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Battered Pittsburgh Steelers Fall to the Baltimore Ravens in AFC North Action

November 19th, 2012 at 10:33 PM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens were caught up in a typical match-up. In the end, this physical and hard-fought game was separated by one special teams play, with the Ravens taking the first battle of the season 13-10.

'56' photo (c) 2005, SteelCityHobbies - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
The Steelers wasted little time after taking the opening kickoff to take an early lead. After a huge 42-yard penalty on their first play set them up in Ravens territory, it took only two more plays to hit pay dirt. Byron Leftwich, making his first start since 2009, scampered 31-yards for a touchdown to put them up 7-0 less than a minute into the game.

The Ravens got on the board, after a Mike Wallace fumble set them up in the Steelers Red Zone. Although their offense managed very little, the field position allowed them to manage a 26-yard Justin Tucker field goal to make the score 7-3.

That deficit did not last long for the Ravens, as after hold the Steelers to one first down, Jacoby Jones returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown to stake them to a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. The Ravens took advantage of another sloppy play the Steelers when back-up cornerback Corey Graham picked off Leftwich to end a drive and set them up with solid field position. In the end, Tucker capped the drive with a 39-yard field goal to stake them to 13-7 lead early in the third quarter.

The Steelers were finally able to mount a drive against the Ravens defense and they did it behind some solid running from Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall. While they did not push the ball into the End Zone, they were able to tack on three points on a Shaun Suisham 22-yard field goal to move score to 13-10.

While neither offense set the world on fire, the Steelers seemed to struggle more with determining what they wanted to do. Leftwich may have the team on the board in the run game, but he is pedestrian as a passer, completing 18-of-39 passes for 201 yards and one interception. More importantly, it is being reported that he fractured some ribs during the game and will likely miss the Sunday match-up against the Cleveland Browns.

Besides Leftwich (Rib), who toughed it out for the entire game, even though he was rather ineffective and lacked zip on his passes, the Steelers lost a few more players to injury. Isaac Redman (Concussion), Ziggy Hood (Back), Baron Batch (Foot) and Jerricho Cotchery (Ribs) all missed action in the game with their status up in the air for Sunday.

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Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Baron Batch, Byron Leftwich, Football, Jacoby Jones, Jerricho Cotchery, Justin Tucker, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Shaun Suisham, Ziggy Hood

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