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Week 4 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 14


What you need to know

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens offense played well against the Steelers but the performance was marred by a few negative plays. Joe Flacco protected the football and made a number of nice throws downfield to set up scores and extend drives. Flacco and John Brown connected on a pair of deep throws and a few other deep targets just fell out of the reach of Brown. Alex Collins played well outside of a fumble on Pittsburgh's 1 yard line. Michael Crabtree had at least two drops and was mostly used as a possession receiver. Willie Snead was the most efficient of the wideouts and was Flacco's go to target on 3rd downs.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers started the game by digging themselves in a big hole. Before the end of the first quarter the defense allowed a deep touchdown to John Brown on the Ravens first offensive possession and Vance McDonald gave the ball away leading to another Ravens touchdown. The game was inches away from being a 21-0 deficit the Steelers would need to work out of when the defense forced Alex Collins to fumble the ball close to the goal line. This fumble changed the entire complexion of the first half of the game. Throughout the rest of the first half the Steelers offense was showing signs of life and scored a quick touchdown on the back of two big plays. The second half of the game the Steelers were not so fortunate. The Steelers offense manage zero second half.

Baltimore Ravens

QB Joe Flacco, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 42 - 363 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - -3 - 0
Joe Flacco took the Ravens down the field for a touchdown on their opening possession. Flacco converted a third down over the middle to Crabtree before throwing a dime to John Brown for a 33 yard touchdown. After taking over in great field position following a turnover Flacco connected with Chris Moore to get the Ravens into the red zone. Flacco found Alex Collins in the flat for a 3 yard touchdown to cap the drive. One of the few times Flacco faced pressure in the game he missed Michael Crabtree who was wide open downfield on a potential 56 yard touchdown. Flacco threw a perfect bomb off of play action to hit John Brown 50 yard downfield in stride for a 71 yard gain. The drive ended with an Collins fumble on the 1 yard line. Flacco set up a second half field goal attempt with completions over the middle to Crabtree and Tim White. A key 3rd down conversion to Willie Snead set up another field goal attempt on a drive that was otherwise mostly run plays. With a 6 point lead and starting deep in their own territory Flacco and the Ravens orchestrated another scoring drive that ate up almost 7 minutes of game clock.

RB Javorius Allen, 34 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 30 - 0, Rec: 2 - 17 - 0 (2 targets)
Buck Allen made a 15 yard catch on a dump off from Flacco while the Ravens ran their two minute offense. Allen had an 11 yard carry that looked like a rugby scrum to help the Ravens run clock in their 4 minute offense. Allen continues to play large role behind Alex Collins. Allen was praised by John Harbaugh for his high level of play and pass blocking so expect the committee approach to continue.

RB Alex Collins, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 42 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 1 (1 targets)
Alex Collins got his first carry on the Ravens first offensive play of the game and made a nice cutback to pick up 12 yards. Collins was used twice in obvious passing situations that are usually reserved for Buck Allen. Collins scored a 3 yard receiving touchdown on one of those occasion running to flat and making an easy catch. Collins was met at the line of scrimmage by two defenders and fumbled on Pittsburgh's 1 yard line. Collins was not punished harshly for his fumble and still saw more snaps and touches than Buck Allen. Collins also saw all of the goal line work in the game.

WR Willie Snead, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 56 - 0 (7 targets)
Willie Snead crossed the face of his defender running a slant route to get open and pick up 13 yards. Snead converted a 3rd and 9 running an out route from the slot for 12 yards. Snead made the catch despite two defenders closing in on him. Snead converted a 3rd and six running a shallow crossing route and ran through contact for a 14 yard gain. Snead made a contested catch with Joe Haden in coverage over the middle for 10 yards and a first down.

