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Week 5 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 23

What you need to know

Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense did not play well against the Steelers. Jackson had three interceptions, the Ravens struggled to run the ball consistently, and only created a couple of big plays in the passing game. The Ravens were kept in the game in part due to turnovers and penalties by the Steelers. The Ravens scored 17 points on their first three possessions and managed only 6 points in the remainder of regulation. Mark Ingram struggled to pick up chunks of yardage as he was frequently met at or behind the line of scrimmage. Marquise Brown caught a touchdown but injured himself on the play and was limited the remainder of the game. Mark Andrews made a few nice plays but he did not appear to be as in sync with Jackson as he was earlier in the season. Andrews lack of practice because he is nursing a foot injury may be the cause of the misfires. Willie Snead looked like the Ravens best play maker in the passing game but did not make his first catch until late in the 3rd quarter.

Pittsburgh Steelers

It is really early in the season to label a game as a must win or a playoff atmosphere, but Week 5 against the Baltimore Ravens is exactly that. The Steelers sitting at 1-3 could win the game and be in a three-way tie for the lead in the AFC North with a Cleveland Browns loss. The Steelers could assert dominance over the division even Ben Roethlisberger missing more of the year and not having Antonio Brown or Le'Veon Bell on the roster.

The Steelers were exchanging scoring blows and big plays with the Ravens throughout the first half of the game. Even after losing Mason Rudolph to a devastating hit, the Steelers responded with a touchdown to give them a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, with Devlin Hodges at the helm, the Steelers offense tallied on 81 total yards on their last four possessions, including overtime, and were not able to close out the game.

Baltimore Ravens

QB Lamar Jackson, 81 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 28 - 161 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 14 - 70 - 0
The Ravens opening drive consisted almost entirely of running plays. The drive stalled in the red zone with Jackson throwing the ball slightly behind Marquise Brown resulting in an incompletion forcing a field goal attempt. Following an interception the Ravens took over in excellent field position. Jackson moved the Ravens inside the 5 with his legs and Ingram scored a 2 yard rushing touchdown to cap the drive. Jackson and the Ravens moved down the field relying on the passing game on their next possession. Jackson found Mark Andrews for 24 yards to move into the red zone. Jackson capped the drive with his best throw of the game; an 11 yard touchdown over the middle to Marquise Brown through a tight window. Jackson was intercepted on the Ravens ensuing possession targeting Mark Andrews over the middle. Andrews appeared to absorb illegal contact before the pass arrived but there was no flag on the play. Jackson was sacked twice during a three and out. Jackson simply stood in the pocket and made no effort to move or get rid of the ball on either play. Jackson was sacked again in a similar fashion and then was intercepted targeting Seth Roberts along the sideline. Jackson failed to see an underneath defender and threw the ball right to him giving the Steelers great field position. Jackson moved the Ravens into Pittsburg territory and made a great throw up the seam to Nick Boyle but Devin Bush made an even better play to take the ball away from Boyle and secure an interception. Jackson moved the Ravens down the field with completions to Hayden Hurst and Willie Snead but the drive stalled in the red zone because of a holding penalty. Trailing by 3 with less than 3 minutes remaining Jackson moved the Ravens down the field for a game tying field goal forcing overtime. The Ravens netted 2 yards on 6 plays in overtime but managed to win thanks to a forced fumble and recovery by Marlon Humphrey putting the Ravens in field goal range.

RB Mark Ingram, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 44 - 1, Rec: 2 - 5 - 0 (2 targets)
Mark Ingram struggled to find room to run against the Steelers. Ingram was not able to get to the second level with a head of steam as he had in previous games. Ingram was frequently met at or behind the line of scrimmage and was forced to run through contact instead of running lanes. Ingram was used more often as a check down option for Jackson than in previous weeks. Ingram securing more targets only boosts his fantasy value especially if he is struggling to find running room. Ingram followed a nice block from a pulling Bradley Bozeman and found 14 yards on his first carry. Ingram followed a surge from the left side of Baltimore's offensive line and fought though contact to score a 4 yard rushing touchdown. Mark Ingram had a 17 yard reception negated by an offensive pass interference penalty.

WR Willie Snead, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 51 - 0 (5 targets)
Willie Snead did not make his first catch until there was less than a minute remaining in the 3rd quarter. Snead made a 9 yard catch on 3rd and 7 running a comeback route. Snead then got open crossing the middle of the field and spun out of tackle on his way to a 23 yard pick up. Snead picked up 4 yards on an underneath catch. Snead fought through another tackle after catching a slant and picked up 14 over the middle. Snead looked like the Ravens best pass catcher down the stretch of the game. If Marquise Brown misses time Snead could gain fantasy value.

WR Marquise Brown, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 1 (5 targets)
Marquise Brown was seeing a high volume of targets until he suffered an ankle injury. Brown beat his man for a potential 9 yard touchdown running a slant but Jackson's throw was behind Brown allowing his defender to make a play on the ball. Brown made his first catch running a shallow crossing route for 8 yards. Brown caught an 11 yard touchdown from Jackson running a slant. Brown did a great job of attacking the ball and securing the catch. Brown appeared to injure his ankle on the play and left the game for an extended period of time. Brown later returned to the game but did not look healthy. Brown returned in the 4th quarter and made a 3 yard catch.

