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Steelers continue to come up small in big moments, as they fall to the Ravens in overtime

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:25am
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

After their heartbreaking 26-23 overtime loss to the Ravens at Heinz Field on Sunday, the Steelers are now 3-8 in their last 11 games dating back to 2018. Many of these losses have been heartbreakers, and that’s because players keep coming up small in big moments. Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, with his critical fumble in overtime, is just the latest to wear the goat horns.

The Steelers took on the Ravens at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon in a game that was about as exciting and emotional as it usually is when these two AFC North rivals get together.

Despite Pittsburgh’s 1-3 record, the home crowd was vocal and supportive the entire day. In fact, after rallying back from first-half deficits of 10-0 and 17-7, the fans couldn’t have been more behind the Steelers after second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph was knocked unconscious while scrambling to find an open receiver on a play in-which he couldn’t have looked more like vintage Ben Roethlisberger.

Chants of “Throw him out!” filled the air, and they were aimed at Ravens safety Earl Thomas, who was the one who laid the vicious helmet-to-helmet hit on Rudolph, forcing him to the locker room with a concussion and, eventually, to an area hospital for further evaluation.

In came Samford’s Devlin Hodges, a rookie who looked about as poised as could be expected in such a spot. He stepped in and completed seven of nine passes for 68 yards and led the Steelers from a 17-13 deficit, to a 23-20 lead with just minutes to play.

As for the defense, it bent all afternoon, but it never truly broke. It was victimized early on by an interception deep in Pittsburgh territory thrown by Jaylen Samuels out of the wildcat formation. It yielded a touchdown after that, but only one more the rest of the afternoon.

Like it has been doing to quarterbacks since Week 2, the defense mostly made life miserable for Lamar Jackson, intercepting him three times and sacking him five times.

One might even say the defense was victimized by poor officiating on the Ravens game-tying drive at the end of regulation. Ola Adeniyi was called for roughing the passer on what looked like a textbook hit on Jackson just as he released a pass that fell incomplete and would have made it third and nine.

Instead, it paved the way for a Justin Tucker field goal to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Steelers won the coin toss, and Cam Heyward seemed to confuse the head referee by saying he wanted to defer. This led to a bunch of questions about head coach Mike Tomlin’s sanity.

But the strategy worked. The Steelers forced a punt and had the ball at their own 31 with a chance to win it.

To battle back from so much and defeat your most bitter rival? What a beautiful story to write.

But these Steelers don’t write beautiful stories. Instead, what you see from this team time and time again is a habit of making crucial mistakes at just the wrong time.

Two weeks ago, it was James Conner’s fumble in the waning moments that led to the game-winning touchdown by the 49ers. Three weeks ago, it was the defense allowing Russell Wilson to run free on a third and long play that eventually led to the Seahawks running out the rest of the game clock in a two-point loss.

You saw it a bunch of times last season, with Conner fumbling in crucial spots, and Chris Boswell missing field goals and extra points at critical times.

You saw it with JuJu Smith-Schuster against the Saints, when he fumbled away the Steelers last realistic chance at the postseason.

I guess it was Smith-Schuster’s turn, again, on Sunday. Two plays after forcing a punt, the defense was back on the field, following a Smith-Schuster fumble that was recovered at the Pittsburgh 35.

The catch would have gone for a first down, and who knows after that?

Instead, Tucker predictably came on and sent those frenzied fans home in silence with the game-winning field goal.

Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Saints, Patriots, Seahawks, 49ers and Ravens.

That’s eight losses in the past 11 games, dating back to last season, with seven of them coming in heartbreaking fashion.

You don’t have that many close losses unless your players are continuously coming up small in big moments.

Smith-Schuster will wear the horns this week.

But who will it be next week? Who will step down and make a horrible mistake with everything on the line?

As enjoyable as Sunday’s game was (and it really was one of the more exciting games I’ve personally experienced in a while), there was that thought in the back of my mind that someone would make a mistake and blow it.

I wasn’t disappointed....so to speak.

The Steelers are now 1-4 and must come to terms with the possibility of a long, long season.

This is what happens when you come up small in big moments.

Steelers players take to social media to send positive thoughts to Mason Rudolph

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/07/2019 - 6:36am
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw Mason Rudolph motionless on the field, and after the game wanted him to know they were thinking about him.

It was a scary moment when Pittsburgh Steelers players, coaches and fans saw Mason Rudolph go down and remain motionless on the ground Sunday at Heinz Field. In the third quarter of the team’s 26-23 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens Rudolph was hit high by safety Earl Thomas and knocked him unconscious.

Rudolph would walk off the field under his own power, but there was plenty of concern about the young man and his overall well-being. So far reports have been positive, but after the game teammates were clearly concerned after watching their teammate in such a dire situation.

As of now, all we know is Rudolph was sent to the hospital for further evaluation, but was released from the hospital and is now relaxing at his home. All good news up to this point for a hopefully speedy recovery!

After the loss, Steelers players, both current and former, took to Twitter to send their thoughts and prayers to Rudolph as he tries to bounce back better than ever!

See what was said below:

Mason and I talked over the phone. For however many seconds, I was scared about losing my friend, and then God answered my prayers. I love you @Rudolph2Mason

Get better!

— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) October 6, 2019

Prayers up for 2 !

