Feel free to substitute in “enough” for “any” in that headline. Although the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to hold the Baltimore Ravens to 20 points, not a horrible number, but it felt so much worse than that. The Steelers led Ryan Mallett, 12 days with his new team, complete 73.7% of his passes in the first half. On the day, the Ravens didn’t turn the ball over for the first time in six weeks.
It’s as simple as that. For their part, the defense didn’t make the plays needed to win that game, and it was a recurring theme from players speaking to reporters in the locker room after the game.
“They got some shorter passes at first. Got them in a rhtyhm,” Cam Heyward said. “We didn’t get of fthe field when we need to. We din’t tackle well, we didn’t rally to the ball, we didn’t apply pressure, we didn’t stop the run good enough. You name it, we didn’t do it.”
Heyward, like several other players, pointed to being -2 in the turnover battle as a huge obstacle in why the Steelers lost.
Ryan Shazier seemed at a loss for words over why the Ravens had so much success, finishing the day at 50%.
“They just made he plays and we didn’t. I can’t tell you anything about it. They just did a better job of making the plays on offense than we did on defense.”
Though there is a lot of anger from fans, much of it directed at coaches, Heyward believes the coaches prepared them to play. Execution, was the issue.
“Coaches prepared us. That’s not the problem. I thought the coaches came with a great gameplan. We didn’t do our job. We didn’t execute enough.”
The Steelers’ defense has been an average unit, as we’ve talked about all year long. What elevates this defense beyond that is an ability to make splash plays. And they failed miserably in that area Sunday.