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Ravens Beat Themselves in 28-24 Loss

J.K. Dobbins runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers
Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens
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The Ravens lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers and blew an opportunity to take the lead in the AFC North. They now sit 2 full games behind Pittsburgh with an opportunity to get redemption on Thanksgiving Night. The Ravens outgained the Steelers 457 yards to 221 but turnovers and penalties proved to be too costly. It’s the first time in NFL history that a team has out-rushed an opponent by 200+ yards and threw for more yards in the same game, yet lost. John Harbaugh & Co. will now have to collect themselves and go on the road to take on the (5-2) Colts as early 4 point favorites.

THE GOOD

The Steelers entered the game as the NFL’s top ranked defense, second against the run giving up a stingy 68.8 yards per game. The Ravens had 3 rushers that had 65 yards or more. The Ravens finished with 265 yards rushing…Willie Snead made some clutch grabs in key situations, totaling 106 yards on 5 catches…Devin Duvernay had a great catch for the games biggest play from scrimmage, 39 yards…Despite a wretched performance, give Lamar Jackson credit for his resilience and unwavering desire to win. On a day when he had little, his resolve both mentally and physically was impressive…The Ravens offensive line did a nice job run blocking and they adjusted fairly well after injuries to Tyre Phillips and Ronnie Stanley. Bradley Bozeman had a very good game. The Ravens tight ends were productive blockers.

The Ravens defense held the league’s 11th ranked rushing attack to a paltry 48 yards. Pernell McPhee and Jaylon Ferguson were stout containing the edge. Ferguson also had a sack. Despite a ticky-tacky DPI, Marcus Peters had a plus day in coverage and forced a turnover when he stripped Chase Claypool. DeShon Elliott tackled with authority and contributed a half-sack…Jimmy Smith manned the boundary and made an excellent play diagnosing a screen, dropping Claypool for a loss…Patrick Queen made a big league play, stopping James Conner for a loss to force a punt and set up the Ravens final possession. The Ravens secondary was chipped in with a workmanlike effort containing a dangerous Steelers’ receiving corps.

THE BAD

Before his injury, Phillips looked clueless at right guard and there’s little doubt that had he not been injured, he would have ended up in the “ugly” grouping. I just don’t know what the Ravens see in Phillips at this point in his career. He’s an absolute liability. Is Ben Powers really that bad?…John Harbaugh challenging the catch by Marquise Brown in the end zone was a tactical move tainted by emotional and it cost the Ravens a timeout which could have proven to be invaluable during the games waning moments…Greg Roman’s passing offense is from the dark ages. Once they established the run game in a big way, it is mind boggling that they didn’t take shots downfield until they had no choice, particularly the way the officials were calling DPI so tight. The Ravens aerial scheme does little to spread the field and give Lamar some easy targets. The route concepts do little to help the receivers gan separation. One only needs to look at the Steelers to see how they run stacks, rubs and picks in order to give their quarterback options in the face of pressure.

THE UGLY

Overall, Lamar Jackson was flat out awful. Granted, his offensive line is a sieve in pass protection, particularly during obvious passing situations. But his two interceptions really had nothing to do with pressure. They were just bad decisions and bad throws. He’s fortunate that he didn’t have a third pick deep in Ravens territory by Joe Haden. Lamar also fumbled three times, losing two. He did little to dispel his critics. Actually, quite the contrary…

Joe D’Alessandris’ unit adjusted well after the injuries but in pass pro, Matt Skura and Pat Mekari looked like blocking sleds from Goodwill…The loss of Ronnie Stanley is huge. He’ll be missed in a big way and his injury is made worse by the Ravens lack of depth at the position. Orlando Brown, Jr. and D.J. Fluker are all they’ve got…The fact that the Ravens were even in the game given the turnover differential (-3) and penalty yards (110 yards v. 30 yards) is a bit of a moral victory…In an important game like this one, you need your best players on the field. Matt Judon let his temper get the best of him and was ejected for striking an official. He should give back one of those 7 digit game checks.

THE MO GABA

J.K. Dobbins was outstanding against a physical defense. He added several yards after initial contact, showed outstanding balance and finished the game with 113 yards on 15 carries. He just gives that look of being able to break one at any time and today he may have served notice that he needs to be elevated on the depth chart. Mark Ingram may have just been Wally Pipp-ed.

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