— Steve Nelson (@Nelson_Island) October 6, 2019

Praying for you bro! @Rudolph2Mason

— Mike Hilton (@MikeHilton_28) October 6, 2019

#PrayForMason

— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) October 6, 2019

https://t.co/aGZ5amnBQI

— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) October 6, 2019

Always scary to see. Prayers for @Rudolph2Mason

— Jerome Bettis (@JeromeBettis36) October 6, 2019

Prayers up for Mason Rudolph

— Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) October 6, 2019

Podcast: Digesting the Steelers’ overtime loss to the Ravens in Week 5

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/07/2019 - 5:30am

In the latest episode of “The Steelers Post-Game” show, we break down all the news you need to know surrounding the Black-and-Gold from the most recent contest.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 season is here, and the Steelers time spent in the win column was short-lived after a gut-wrenching 26-23 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC podcast The Steelers Post-Game Show. On this show Jeff Hartman and co-host Lance Williams break down all things Steelers!

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Recap after losing to the Ravens
  • Winners and Losers
  • Steelers Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, and Lance Williams walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Spotify: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Analyzing the Steelers Week 5 overtime loss to the Ravens, by the numbers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/07/2019 - 4:30am
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

It was a heartbreaking defeat, and looking at the numbers doesn’t make it any easier

The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped to 1-4 on the season, falling to to the Baltimore Ravens 26-23 in overtime at Heinz Field on Sunday. It was a physical game with multiple injuries on both sides, most notably Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph getting knocked out of the game with a concussion in the third quarter. Devlin Hodges came off the bench and played well and gave the Steelers a three-point lead late in the game, but with the aide of a questionable roughing the passer penalty, the Ravens were able to send the game to overtime with a Justin Tucker field goal. Tucker struck again in overtime on a 46-yard kick after a JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble.

It was the first victory in 2019 for the Baltimore Ravens against a team that has at least one win on the season. Unfortunately, the Steelers do not have a victory against the team with a win as the Cincinnati Bengals dropped to 0-5. More importantly, the Steelers find themselves two games back in the AFC North.

It was an unusual game for the Steelers. After losing yet another quarterback, the Steelers still found themselves in a position to win. But good teams find a way to finish close games, and the Steelers are 0-3 when the final score is within four points in 2019. So here are some additional numbers which contributed to the Steelers loss in Week 5.

138

Coming into Week 5, the Balrimore Ravens were averaging over 205 rushing yards per game. The Steelers managed to hold them to 138 yards, their lowest total of the 2019 season by 35 yards. After somewhat slowing down Baltimore’s rushing attack, the Ravens have fallen to an average of less than 200 yards per game with a new average of 192 yards.

3.45 v. 4.05

Even though the Ravens out-rushed the Steelers 138 yards to 77 yards, the Steelers actually had more yards per rushing attempt. Running the ball 40 times, the Ravens averaged 3.45 yards per carry where the Steelers only rushed 19 times and had 4.05 yards per carry. With the Steelers having a more successful rushing attack per play, perhaps they should have handed the ball off more considering Devlin Hodges had to come in to play quarterback.

13:26

Running the ball 21 more times in the Steelers and only completing two fewer passes, the Ravens were able to amass nearly 13 1/2 minutes more in time of possession than the Steelers. Even with some extra time due to the game going into overtime, the Steelers still only held the ball for 25:34 compared to the Ravens 39:00.

11

One other factor which led to Pittsburgh’s defeat were the 11 accepted penalties against them on the day for 76 yards. The most questionable of these yards came on the Ravens scoring drive to end regulation where Olasunkanmi Adeniyi was called for roughing the passer on a hit that was neither late nor low. The Ravens actually lost the penalty battle as they also had 11 accepted penalties for 92 yards.

3

One welcomed site by the Pittsburgh defense was their three interceptions of Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson. Kam Kelly, Devin Bush, and Mike Hilton all had an interception on the day, their first of the 2019 season for each of them. The three takeaways gives the Steelers defense 12 in 2019, tying them for the league lead while only three shy of their total last season.

5

The Steelers defense also had another five sacks on Sunday. All five were by different players and came from two defensive linemen (Cameron Heyward and Javon Hargrave), two outside linebackers (T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree), and an inside linebacker (Vince Williams). With 19 sacks on the season, the Steelers are in third in the NFL behind the Patriots and Panthers.

3/3, 2/2

Chris Boswell has still not missed a kick in 2019. On Sunday, he was 3/3 on field goals and 2/2 on extra point attempts bringing his totals to 10/10 in field goals and 9/9 in extra points.

3/9

Unfortunately, the Steelers offense has converted only three third downs in each game on the season, going three for nine on Sunday.

So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Sunday against the Ravens. While some of these numbers may be encouraging, the number which was added to the loss column is really the most indicative of them all. But do these numbers accurately describe what transpired Sunday? Were there any other numbers not listed which really stood out to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below.

Report: Mason Rudolph released from the hospital, now resting at home

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 6:59pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Good news regarding the Steelers’ injured starting quarterback.

The Pittsburgh Steelers players, coaches and fans were given a huge scare on Sunday when Mason Rudolph laid motionless on the Heinz Field turf after Earl Thomas hit him high on a pass attempt.

Rudolph would eventually move and walk off the field with assistance, but was taken to the local hospital for further evaluation.

The Steelers ended up losing to the Baltimore Ravens 26-23 in overtime, but the outcome of the game took a backseat to Rudolph’s overall health. After all, it wasn’t long ago players and fans saw Ryan Shazier lay motionless on the Paul Brown turf on Monday Night Football.

Mike Tomlin didn’t give any update in his post-game press conference, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler is reporting Rudolph has been released from the hospital and is home resting as he begins his recovery from his head injury.

Steelers QB Mason Rudolph is home from a Pittsburgh-area hospital and doing well, according to a source. Good sign after suffering a concussion on the Earl Thomas hit.

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 6, 2019

This doesn’t mean Rudolph will be cleared to play any sooner, but it is a great sign as medical professionals felt his injury was the kind where they could allow him to leave and be on his own. If there was any risk of further injury, or the need for him to be under the careful watch of doctors and nurses, he wouldn’t be permitted to leave.

