Before the start of the 2017 regular season, Coty Sensabaugh found himself in a battle with Ross Cockrell to see who would start opposite Artie Burns. Then Joe Haden was signed after being released from the Cleveland Browns, while Cockrell was shipped to the Giants and Sensabaugh found a role as a depth player.
After Haden injured his fibula vs. the Indianapolis Colts, Sensabaugh took over, but it wasn’t long before he found himself in another position battle. This time with rookie Cameron Sutton.
Two weeks ago Sensabaugh was relieved of his duties in the second half vs. the Bengals as Sutton took over. After splitting time in Sunday night’s win over the Ravens, it was Sutton who was on the field when the game was on the line.
At this point, the Steelers’ defense has seen enough of Sensabaugh, and they’ve seen all he can provide for the defense. Sutton, however, hasn’t played poorly and still has tremendous upside potential. In other words, if Joe Haden can’t play vs. the Patriots in Week 15, there’s no doubt in my mind the team should go with the rookie over Sensabaugh, even vs. Tom Brady and company.
Time to check in on the news outside the walls of BTSC:
Just six days before Sunday night's Steelers game, Sean Spence was unemployed.
"On the couch," Spence offered, with a smile.
Cameron Sutton, meanwhile, was earning a paycheck — but not for anything he'd done on the field in an NFL regular-season game. The week before against Green Bay, he was in uniform but never was called on to make his debut.
By the time the game against Baltimore on Sunday was over, though, Spence and Sutton were viewed as something of indispensable parts.
When crunch-time came down the stretch of the tight game with the Ravens, the coaching staff eschewed a playing-time rotation at left inside linebacker and left cornerback and stuck with Spence and Sutton.
NFL Network has selected the Steelers' 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens as one of its Week-14 games of the week. The game will be broadcast in its entirety at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
The game, in which the Steelers overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit and won on Chris Boswell's field goal with 42 seconds remaining, had an 11.3 rating and 19 share in metered-market statistics, according to figures released by NBC.
There is no tradition in which players hold up four fingers on the sideline, like the University of Miami popularized.
There is no “Sweet Caroline” sing-along, either.
But for whatever reason, the Steelers seemingly are doing their best work in the fourth quarter, at least over the past five weeks.
“We just know that you can never take the gas pedal off when you are playing this team,” Ravens safety Eric Weddle said after the Steelers overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit for a 39-38 win Sunday night.
It was just the latest in a run of strong fourth quarters for the Steelers, who have outscored opponents 70-14 after the end of the third quarter over their past five games.
In three of those games, the Steelers were trailing by double digits during the fourth quarter and never held a lead until less than a minute was remaining (two were “walk-off” victories).
In a fourth game during that stretch (against Green Bay), the Steelers got a touchdown in the final minute of the third quarter to go along with a 10-7 advantage in the fourth.
The Ravens are still a playoff team at the moment, and they racked up a season-high 413 yards of total offense.
Figured we’d get the good news out of the way first.
The Ravens were stung by the way they lost to the Steelers last night, a 39-38 game which doesn’t keep them out of the playoffs but keeps them from looking like a team that might belong or last long in them. They lost in similar fashion to the Steelers on the road last Christmas, which brought back the memories.
“This one hurt when you lose to them in the same way we did last year,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said, via Jamison Henseley of ESPN.com. “This one sucks. But we have got to get over it.”
The fact their defense collapsed so thoroughly was the thing that alarmed them, allowing the Steelers to come back from a 31-20 fourth-quarter deficit and Ben Roethlisberger throwing for 506 yards went against most of what they like to believe about themselves.
“It’s tough to even put it in words, given the game went like that,” safety Eric Weddle said. “I’m just frustrated to say the least. Disappointed. If you told me the offense would’ve put up 38 points against them, I would say 100 percent we would’ve won.”