Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Steelers vs. Ravens, Thanksgiving edition
November 29, 2013 1:52 AM
Ben Roethlisberger talks to Haloti Ngata after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Steelers, 22-20, in Baltimore on Thanksgiving Day.
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
GAME BALL goes to: RB Le'Veon Bell
The rookie running back totaled 136 yards offense and scored a touchdown, helping bring the Steelers back from deficits of 13-0 and 16-7. Bell finished with 73 yards rushing on 16 carries, thanks to the longest run of the season -- a 43-yarder that set up the first touchdown. He also had seven catches for 63 yards, including a 29-yard catch-and-run to the Ravens 20 on second-and-24 on the final scoring drive. He appeared to score a second touchdown on a 1-yard run, but he lost his helmet after a hard hit before crossing the goal line, blowing the play dead.
THE COUNTDOWN -- A quick look at the top performances from the game Thursday against the Ravens:
1. BIG COMEBACK: After the Steelers scored touchdowns on their final two possessions to cut the lead to 22-20 with 1:03 remaining, Roethlisberger's 2-point conversion pass to Emmanuel Sanders -- a back-shoulder throw against cornerback Chykie Brown -- went through Sanders' hands. The play was out of the same formation as the 1-yard TD throw to Jerricho Cotchery that made it 22-20. "I couldn't see the ball till the very end," Sanders said. "But that's no excuse. I got to make that catch. When it touches my hands I have to make those plays."
2. THIRD TIME A CHARM: After replay overturned two touchdowns just three plays apart, Roethlisberger threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery to complete a 13-play, 79-yard drive that cut the score to 22-20.
3. TIMING THROW: Facing third-and-10 at the Ravens 27, Roethlisberger rolled right and threw a timing pass to Antonio Brown for a 19-yard gain. Two plays later, Bell scored untouched on a 1-yard run to make it 19-14.
4. QUICK START: Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith caught three passes on the opening drive, the biggest a 54-yard gain to the Steelers 1 on the fifth play of the game, setting up Baltimore's first touchdown for a 7-0 lead.
5. COSTLY PENALTY: Ike Taylor's pass interference penalty on Torrey Smith on third-and-7 gave the Ravens a first down at the Steelers 27, setting up Justin Tucker's 43-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead in the second quarter.
"There's no time to work anything. You have to pick a side. The first time I went to [Cotchery on the 1-yard touchdown], but I figured they would be watching that. So I went to the backside. I have a lot of faith and trust in Emmanuel and he had a new corner who just came into the game. I took a chance and I have to make a better throw to him."
--Ben Roethlisberger, on failed 2-point conversion
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
10 -- That's the number of plays of 50 yards or longer allowed by the Steelers this season. The latest was a 54-yard catch by Torrey Smith to the Steelers 1 that set up the first touchdown -- the seventh completion of 50-plus yards.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
The Steelers had two apparent touchdowns on the final drive overturned by replay -- a 20-yard pass to Heath Miller and a 1-yard run by Le'Veon Bell. Miller's knee was ruled to have touched at the 1 and Bell's helmet was knocked off before he crossed into the end zone, automatically blowing the play dead at that point. The Steelers eventually scored a touchdown that counted when Roethlisberger threw a 1-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery that cut the lead to 22-20 with 1:03 remaining. "We didn't worry about it," guard Ramon Foster said. "We needed a touchdown. If we didn't get it then, we were going to try again and we did."
X's AND O's
After being shutout in the first half for the first time this season and trailing, 19-7, in the fourth quarter, Ben Roethlisberger engineered touchdown drives on the final two possessions to cut the lead to 22-20 with 1:03 remaining. And he did it by completing 12 of 17 passes for 140 yards on those drives, including 7 of 10 for 93 yards on the 13-play touchdown drive. Tight end Heath Miller caught four passes for 44 yards on the drive.
The Steelers (5-7) play the Miami Dolphins (5-6) Dec. 8 at Heinz Field. The Steelers have won the past five meetings and eight of the past 10 against the Dolphins.
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