A good sign for Rudolph’s health, but he still likely has a long way to go before he can even think about returning to practice. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6 on Sunday Night Football.

Earl Thomas suggests he didn’t go “high” on hit that left Mason Rudolph unconscious

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 5:31pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers were left with a third string quarterback after Earl Thomas’ high hit on Mason Rudolph sent him to the hospital.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been put in a precarious situation after Mason Rudolph was left unconscious on the field in the third quarter of the team’s 26-23 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

After just 5 weeks of the regular season, the Steelers are now forced to watch a third string quarterback at the helm as the team prepares for the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6, before their Week 7 bye week.

The player who delivered the hit on Rudolph was safety Earl Thomas, and although he was flagged 15 yards for a roughing the passer call, after the game he said he didn’t go high, or intentionally tried to hurt the second year quarterback.

The full quote below:

Thomas on Rudolph hit: "I didn’t go high. I didn’t intentionally try to hurt him. I’m worried about him. I heard he’s at the hospital. My prayers go out to him and his family. I’ve never tried to hurt anybody. At the end of the day, guys have families."

— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) October 6, 2019

The remorse and thoughts about Rudolph’s health are warranted, but the fact Thomas suggests he didn’t go high is almost laughable. It is clear Thomas’ helmet was driven into the jaw of Rudolph rendering him motionless on the Heinz Field turf.

It didn’t help Rudolph was being hit from behind at the same time, but watch the play below and you be the judge:

Hit on Mason Rudolph. Brutal. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/LlK77oqe4s

— David Todd (@DavidMTodd) October 6, 2019

Thomas’ comments will do very little to help the 1-4 Steelers find a way to win a game. While Devlin Hodges played well in his time under center, there is no guarantee the team will be able to rebound and have any success with a third string undrafted rookie quarterback.

To add insult to injury during the game, when the Heinz Field cart was brought out to take Rudolph off the field, it looked as if the cart had stalled, or failed to work, as it was pushed off the field. Some thought this was the reason why Rudolph walked off the field, but according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the reason the cart didn’t work was user error. He also adds Rudolph wanted to walk off the field, not be carted off.

Stadium source: The medical cart that would have transported Mason Rudolph from the field failed because of operator error, not because it broke down. The NFL has already called to investigate. Plus, according to source, Rudolph wanted to walk off the field, not be carted.

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) October 6, 2019

The Steelers now will try to put together a lineup they feel is capable of beating a very good Chargers team on the road. The team will play the Chargers on Sunday Night Football on the west coast before their Week 7 bye week. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold leading up to the game.

Mason Rudolph being further evaluated at local hospital, no update given after Steelers loss

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 3:49pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Mike Tomlin didn’t have an update on Mason Rudolph’s status after the team’s loss in Week 5.

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t just lose to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5, plunging them deep down the AFC North standings, but they also lost another quarterback when Mason Rudolph was hit and laid unconscious on the field in the third quarter.

During the game, the Steelers Public Relations Department said Rudolph was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

UPDATE: Rudolph is leaving Heinz Field to be further evaluated at a hospital. https://t.co/rQVGYHvFR2

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) October 6, 2019

After the game, Mike Tomlin gave no update on Rudolph’s status, stating he doesn’t have any update to give at the current moment. Rather, he said he will update the injury on Tuesday during his weekly press conference.

Coach Tomlin said he will have more information on the injury to Mason Rudolph in Tuesday. Only acknowledged it is a concussion postgame.

— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) October 6, 2019

It was hard to stomach watching the hit to the head of Earl Thomas on Rudolph, but it is also hard to fathom how the Steelers have lost their top two quarterbacks within the first 5 weeks of the regular season.

Anyone who was ever dealt with a concussion, or is trained to deal with concussions, knows not every situation is created equal. Some head injuries look horrible and the individual recovers quicker than anyone imagined. Other injuries don’t look that bad, but take months to recover.

Mason Rudolph is essentially out until his brain heals properly and he is able to return to regular every day activity. There is an NFL protocol for a reason, and it is to prevent athletes from returning too soon, something which can have long-lasting effects on the brain. Rudolph first has to be cleared to practice, and will have to show he has not suffered a set back before he is even considered a viable option to return to the Steelers as their quarterback.

In the meantime, it is Devlin Hodges’ job heading into Week 6 when the Steelers travel across country to play the Los Angeles Chargers before their Week 7 bye week.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for their next game!

Knee-Jerk Reactions after the Steelers’ 26-23 loss to the Ravens

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 3:34pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

One BTSC writer shares his real-time, initial thoughts of the Steelers battle with Baltimore.

Here we go! The Steelers had a pretty rough start to the first quarter of the season. To stay in the hunt in the AFC North, they can’t afford to lose to their heated-rivals. This is really a must win. Let’s see if they can pull this off.

Nonetheless, a simple reminder, a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. It’s basically shooting first and apologizing later. I can safely say that’s a true definition of your’s truly and a good lot of Steeler Nation. Here’s my real-time reactions during the Steelers’ chance at redemption as they desperately look for their first win of the new season.