TE Mark Andrews, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 45 - 0 (7 targets)
Mark Andrews made some nice plays but could have had a much bigger game. Andrews made his first catch running a curl up the seam to convert a 3rd and 8 with a 10 yard gain. Mark Andrews had a 14 yard reception negated by an illegal use of hands penalty. Andrews came wide open running an in breaking route over the middle and hurdled a defender on his way to a 24 yard catch and run. Andrews was targeted over the middle but Andrews was contacted before the ball arrived causing the ball to hit Andrew's shoulder pad and popping the ball into the air for an easy interception. Andrews made a 7 yard catch underneath on 3rd and long. Andrews absorbed a hard hit from Minkah Fitzpatrick and left the game but would later return. Andrews made a 3 yard catch in the flat upon his return.

TE Hayden Hurst, 33 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (4 targets)
Hayden Hurst made a few nice plays but was not overly involved in the Ravens offense. Hurst made his first catch running a crossing route and picking up 11 yards. Hurst attempted to hurdle a defender on the play and was spun and flipped in the air absorbing a couple of hits. Hurst made an underneath catch for 2 yards a few plays later. Hurst picked up 13 yards running a shallow crossing route. Hurst was left uncovered and picked up 6 yards underneath.

Pittsburgh Steelers

QB Mason Rudolph, 33 offensive snaps, Pass: 13 - 20 - 131 - 1 TD / 0 INT
Things were not easy for Mason Rudolph in Week 5. The Baltimore Ravens were producing consistent pass rush around Rudolph and did not hesitate to call cover zero to send more blitzers than blockers. With 38% of Rudolph's passes going to running backs this season, cover zero kept defenders close to the line of scrimmage and his running backs were not able to work out of the backfield. Similar to other touchdowns by Rudolph this season, due to scheme or luck, Juju Smith-Schuster was running across the middle of the field on broken coverage. Rudolph saw Smith-Schuster streaking across the center of the field and delivered a well-placed ball allowing Smith-Schuster to run after the catch. Smith-Schuster's defender caught up to him, but he was able to stiff arm the defender to the ground, keep his balance and score the touchdown. In the third quarter Rudolph felt pressure in the pocket and rolled to his left. At the time the ball was released, Rudolph was sandwiched between two defenders. The defender who hit him from the front, Earl Thomas, hit Rudolph with his helmet. He was instantly knocked out and went to the group limp. After the hit, Rudolph laid on the ground for several minutes before being assisted walking off the field since the Steelers medical cart broke down. With some assistance, Rudolph was able to leave the field and made his way to the locker room. Rudolph was taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

RB James Conner, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 55 - 1
The rushing totals are a start, but in a game where Conner had multiple big runs and the starting quarterback exited the game, Conner's usage was low. In fact, since becoming the starter in 2018, this is the first time James Conner has not received at least one target and the second time in 17 games he hasn't received at least three targets. To make matters worse, Conner didn't even see a touch until the third possession of the game. When Conner did touch the ball on the third drive, he touched the ball three times for more than five yards each time. Conner did not have a highlight run on the night, but he also did not have a bad run on the night. Conner was consistently pushing the pile, getting small through the hole at the line of scrimmage and showing the patience always get the yards available to him.

RB Jaylen Samuels, 15 offensive snaps, Pass: 1 - 2 - 4 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0, Rec: 3 - 11 - 0 (4 targets)
After receiving 18 touch opportunities in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Samuels' usage was pulled in significantly. This may not have been the game plan, but on the first play of the second possession for the Steelers, Samuels sprints out to his right and lobs a pass for James Washington which was intercepted. Samuels did not see another snap from the Wildcat formation until after Mason Rudolph exited the game.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 75 - 1 (7 targets)
The Steelers wanted to make an effort to get Smith-Schuster involved early and often. Smith-Schuster received the first two targets of the game. On the Steelers' third drive of the game, the ball was snapped and Smith-Schuster's defender covering him was bumped by a teammate covering another player and he was able to break free across the middle of the field. Marlon Humphrey was able to catch Smith-Schuster, but he was stiff armed to the group and Smith-Schuster kept his balance to score a touchdown. Unfortunately, Smith-Schuster's day did not end as sunny. During overtime Smith-Schuster was able to split two defenders and made a great reception in traffic while on the run. The ball was recovered by the Ravens. The Ravens proceeded to kick a field goal to end the game. The fumble call is controversial and could be viewed as an incomplete pass.

WR Diontae Johnson, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 27 - 0 (8 targets)
It's the second straight time Diontae Johnson has led the Steeler's wide receivers in targets as he continues to take advantage of easier matchups while the defense concentrates on Juju Smith-Schuster. It also doesn't hurt for Donte ěDropsî Moncrief to be a healthy scratch again. Week 5 did not see the same broken coverages or flashy plays the previous weeks have seen, but there was one odd play for the rookie. On a third down, Devlin Hodges hits Johnson on a pass for the first down. The ball jars loose and goes out of bounds. The commentators and the official during the telecast all say it should be an incomplete pass, but the ruling on the field is a completed pass for a first down and the ball was fumbled out of bounds. This catch continued a drive which lead to the Steelers scoring a touchdown.

TE Vance McDonald, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 34 - 0 (3 targets)
Welcome back to the offense Vance McDonald. In McDonald's first game back after a severe shoulder injury, his presence was immediately felt in the short game. McDonald was targeted on Mason Rudolph's third pass attempt of the game. In the third quarter, after Rudolph left the game, McDonald was hit for a short pass on a simple out route. McDonald exploded up the field and broke a tack to take the ball all the way to the 1-yard line to set up a Steelers touchdown for the lead.