Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game 9 vs. Ravens
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GAME BALL GOES TO: QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER
After a slow start in which the offense managed only two field goals in the first half, Roethlisberger brought the Steelers back from a 10-point deficit by passing for 215 of his 330 yards in the second half. On back-to-back touchdown drives, he completed 7 of 11 passes for 124 yards and also had an 8-yard scramble to give the Steelers a 20-16 lead. And the play he made on Mike Wallace's go-ahead TD catch -- rolling to his right and throwing on the run -- is something he does better than just about any other NFL quarterback.
X's AND O's
After rushing four times for 17 yards on the first series of the second half, the Steelers moved to the Ravens 14 with the help of a 21-yard pass to Antonio Brown and a 15-yarder to Mike Wallace. But, on first down, Roethlisberger tried a quick sideline screen to Wallace that DE/LB Terrell Suggs leaped high to intercept -- only Roethlisberger's third interception in the past five games. But it was also Roethlisberger's third interception in the red zone against the Ravens this season. "We had a screen set up," Roethlisberger said. "Suggs made a great play on the pick."THE COUNTDOWN
A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. SECONDARY OR SECOND-RATE? It was bad enough the Steelers secondary had three penalties on three separate drives that resulted in two FGs and a touchdown. But, allowing the Ravens to drive 92 yards on 13 plays to score the winning touchdown -- all on passes from QB Joe Flacco -- was inexcusable. William Gay got beat for the winning 26-yard touchdown to Torrey Smith. Four plays earlier, Smith beat CB Ike Taylor and dropped the ball in the end zone.
2. SOME RETURN: After missing four games with a fractured orbital socket, Pro Bowl OLB James Harrison returned in a big way -- registering three sacks, six quarterback hurries and forcing a fumble that resulted in a go-ahead touchdown to Mike Wallace with 4:59 remaining.
3. WHAT A CATCH: On third-and-17 at the Steelers' 23, Antonio Brown made a great shoe-top catch between two defenders for a 21-yard gain, keeping alive an 11-play drive that ended with Rashard Mendenhall's 1-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 16-13.
4. NO-FEAR FLACCO: The Ravens picked on CB William Gay all the way down the field on their winning TD drive, but they weren't afraid to go at Ike Taylor, either. The biggest play came when Anquan Boldin converted a third-and-8 with an 11-yard catch on Taylor to the Steelers 26.
5. BEN'S SCRAMBLE: On third-and-5 at the Ravens 9, Roethlisberger scrambled up the middle for what appeared to be a 9-yard touchdown, only to have replay overturn the score and mark the ball at the 1. Mendenhall scored one play later to cut the Ravens' lead to three.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
4 That's the number of takeaways the Steelers have this season -- fewest in the NFL -- but that's also the number of touchdowns they've scored off takeaways this season.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
The Steelers committed a costly delay-of-game penalty from the Ravens 29 with 2:34 remaining, a gaffe that might have prevented the Ravens from winning the game in the final eight seconds. Shaun Suisham had come on to attempt a 47-yard field goal, but the penalty pushed Suisham out of his range and forced the Steelers to punt. "I accept responsibility for that," coach Mike Tomlin said. "... I was concerned about that distance and we had some change of personnel with a new holder. ... I sent them out late and ended up with a delay."
"That's a tough defeat for us. But tip our caps to Baltimore. They finished better than we did. We didn't make enough plays to win the game. I feel like we have a good football team. We will have more opportunities to show it. But that doesn't lessen the fact that we weren't able to get the job done tonight."
-- Mike Tomlin, Steelers coach
@ CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 P.M. The Bengals have won six in a row after a 24-17 victory in Tennessee. The Steelers have won nine of the past 10 meetings in Cincinnati, including postseason.
First Published November 7, 2011 1:47 am