Quarter 1
  • Crucial game for the Steelers. Gonna be interesting in the rain.
  • L.J. Fort with an impressive tackle on the kickoff. Wrong team though.
  • Going small ball early in the rain.
  • See. Harbaugh actually scouts games. You kind of figured that they’d sniff that stuff out.
  • Plus, why hand it off to the guy with the bad toe.
  • At least they trusted Rudolph to pass on third and long instead of the handoff.
  • Great punt covearage. That’s why you keep Tyler Matakevich around.
  • The problem with pressure on Jackson. He made a lot out of nothing.
  • Watt seemed like he was held on that Jackson 7-yard run.
  • Ingram is just good.
  • Tuitt missed the sack, Jackson is so elusive.
  • Bad call on T.J.
  • Nice tackle by Cam and Bush. Big third down coming up.
  • Great coverage on Hollywood Brown by Cam Sutton. Sweet to hold them to three.
  • Nice return by Switz. Of course, negated by a flag.
  • Oh crap. This is what I was afraid of. Terrible pick thrown by Samuels.
  • Just play real football.
  • Holding on Barron. They are struggling.
  • That stiff arm on Watt by Jackson was brutal.
  • That personal foul on Tuitt hurts.
  • The Steelers are playing better against the running backs.
  • Not there. Ingram powers it in. 10-0, in favor of the bad guys.
  • Conner needs to get going. That run is a good start.
  • That run sets up nice play action. Good to see JWash with a big gain.
  • Sweet play for the score from Mason to JuJu. Love it 10-7.
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
  • Juju and Diontae Johnson almost collided on that play.
  • I’m not sure what all Bud did on that play. But celebrate.
  • Dumb cut by Hollywood.
  • They need to get tighter on the run.
  • End of one. 10-7.
Quarter 2
  • Bush is playing well again.
  • The Steelers can’t stop the TE.
  • Great coverage by Nelson.
  • Crap. Down by ten.
  • They are moving the ball well on this drive. Need to answer.
  • First incompletion came at a bad time. Gotta punt.
  • They need to force a punt on this next drive.
  • Hilton with a great behind the line tackle. He seems like he’s back this year.
  • Huge awareness by Kam Kelly. Kind of forgot about that dude.
  • Minkah helped make that interception happen.
  • Gotta convert here.
  • Not really sure what they’re challenging here.
  • Stop running the Wildcat. It is so obvious. It wasn’t last week.
  • Horrendous sack. Huge missed opportunity.
  • Wow, thought that was going left. Wanted seven. Will take the three.
  • Short kick by Boswell. Bad coverage on the return by Justice Hill.
  • Gotta love Watt. Huge sack.
  • And another! VinniVidiVici is back with a vengeance.
  • Mason got lucky on the incompletion. Overthrew into double coverage.
  • Threw into double coverage again. Got lucky with the Humphries hold.
  • My buddy just pointed out that you can tell that’s Washington before you see the number. He’s got really strong hands.
  • Thats a forward pass.
  • Mason looks scary here.
  • This is disconcerting. Ravens get the ball with a lot of time and get it back after the half.
  • Cam with a huge sack.
  • Hilton...yes!!!!
  • Get points!
  • I’ll take the roughing the passer. But it was pretty weak.
  • Take the three.
  • End of two. 17-3.
Quarter 3
  • Have to stop this offense early in this half.
  • They are running all over the Steelers.
  • Fourth and 6. They are going to go for it,
  • And it pays off. Bush offsides.
  • Bush with huge redemption on the pick.
  • I think that interception is getting reversed.
  • Shocked they didn’t get that reversed.
  • What an athletic play by Mason for a huge first down.
  • Rudolph got knocked out.
  • This is bad.
  • This is real bad.
  • Praying that Mason is okay.
  • Glad to see him up. He won’t be back today.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
  • Even our cart doesn’t work right.
  • The Duck Dynasty starts now. Really nervous about that.
  • That was definitely interference,
  • Hodges got the ball out and I think DJ caught it and fumbled it out of bounds.
  • This might be reversed.
  • Yes. That’s a huge loss of timeout and challenge.
  • Gotta convert.
  • Conner has got to take over here.
  • What a huge play by Vanimal.
  • Nothing dumb. Just power football.
  • Conner with an inspired TD run.
  • 20-17. Wow!
  • Lets go Defense!!!!
  • Giving Hayden Hurst too much room.
  • Beautiful tackle by Watt in the backfield, Vince was there too.
  • Crap. Needed to stop them on third down.
  • End of three. Steelers with a 20-17 lead...for now,
Quarter 4
  • That was a huge holding penalty against Baltimore.
  • Great tackle by Minkah. Huge stop for this team.
  • Huge pass from Hodges to JuJu. It was an obvious run situation deep in your own territory. Good play call.
  • Just knew that ball was going to get intercepted.
  • So lucky on the hold.
  • Jefferson is really hurt. Never want to see that.
  • Hodges is not getting rattled and really making some throws.
  • Good PI by Johnson. Could’ve been picked.
  • Samuels really could have had a good game if he just waited to catch the ball before running. Nuts.
  • This drive is going south fast.
  • Huge down by Artie Burns. What a play. Gotta stop them desperately here.
  • Minkah with a great breakup and hurt Andrews. Andrews is their big weapon.
  • Defense is fired up. Gotta stop it here.
  • That was close. Definitely not a safety.
  • I was screaming “No holds” that entire runback.
  • C’mon James Conner. Need to move chains,
  • Ducky with the huge run. Wow!
  • I’m getting chest pains.
  • Nuts. Needed the conversion there.
  • How many time do you think they played “Renegade”?
  • Really? That’s a terrible penalty call on Adeniyi.
  • Huge sack...JWobble.
  • Here we go. Tucker never misses.
  • 23-23. Extra innings.
  • Please kneel.
Overtime
  • Baltimore with a 4-1 record in OT against Pittsburgh.
  • Risky call. I kind of get it based on the situation.
  • Nice swarming tackle.
  • Bud the Stud with the sack.
  • Too good of a punt.
  • Bad fumble. Bad bounce. Bad break.
  • Dammitt.
  • It was a clean catch.
  • This isn’t going our way.
  • Need a miracle or a holding call.
  • Not gonna happen.
  • That curved. Thought it was gonna miss.
  • I hate this game.

