams had a few very big moments and a few less than ideal ones. First, Chris Boswell nailed another 53-yard field goal, but missed an extra point and kicked the last kick off out of bounds giving the Ravens a short field as time was winding down. Pressley Harvin III Had a booming 64-yard punt that went out of bounds at the half yard line, but shanked a couple punts of his own.
This unit needs to get more consistent, however they did enough to win the day and still had some magic in their sleeves.
Final Grade: C+
The fact this team knocked off the Baltimore Ravens when they were heavy home underdogs is a statement to the players of the team and how well they are coached. I’m sure most believed the Steelers would not be in the position to win the game late, however they rose above the challenge and won the day.
This is a game the Steelers can build upon and a game that may have saved their season. If the Steelers are able to go on a run and make the playoffs you can point to this game as the moment that turned the 2021 season around and push the Steelers into the promised land. Enjoy this game Steelers fans, it’s always great to knock off the Baltimore Ravens and Steelers did just that in dramatic fashion.
Final Grade: B+
But what do you think? Do you agree with these grades? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.