WR John Brown, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 116 - 1 (7 targets)
John Brown smoked two defenders running a go route from the slot for a 33 yard touchdown. Brown showed good concentration getting both feet in bounds. Brown separated from Terrell Edmunds running a deep post and Flacco hit him in stride for a 71 yard gain off of play action. Brown picked up 12 yards running a slant. Flacco slightly overthrew Brown on a potential 36 yard touchdown. Brown asked for a flag on the play. Brown was targeted the following play but slipped making his break. Flacco taking frequent deep shots to Brown seems to be a staple of the Ravens offense that will continue going forward.

WR Michael Crabtree, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (8 targets)
Michael Crabtree made his first catch running a comeback route for 4 yards. Crabtree picked up 12 yards the following play running an in breaking route over the middle. Crabtree got behind his defender for a potential 56 yard touchdown but pressure forced an errant throw from Flacco. Crabtree came wide open running a slant but dropped what would have been about a 10 yard gain. Crabtree picked up 13 yards running another slant. Crabtree had a pass that was low and behind him go through his hands on what would have been a minimal gain.

TE Maxx Williams, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 51 - 0 (5 targets)
Maxx Williams made a catch in the flat and was brought down at the 2 yard line after a 6 yard gain. Williams caught a check down from Flacco and got up field for a 17 yard gain lowering his shoulder pads to finish the run. Williams caught another check down and picked up 5 yards. Williams made a 22 yard catch after starting the play lined up at guard. The alignment allowed him a free release and Williams made a physical run after the catch for additional yards.


Pittsburgh Steelers

QB Ben Roethlisberger, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 47 - 274 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0
Starting the game there wasn't much open down the field for Ben Roethlisberger. The Ravens were playing a lot of zone coverage. Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense looked to be finding the holes in the second quarter with a big play to Vance McDonald and a well thrown jump ball touchdown to Antonio Brown to tie the game. In the second half the Ravens seemed to have Roethlisberger and crew's number. They were disrupting his timing just enough to take away his top options in the second half and cause two of Roethlisberger's signature pump fakes to be thrown to the ground.

RB James Conner, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 19 - 0, Rec: 3 - 25 - 0 (7 targets)
Conner was stacked up at the line repeatedly by the Ravens and the game script never allowed the Steelers to be patient with the running game. His value is solely based on his receptions right now, and that should be temporary with LeVeon Bell reportedly coming back soon.

WR Ryan Switzer, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 7 - 32 - 0 (7 targets)
There isn't much Ryan Switzer isn't doing for the Steelers. He returns punts, kickoffs, running back (not just third-down running back), and slot wide receiver. Outside of the tight end position, Ryan Switzer was the only thing working against the Baltimore Ravens zone defense and was the recipient of three straight targets during the first half.

WR Antonio Brown, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 1 (11 targets)
The receiving weapons for Ben Roethlisberger were not on full display Week 4. Baltimore did have Brown matched up one on one during the first half but started rotating over safety help going into the second half. The most impressive catch of the night for Brown was his touchdown grab over a defender who had excellent coverage on him. Ben Roethlisberger put the ball right where his guy could get it. Unfortunately, even with drawing an additional five targets after his touchdown Antonio and Ben were not on the same page.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 60 - 0 (11 targets)
One of the quietest 11 target games ever witnessed. Smith-Schuster was providing the only spark for the Steelers early. Working from the slot and on a play action pass over the middle, Ben Roethlisberger dropped ball over the defender with excellent placement. JuJu followed up with a near touchdown which was in his hands and broken up by a defender. Shortly after JuJu left the game with an undisclosed injury. Of JuJu's 11 targets only three of them came in the second half. Stay tuned for injury updates on JuJu.

TE Vance McDonald, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 62 - 0 (5 targets)
Last week Vance McDonald stiff-armed a defender through a wall. This week McDonald continued displaying his superhuman level athleticism as he caught an inbreaking route, broke a tackle, and drug two defenders for an additional three yards. Following McDonald's heroic catch Antonio Browns scored his touchdown. The Ravens were able to smother McDonald in the second half taking away the middle of the field.