Once again, I just shot first and I’ll apologize later. All reactions were in real time. Basically, it is the equivalent of watching me do the highlights if I hadn’t been blacklisted by the major networks. Now time to watch it again and see what really happened. Make sure you get your voice heard in the comments below.

Steelers lose heartbreaker to Ravens 26-23 in overtime

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 3:26pm
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

In a game filled with big plays, the Ravens made the biggest when it mattered the most.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens know each other well, but not necessarily these Steelers and these Ravens. For the first time in over a decade there was no Joe Flacco or Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback for these two franchises. Instead, Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph, both of the 2018 NFL Draft class, were leading the charge for their respective teams.

Maybe lacking the star power which once defined the rivalry, the Steelers and Ravens squared off in a crucial Week 5 contest at Heinz Field with the Steelers receiving the opening kickoff to start the game. However, a three and out gave the ball to Lamar Jackson and company with great field position. Jackson and Mark Ingram stormed down the field, but on 3rd and 7 Cameron Sutton broke up a pass intended for Marquise Brown and forced a Justin Tucker field goal to make the score 3-0 in favor of the visitors.

The Steelers next drive was short lived when Jaylen Samuels lined up in the wildcat, and instead of running the ball tried to throw a pass to James Washington which was intercepted. It set up the Ravens in the red-zone, and just a few plays later Mark Ingram punched the ball into the end zone for the touchdown to make the score 10-0 with 4:48 left in the first quarter.

The silent Steelers’ offense woke up on their next drive, leaving the gadgets behind and running an uptempo offense. Fueled by James Conner running the ball and Mason Rudolph hitting James Washington to get the ball into Baltimore territory, Rudolph was able to hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 35-yard touchdown to get Pittsburgh right back in the game.

1️⃣9️⃣ takes this one all the way to the !@TeamJuJu pic.twitter.com/6oEqXIY03Y

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 6, 2019

The Chris Boswell point-after was good, making the score 10-7 with 2:41 left in the opening quarter.

What happened next should have been predicted. Over the first quarter of the season, especially with Rudolph under center, after the Steelers score the defense rarely does anything but give up a long, time-consuming drive. That’s right the Steelers surrendered a 13 play, 75 yard scoring drive to Baltimore which ended with Jackson hitting Marquise Brown for the touchdown to make the score 17-7 with 11:21 left in the half.

After the Steelers failed to convert their next possession into points, Lamar Jackson had the ball again looking to add to the Ravens’ total. On 3rd and 10 Jackson targeted Mark Andrews, but Minkah Fitzpatrick was able to tip the ball into the air and it was intercepted by Kam Kelly.

First career interception for @kaetwicefrfr!! pic.twitter.com/hrKj0iUmKo

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 6, 2019

The turnover gave the Steelers the ball just outside the red-zone, but the Steelers went the wrong way on their ensuing drive. Jaylen Samuels was dropped for a 5-yard loss in the Wildcat on 2nd down, and Mason Rudolph was sacked on third down. This set up a Chris Boswell 42-yard field goal, which was good to make the score 17-10 in favor of the Ravens with 4:39 left in the half.

Despite a huge kickoff return by Justice Hill, back-to-back sacks by T.J. Watt and Vince Williams stifled the Ravens drive and forced their first punt of the game. With 3:06 left in the game and one timeout remaining, all the Steelers could do was take time off the clock before punting the ball back to Baltimore. However, with 1:36 left in the half and two timeouts left, Jackson was intercepted by Mike Hilton giving the Steelers a chance to tie the game before halftime.

.@MikeHilton_28 will take that pic.twitter.com/sXRYSn7o3W

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 6, 2019

With just 23 seconds left in the half, the Steelers weren’t able to do anything but add a field goal to make the score 17-13 heading into halftime.

The opening drive of the second half was a lot of effective running by the Ravens’ offense, but on a pass down the seam intended for Mark Andrews, rookie Devin Bush had an incredible interception to give the Steelers their third interception of Jackson on the day.

WHAT. A. PLAY.@_Dbush11 pic.twitter.com/5QMuGmwooP

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 6, 2019

What happened on the next series was a very scary moment for Steelers fans. After escaping pressure, Rudolph found James Washington down field for a big first down, but was hit in the head by Earl Thomas and laid unconscious on the field following the play.

Hit on Mason Rudolph. Brutal. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/LlK77oqe4s

— David Todd (@DavidMTodd) October 6, 2019

Rudolph eventually walked off the field, visibly shaken, giving way for Devlin Hodges to take over at quarterback.

Hodges stepped up, and delivered some key plays in key spots, including a huge completion to Diontae Johnson on third down. After a completion to Vance McDonald moved the ball to the one yard line, and James Conner plunged into the end zone for the score.

Powering his way in for a score!@JamesConner_ pic.twitter.com/kGjaRHNEPi

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 6, 2019

Boswell’s point-after made the score 20-17 with 3:42 left in the third quarter.

Jackson and Baltimore’s offense continued to move the ball on the Pittsburgh defense, but again they were forced to settle for a Justin Tucker chip shot when a third down attempt came up short of the first down marker in the red-zone. Tucker’s kick tied the game 20-20 with 11:39 left in regulation.

Hodges moved the Steelers to midfield, but Jordan Berry stole the show with a punt that pinned the Baltimore offense at their one-yard line. They were unable to gain a yard before having to punt back to Pittsburgh with 6:00 left in regulation. Ryan Switzer was able to return the kick into Baltimore territory, and the biggest play was when Hodges ran for 21 yards to set up a Boswell 33 yard field goal to make the score 23-20 with 2:37 left in the fourth quarter.

