Instant analysis of the Ravens' 26-6 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2

September 12, 2014|The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors give their instant analysis of the Ravens' 26-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: It wasn't pretty or exciting, but it was certainly effective. The Ravens' 26-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers is probably a snapshot of how the Ravens should play going forward. Stick with the running game. Limit the tough throws that Joe Flacco has to make down the field. Force turnovers on the defensive end. The Ravens made very little mistakes in their domination of the Steelers, and that's a real credit to John Harbaugh and his coaching staff. Quick turnaround, all the Ray Rice fallout -- the Ravens were ready to play and got a win that they had to get.

Jon Meoli, reporter: I guess I'll eat crow on this one. The Ravens got the better of the Steelers in every facet of the game, and Pittsburgh's passing game was only salvaged by garbage-time yards. The Ravens' pass rush finally got to the quarterback, the commitment to the running game was evident, and the defense held Pittsburgh without the big play that cost them last week's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The red-zone running game is a concern, but overall, this team should be thrilled with the victory.

Aaron Wilson, reporter: After an extremely emotional week that began with the dismissal of running back Ray Rice, the Ravens delivered a strong performance against the  Steelers to avoid falling into a potential 0-2 hole in the AFC North division. The Ravens built a rhythm offensively, with quarterback Joe Flacco improving his accuracy after last Sunday’s spotty outing, and running back Bernard Pierce rebounding from a fumble to rush for 96 yards. Justin Forsett contributed a 41-yard run. Veteran tight end Owen Daniels caught a pair of touchdown passes, and wide receiver Steve Smith created problems for defenders running after the catch. Led by outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil’s two sacks and a late interception by defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, the Ravens’ defense contained quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back Le’Veon Bell. Now that they’ve evened their record at 1-1, the Ravens have nine days to rest up for their third game of the season against the Cleveland Browns.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: Don't kid yourselves. The Ravens breathed a huge sigh of relief after taking full control of Thursday night's game. They couldn't afford to fall to 0-2 in the division, and they needed to show they could keep focus after all of the Ray Rice-related distractions over the past four days. Mission accomplished and then some.

Monique Jones, Ravens editor: The Ravens put together a team effort after a challenging week. The pass rush returned, the offense found a rhythm, and Justin Tucker filled in the gaps with four field goals.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: I don’t think we’ll see Joe Flacco throwing the ball 62 times in a game anymore. After running the ball and showing balance on offense, the Ravens dominated on defense and were solid on special teams. That’s the recipe for winning football. You knew the Steelers were vulnerable after the Cleveland Browns nearly pulled off the upset Sunday.

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