The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in sole possession of first place in the AFC North division thanks to their 26-9 Sunday road win over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell rushed 35 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s win and added another 42 yards on four receptions. As a team, the Steelers rushed for 173 yards against a Ravens defense that had given up 166 yards rushing in the team’s 44-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger certainly appeared to reel himself back in some Sunday against the Ravens. Roethlisberger, who admitted this past week that he likely needed to start taking what opposing defenses give him and stop locking into wide receiver Antonio Brown so much, completed 18 of his 30 total pass attempts in Sunday’s game for 216 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
That interception happened when Brown had the football stripped from him while going to the ground. While the play was originally ruled as Brown being down by contact, the challenged call was eventually overturned via a review when it was ruled that the Steelers wide receiver never fully possessed the thrown football. Brown finished the game with 4 receptions for 34 yards.
The Steelers defense held the Ravens offense in check most of the game on their way to sacking quarterback Joe Flacco four times and intercepting him twice. The Steelers defense also forced a fumble in the first half and two of their three achieved turnovers ultimately resulted in touchdowns by the team’s offense.
Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward had two of the team’s four sacks on Sunday to go along with a forced fumble. Linebacker Ryan Shazier also played well Sunday in Baltimore as his 11 total tackles led the team. Shazier also intercepted Flacco once and a defensed pass of his in the second half was also ultimately intercepted by cornerback Mike Hilton.
While the Ravens did record two explosive offensive plays against the Steelers defense, both were runs by running back Alex Collins. The Ravens longest completed pass play Sunday was 16 yards and that was a touchdown throw by Flacco to wide receiver Mike Wallace with 6:07 left in the third quarter.
With the win, the Steelers move to 3-1 on the season while the Ravens are now 2-2 thanks to Sunday’s home loss.
Elsewhere in Sunday AFC North play, the Cincinnati Bengals easily beat the Cleveland Browns 31-7 on the road.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton completed 25 of his 30 total pass attempts in the win for 286 yards and four touchdowns. Tight end Tyler Kroft caught two of Dalton’s four touchdown passes and ended the game with 6 receptions for 68 yards.
The Bengals defense did their part on Sunday as they held the Browns offense to 215 total net yards in the win. Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer completed just 16 of his 34 total pass attempts against the Bengals defense on Sunday for 118 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He ultimately gave way to backup quarterback Kevin Hogan, who completed 5 of his 8 pass attempts for 65 yards.
The Bengals defense only allowed the Browns offense to rush for 45 yards on Sunday.
The Bengals win over the Browns was their first of the season. The Browns, on the other hand, remain win-less in 2017.
In week 5 AFC North action, the Steelers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday at Heinz Field. The Ravens will go on the road to play the Oakland Raiders next Sunday while the Bengals and Browns will both have home games next Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, respectively.