Aided by a roughing the passer call on Ola Adeniyi, Lamar Jackson drove the Ravens into Pittsburgh territory and set up Justin Tucker for a game-tying 48 yard kick sending the game to overtime.

The Steelers won the toss, but chose to give the Ravens the first possession. The reasoning behind it was if the Steelers stopped them a field goal would win the game. The defense forced a three and out, but on the Steelers’ first possession of overtime resulted in Hodges hitting Smith-Schuster for a first down, but Smith-Schuster fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Baltimore deep in Pittsburgh territory.

Justin Tucker hit a 46-yard field goal to win the game for the Ravens.

The loss moves the Steelers’ record to 1-4 on the season, and in a deep hole as they prepare for a trip to Los Angeles to pay the Chargers in Week 6. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they press on throughout the 2019 regular season.

Mason Rudolph suffers head injury, walks off with assistance

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 2:46pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Rudolph appeared to lose consciousness as he took a late hit to head

Mason Rudolph was knocked out of Sunday’s game in the third quarter after taking a late hit to the head from Ravens’ safety Earl Thomas.

The cart is out for Mason Rudolph after the helmet-to-helmet shot from Earl Thomas. #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) October 6, 2019

Rudolph lay motionless on the ground for several momonets as teammates rallied around him. The injury cart came on to the field for Rudolph, but due to a cart malfunction, Rudolph came off the field with the aide of his teammates.

Good thing Rudolph didn't need the cart. It's now getting pushed off the field. Apparently rant out of gas. #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) October 6, 2019

Rudolph was 13 of 20 passing for 131 yards and a 35-yard touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster before exiting the game. Back up Devlin Hodges is now in as the Steelers quarterback.

Rudolph walks off with the support of Finney and Banner. Looks like the cart broke down on the field. Hodges goes in. #Steelers

— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) October 6, 2019

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for news, injury updates, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers.

UPDATE

Mason Rudolph is now leaving Heinz Field and headed to a local hospital for further evaluation.

UPDATE: Rudolph is leaving Heinz Field to be further evaluated at a hospital. https://t.co/rQVGYHvFR2

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) October 6, 2019

Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 5: 3rd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 2:24pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

2nd Quarter In-Game Update

The opening drive of the second half was a lot of effective running by the Ravens’ offense, but on a pass down the seam intended for Mark Andrews, rookie Devin Bush had an incredible interception to give the Steelers their third interception of Jackson on the day.

What happened on the next series was a very scary moment for Steelers fans. After escaping pressure, Rudolph found James Washington down field for a big first down, but was hit in the head by Earl Thomas and laid unconscious on the field following the play. Rudolph eventually walked off the field, visibly shaken, giving way for Devlin Hodges to take over at quarterback.

Hodges stepped up, and delivered some key plays in key spots, including a huge completion to Diontae Johnson on third down. After a completion to Vance McDonald moved the ball to the one yard line, and James Conner plunged into the end zone for the score. Boswell’s point-after made the score 20-17 with 3:42 left in the third quarter.

To end the third quarter the Ravens had just moved the ball into Pittsburgh red-zone.

Steelers vs. Ravens: Second-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 1:36pm
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2019 regular season continues with the Steelers and Ravens locking horns in Week 5. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the third time in the 2019 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 5: 2nd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 1:30pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

To start the second quarter the Ravens had the football, and what happened next should have been predicted. Over the first quarter of the season, especially with Rudolph under center, after the Steelers score the defense rarely does anything but give up a long, time-consuming drive. That’s right the Steelers surrendered a 13 play, 75 yard scoring drive to Baltimore which ended with Jackson hitting Marquise Brown for the touchdown to make the score 17-7 with 11:21 left in the half.

After the Steelers failed to convert their next possession into points, Lamar Jackson had the ball again looking to add to the Ravens’ total. On 3rd and 10 Jackson targeted Mark Andrews, but Minkah Fitzpatrick was able to tip the ball into the air and it was intercepted by Kam Kelly.

The turnover gave the Steelers the ball just outside the red-zone, but the Steelers went the wrong way on their ensuing drive. Jaylen Samuels was dropped for a 5-yard loss in the Wildcat on 2nd down, and Mason Rudolph was sacked on third down. This set up a Chris Boswell 42-yard field goal, which was good to make the score 17-10 in favor of the Ravens.

Despite a huge kickoff return by Justice Hill, back-to-back sacks by T.J. Watt and Vince Williams stifled the Ravens drive and forced their first punt of the game. With 3:06 left in the game and one timeout remaining, all the Steelers could do was take time off the clock before punting the ball back to Baltimore. However, with 1:36 left in the half and two timeouts left, Jackson was intercepted by Mike Hilton giving the Steelers a chance to tie the game before halftime.

With just 23 seconds left in the half, the Steelers weren’t able to do anything but add a field goal to make the score 17-13 heading into halftime.

Steelers vs. Ravens, Week 5: 1st quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 12:38pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens know each other well, but not necessarily these Steelers and these Ravens. For the first time in over a decade there was no Joe Flacco or Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback for these two franchises. Instead, Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph, both of the 2018 NFL Draft class, were leading the charge for their respective teams.

Maybe lacking the star power which once defined the rivalry, the Steelers and Ravens squared off in a crucial Week 5 contest at Heinz Field with the Steelers receiving the opening kickoff to start the game. However, a three and out gave the ball to Lamar Jackson and company with great field position. Jackson and Mark Ingram stormed down the field, but on 3rd and 7 Cameron Sutton broke up a pass intended for Marquise Brown and forced a Justin Tucker field goal to make the score 3-0 in favor of the visitors.

