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Week 16 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 31


What you need to know

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens offense played well against the Steelers but left points on the field. Flacco was efficient and kept the Ravens in favorable down and distances most of the game. Steve Smith looked determined to make plays and delivered with a nice 18 yard touchdown catch. Kenneth Dixon showed impressive effort and power finishing runs and creating yards after contact. Dennis Pitta was very involved and made plays over the middle against the Steelers underneath coverage. Mike Wallace did not see his usual involvement in the passing game against his former team.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers gave a Christmas gift for all their fans as they won the AFC North Division Title with a dramatic 31-27 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. After a slow first half, the Steelers offense exploded with 21 fourth-quarter points. When the Steelers were down by 10 points late in the game, the offense leaned on LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown. Bell had 2 TDs and rushed for an impressive 122 yards against the NFLís number two ranked rush defense. The Steelers offensive line did a remarkable job opening holes for Bell throughout the game. After only 1 reception during the first half, Brown was a focal point of the passing game down the stretch. Brown saved the drama for the Steelers final offensive play. With 13 seconds on the clock and no timeouts, The Steelers had the ball on the Ravens 4-yard line. Brown ran a quick slant and made the reception just shy of the end zone. While Brown was being held up by Ravens Safety Eric Weddle, Brown outstretched the football across the plane of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

Baltimore Ravens

QB Joe Flacco, 75 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 44 - 262 - 1 TD / 1 INT
Joe Flacco played one of his best games of the season against the Steelers. Flacco was efficient and kept the Ravens in favorable down and distances. The offense sustained drives throughout the game but struggled to put the ball in the end zone and left points on the field. Flacco connected with Steve Smith over the middle who picked up 30 yards after the catch and set up a field goal attempt. A holding penalty and an ugly sack taken by Flacco stalled a Ravens drive that was being fueled by the run game. Flacco moved the Ravens deep into Steelers territory and set up another field goal attempt with completions to Dennis Pitta and Breshad Perriman. An interception gave the Ravens great field position and Flacco threw a strike to Smith down the seam for a 18 yard touchdown. Flacco threw a dime to Darren Waller in the corner of the end zone but Waller had the ball knocked out of his hands as he secured the pass forcing another field goal attempt. Flacco methodically moved the Ravens down the field trailing by 4 points with 7 minutes remaining in the game. Flacco connected with Pitta 3 times on the drive and converted a 3rd and 10 with a nice throw to Perriman. Kyle Jusczcyk capped the drive with an impressive 10 yard touchdown run.

RB Terrance West, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 27 - 0, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (3 targets)
West was efficient with his touches and earned some tough yards running inside. West caught a check down and followed a block for a 9 yard gain. West found a nice hole running behind Yanda on 3rd and 1 for a 7 yard gain. West outflanked James Harrison and escaped down the sideline for 16 yards on a pass to the flat from Flacco.

RB Kenneth Dixon, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 57 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (3 targets)
Kenneth Dixon played well and showed great effort picking up yards after contact. Dixon followed excellent blocking through a nice hole then dragged Ross Cockrell for 5 yards before finally being pushed out of bounds after a 17 yard gain. Dixon had two noteworthy mistakes the first was a missed blitz pick up leading to a Laurence Timmons sack. The second was a fumble Dixon managed to recover. Dixon showed great balance and strength running between the tackles and staying on his feet as a scrum formed around him. He was stopped after a 8 yard gain on 3rd and 1. Dixon had a 14 yard gain negated by penalty.

WR Steve Smith, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 79 - 1 (7 targets)
Steve Smith was the only Ravens receiver making plays downfield against the Steelers. Smith played with an attitude the whole game and looked to determined to help his team win. Smith came open running a dig route, made a nice grab, and spun out of two tackles before racing down the sideline for a 44 yard gain. Smith gained 9 running a curl route against zone coverage. Smith picked up 4 yards running a shallow crossing route. Lined up in the slot Smith got a match up with Ryan Shazier running down the seam and hauled in a strike from Flacco for a 18 yard touchdown. Smith converted the 2 point attempt after the touchdown running a nice curl route. Smith gained 4 yards running a curl route.

WR Mike Wallace, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 21 - 0 (7 targets)
Mike Wallace had a rough game against his former team. Wallace beat his man with a nice inside move running a slant route for a 14 yard gain on the Ravens first offensive play. Wallace gained 3 yards running a slant route and was dropped after a 4 yard gain on a shallow crossing route. Wallace did not follow his blockers and was stopped after a 1 yard gain on a screen pass.

TE Dennis Pitta, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 75 - 0 (11 targets)
Dennis Pitta converted some key third downs and just missed on two potential touchdowns. Flacco targeted Pitta down the seam and Pitta almost made a spectacular one handed catch for a 27 yard touchdown. Pitta found the soft spot in the zone defense for a 17 yard gain and a 3rd down conversion. Pitta was targeted downfield on consecutive plays in the red zone but the first pass was thrown behind him and Pitta could not get his feet in-bounds on the second. Pitta picked up 8 more yards running a curl route over the middle. Pitta gained running a quick out route. Pitta gained 5 on a check down from Flacco, Pitta gained 11 finding the hole in the zone coverage and converting another 3rd down. Pitta picked up 9 more yards running another curl route against the Steelers underneath coverage.