The Steelers next drive was short lived when Jaylen Samuels lined up in the wildcat, and instead of running the ball tried to throw a pass to James Washington which was intercepted. It set up the Ravens in the red-zone, and just a few plays later Mark Ingram punched the ball into the end zone for the touchdown to make the score 10-0 with 4:48 left in the first quarter.

The silent Steelers’ offense woke up on their next drive, leaving the gadgets behind and running an uptempo offense. Fueled by James Conner running the ball and Mason Rudolph hitting James Washington to get the ball into Baltimore territory, Rudolph was able to hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 35-yard touchdown to get Pittsburgh right back in the game. The Chris Boswell point-after was good, making the score 10-7 with 2:41 left in the opening quarter.

The Ravens had the football and were around midfield at the end of the first quarter.

Steelers vs. Ravens: First-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 11:45am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2019 regular season continues with the Steelers and Ravens locking horns in Week 5. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field, and this time for the third time in the 2019 regular season as they prepare to face off against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 at Heinz Field.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Predicting the winner of Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens, Week 5

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 11:26am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Predicting the winner of Steelers vs. Ravens in Week 5 at Heinz Field.

It has been a while, but the hatred between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens seems to have been renewed, at least on paper. After Pernell McPhee spoke up about how the Ravens hate the Steelers, it brought back visions of Hines Ward, Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu and Ray Lewis.

Will this game live up to the same standards set forth by those who previously donned the colors of their respective teams? Only time will tell, but there is an excitement surrounding this 1-3 Steelers and 2-2 Ravens locking horns in Week 5 at Heinz Field.

This week I was fortunate enough to ask Baltimore Beatdown’s writer Kyle Barber some questions, and of course I asked him what his prediction for the game was, and you can check out his response below:

30-24 Ravens. Justin Tucker shines through with two critical field goals, while Mason Rudolph racks up around 300 yards passing. The Ravens defense is bailed out by two takeaways in the red zone, which kill the Steelers’ momentum. JuJu Smith-Schuster struggles against Humphrey, IF they give Humphrey the ability to defend the Steelers’ top receiving option. Steelers receiving game is led by short routes, just like the Browns did last week. Conner and McDonald both go for 80 receiving yards due to the mistakes in the linebacker unit.

If Barber has one thing correct it is how it will likely be a close game. Sure, this rivalry has had their blowouts in the past, but the vast majority of these contests come down to the bitter end.

There are so many aspects of this game which are complete unknowns it is tough to precit. Lamar Jackson’s first start vs. the Steelers, and Mason Rudolph’s first start vs. the Ravens. A Baltimore defense who has given up over 500 yards the past two weeks, and a Steelers offense which has been anything but consistent since Ben Roethlisberger was injured.

For some reason, and maybe this is just my hope in the defense starting to turn the corner, I see the Steelers showing up in a big way Sunday. It will be close, and it will be a Chris Boswell field goal that separates the Steelers and Ravens as Pittsburgh wins 30-28, and will likely be in first place of the AFC North by Tuesday morning.

What is your prediction for the game? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold leading up to kickoff.

How the Ravens defense will try and stop the Steelers offense

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 11:10am
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look at how the Baltimore defense will try to stop the Steelers’ offense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 of the 2019 regular season. After dropping their first three games to start the season, they rebounded with a win vs. the Bengals and now prepare to face a 2-2 Ravens team at Heinz Field.

Since this is a familiar matchup for the Steelers, playing an AFC North team, many fans might feel as if they know everything about this matchup. But the truth is there are a lot of different pieces of the overall puzzle between both of these teams, especially the Baltimore offense. So, I wanted to get a lowdown on what the Ravens might have in store for the Steelers by talking with Baltimore Beatdown, SB Nation’s Ravens website, editor Kyle Barber to pick his brain on the upcoming matchup.

In this second of many installments, I asked Kyle what he thinks the Ravens will do on defense when they have to try and slow down the Steelers’ offense. Check out his response:

I truly don’t know what this defense will do. They’ve allowed 500 yards in back-to-back games.

I think defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale is going to simplify the scheme. With Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith both out, the Ravens can’t sit back in man coverage and wheel four-to-six man blitzes. The entire Baltimore Beatdown staff is hoping to see CB Marlon Humphrey on an island and for Earl Thomas III to get back to his Seahawk days and cover anything and everything deep. The middle is the weakness as Patrick Onwuasor and Kenny Young aren’t gaining the step we all expected with C.J. Mosley’s departure.

Watch for Pernell McPhee and Matt Judon early in the game. They have a knack for starting off hot and cooling down as the game progresses.

For all the confusion surrounding the Ravens’ defense, there is a similar amount of intrigue/confusion with the Steelers’ offense. In the Week 3 loss to the 49ers the Steelers attempted to put the same offense on the field that Ben Roethlisberger ran the past few years under Randy Fichtner, but it failed to produce a victory. In Week 4 they scrapped that plan, and turned to some unique plays/schemes to beat the Bengals.

In other words, no one knows what to think when it comes to the Steelers offense, and a similar song is being sung about the Ravens defense.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to keep tabs on BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Ravens in Week 5.

Identifying the X-Factors for the Steelers in Week 5 vs. the Ravens

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 10:45am
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There are several players for the Steelers who could be viewed as ‘X-Factors’ leading up to the game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 at Heinz Field. It is the Steelers’ third home game of the season, and hopefully the first of many wins for the 2019 regular season.

When looking at the matchup between AFC North foes, there are players who can be viewed as ‘X-Factors’.

What is an ‘X-Factor’?

I would describe an ‘X-Factor’ as a player who can truly alter the outcome of the game, single-handedly. Not just a plug and play type player, but a player who always has to be accounted for, no matter what.

As a clear-cut example of what an ‘X-Factor’ player would look like, think Troy Polamalu. Polamalu’s skill set made him a force to be reckoned with on every play. So, who are the ‘X-Factors’ for the Steelers Week 4 game vs. Cincinnati?

Let’s take a look...

Offensive X-Factor: James Washington

There are some who would put Mason Rudolph into this category ever week until he proves he is capable of being consistent and winning on a regular basis. But that is too easy. For me, the X-Factor is James Washington. Washington has been quiet this entire season, and everyone expected him to show out once Rudolph took over at QB. With Diontae Johnson coming on as a viable target, it is Washington’s turn to win his matchups to create more space for JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Defensive X-Factor: Minkah Fitzpatrick

You didn’t hear much from Minkah Fitzpatrick in Week 4, and that is a good thing. Fitzpatrick seems to have had a calming influence on the back end of the defense, and his football IQ is through the roof. It is now Fitzpatrick should start to be getting comfortable in the new scheme and start making splash plays to help the team win. I hope that time is now for the talented safety.

This week I asked Baltimore Beatdown’s editor Kyle Barber a series of questions leading up to the game, and I asked him who he thought the Ravens’ ‘X-Factor’ would be. Here was his response:

Defense: Marlon Humphrey. He’s a top-five cornerback in the league and when allowed to strap up a wide receiver, he does so. He’s strong, physical and fast. His football IQ is one of the best, too.

Offense: Mark Ingram is the player to watch. He has five rushing touchdowns, yet I don’t hear his name often enough. He’s undoubtedly one of the best free-agent signings in 2019.

Who would be your ‘X-Factor’ for the game? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the upcoming game!

JuJu Smith–Schuster active for Steelers vs. Ravens in Week 5

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 10:39am
Photo: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

As a result, Donte Moncrief is inactive on Sunday

The Pittsburgh Steelershave released their inactive list against the Baltimore Ravens. Questionable players Vince Williams, Vance McDonald, and JuJu Smith-Schuster are all active for Sunday’s game.

Inactives for #Steelers: WR Moncrief, FB Nix, OLB Chickillo, G Fred Johnson, OT Okorafor, TE Gentry, DE Buggs

— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) October 6, 2019

Unable to practice until Friday, both Vance McDonald and JuJu Smith-Schuster were both the definition of questionable coming into the game. Acting as two of quarterback Mason Rudolph‘s favorite targets, it is a benefit to have both players available against the Ravens defense ranked 30th in the NFL against the pass. Vince Williams was a full participant in practice all week, so his availability to help stop the Baltimore’s top-ranked rushing offense will be a welcomed addition.

Roosevelt Nix and Anthony Chickillo were two inactives already announced on Friday. Nix will be missing his fourth consecutive game with a knee injury suffered in Week 1 while Chickillo will miss his third straight game.

Joining these players on the inactive list are several of the usual suspects. Not getting a helmet for Week 5 are rookies DL Isaiah Buggs, G Fred Johnson, and TE Zach Gentry. Second-year OT Chukwuma Okorafor is once again is on the inactive list. WR Donte Moncrief is inactive against the Ravens after getting one game back following a healthy scratch in Week 3. Moncrief was only on the field for three plays in Week 4 and was not targeted.

As for the Ravens, their inactives can be seen below courtesy of Steelers.com. DT Brandon Williams and C Matt Skura are both active.

Ravens Inactives

No. 7 QB Trace McSorley

No. 12 WR Jaleel Scott

No. 22 CB Jimmy Smith

No. 34 CB Anthony Averett

No. 40 LB Kevin Young

No. 72 OG Ben Powers

No. 94 DT Daylon Mack

How the Ravens offense will try and move the ball against the Steelers defense

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/06/2019 - 9:20am
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Taking a look at how the Baltimore offense will try to move the ball on the Steelers’ defense.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 of the 2019 regular season. After dropping their first three games to start the season, they rebounded with a win vs. the Bengals and now prepare to face a 2-2 Ravens team at Heinz Field.

Since this is a familiar matchup for the Steelers, playing an AFC North team, many fans might feel as if they know everything about this matchup. But the truth is there are a lot of different pieces of the overall puzzle between both of these teams, especially the Baltimore offense. So, I wanted to get a lowdown on what the Ravens might have in store for the Steelers by talking with Baltimore Beatdown, SB Nation’s Ravens website, editor Kyle Barber to pick his brain on the upcoming matchup.

In this first of many installments, I asked Kyle what he thinks the Ravens will do when they have the ball and trying to move the ball on the Steelers’ defense. Check out his response:

The Ravens offense is a full-blown enigma. It’s strange to finally witness a full offense for the Ravens at running back, wide receiver and tight end. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is a clear dual-threat quarterback, utilizing his throwing ability and rushing skills. That being said:

The Ravens, in cliche fashion, will attempt to establish a running game. This is, after all, an AFC North battle and getting the Steelers on their heels in the trenches is a must. Though Mark Ingram fumbled last game, head coach John Harbaugh will want to rebuild any lost confidence. The short passing game will soon follow, with Marquise Brown and the tight end trio get their fair share of targets. Watch for the play-action if they get a drive going to midfield, to open up a deep shot on first or second down.

Kyle’s description of what will likely go down at Heinz Field in Week 5 seems pretty reasonable, and the question all Steelers fans have on their minds is will the Steelers be able to stop the run and force Jackson to throw the ball from the pocket? Easier said than done, but it clearly is the recipe for success against the new-look Ravens offense.

Will the Steelers put a spy on Lamar Jackson? Will they run more base defense than their sub packages? If Vince Williams is able to play will he be used early and often, limiting either Mark Barron or Devin Bush’s snaps?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to keep tabs on BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Ravens in Week 5.

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