Pittsburgh Steelers

QB Ben Roethlisberger, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 33 - 279 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0
After a slow first half, Ben Roethlisberger ended the game with 279 passing yards and 3 TDs. On the Steelers opening drive, Roethlisberger finished a 9-play 87-yard drive with a 20-yard TD pass to TE Xavier Grimble. On the play, Roethlisberger showed great touch as he put the pass in a perfect spot for Grimble. On the first play from scrimmage during the 3rd quarter, Roethlisberger was off target on a pass intended for David Johnson. The pass was high an intercepted by Ravens LB Zachary Orr. Late in the 3rd quarter, Roethlisberger threw his 2nd interception on a pass intended for Jesse James. On the play, Ravens LB C.J. Mosley jumped the route for the interception. Both interceptions were on poor throws from Roethlisberger. With the Steelers down by 10 points in the 4th quarter, Roethlisberger tightened his chin strap and went to work. Roethlisberger led 4th quarter drives of 75, 90, and 75 yards. He leaned on WR Antonio Brown during the 2nd half. Early in the 4th quarter, Roethlisberger threw his 2nd TD pass of the game on a 7-yard screen pass to LeVeon Bell. On the play, Roethlisberger rolled out to the right and settled for the short pass to Bell, who did all the work carrying multiple Ravens defenders into the end zone. Late 4th quarter with the Steelers down 27-24 and 1 minute 18 seconds left on the clock, Roethlisberger delivered in the clutch. He was cool under pressure completing three passes to TE Jesse James. Roethlisberger also mixed in passes to Eli Rogers and DeMarcus Ayers. With 13 seconds on the clock and no timeouts, The Steelers had the ball on the Ravens 4-yard line. Roethlisberger completed a short pass to Brown just shy of the end zone. While Brown was being held up by Ravens Safety Eric Weddle, Brown outstretched the football across the plane of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

RB LeVeon Bell, 57 offensive snaps, Rush: 20 - 122 - 1, Rec: 3 - 15 - 1 (4 targets)
LeVeon Bell had another impressive performance with 137 total yards and 2 TDS. The Steelers offensive line did a remarkable job creating space for Bell to run against a stout defensive front. Bell ran with patience and focus throughout the game. He grinded out yards during the first half but the Steelers were only able to come away with 7 points. Early 4th quarter, Bell ran for a 7-yard TD. On the play, Bell ran a delayed handoff around the left side of the line for the score. He showed excellent vision on the play as he understood how the play was going to break down. The Steelers went right back to Bell on the first play of the next series as he cut back to the right sideline for a 23-yard gain. Two plays later, Bell ran up the middle for a 13-yard gain. He capped off the drive with a 7-yard TD reception. On the play, Bell caught a screen pass and refused to be tackled as he carried multiple Ravens defenders over the goal line.

WR Antonio Brown, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 96 - 1 (11 targets)
It was a tale of two halves for Antonio Brown, who had only 1 reception in the first half. Brown also drew an offensive pass interference which wiped out a 68-yard third-down reception. With the Steelers down by 10 points in the 2nd half, the Steelers leaned on Brown, who finished with 10 receptions for 96 yards and 1 TD. Brown completed receptions of 21-yards and 26-yards early in the 4th quarter before the Steelers scored on a LeVeon Bell TD. Brown saved the drama for the Steelers final offensive play. With 13 seconds on the clock and no timeouts, The Steelers had the ball on the Ravens 4-yard line. Brown ran a quick slant and made the reception just shy of the end zone. While Brown was being held up by Ravens Safety Eric Weddle, Brown outstretched the football across the plane of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

WR Eli Rogers, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 4 - 84 - 0 (5 targets)
Eli Rogers continued to make an impact in the passing game with 4 receptions for 84 yards. The most impactful play was a 20-yard reception during the Steelers game-winning drive. On the play, Rogers ran a crossing-route and completed the diving reception as the play broke down. During the 3rd quarter, Rogers ran a post-route for a 39-yard reception, the longest play of the day from scrimmage for the Steelers.

WR Cobi Hamilton, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)
Cobi Hamilton was not a factor in the passing game as he had only 1 reception.

WR DeMarcus Ayers, 16 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (1 targets)
DaMarcus Ayers made his 1st reception as a Pittsburgh Steelers during the game-winning drive.

TE Jesse James, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 49 - 0 (5 targets)
Jesse James only had 4 receptions but 3 of them came during the Steelers game-winning TD drive. After a 3-yard reception to start off the drive, James found a soft spot in the middle of the field for a 16-yard reception. Late in the drive, James completed a critical first down on 3rd and 4 with a 9-yard reception.

TE Xavier Grimble, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 20 - 1 (2 targets)
Xavier Grimble made an impact with a TD on the Steelers first series. Grimble ran a post-route and completed the 20-yard TD reception in the end zone as he took a big hit from a Ravens defender.