While the Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a frustrating result in their last outing, they’re far from alone, as the same applies to every team in the AFC North. That includes the division-leading Baltimore Ravens, who dropped a disappointing game against the Miami Dolphins last Thursday night, 22-10.
Quite a bit of it had to do with an offense that not only couldn’t seem to figure out the Dolphins’ defense, but themselves, as well, which is uncharacteristic of the Lamar Jackson/Greg Roman era. In fact, it was their lowest-scoring effort with Jackson at quarterback ever. They even had trouble getting plays called and lined up in a timely manner.
There were, Roman said, “probably a couple calls that needed to get in quicker, and we had a substitution issue on one, but that’s just our operation. We have to be better with our operation. Overall, really, it was a straight to DVD performance, and we know it. So, you get back in, you make the corrections, you bring the requisite energy to our preparation, and we’ll go”.
You don’t hear “straight to DVD” very often, but the general idea is that the product that they put on display last Thursday was not fit for wide consumption. It didn’t merit a national theatrical release, so it was just dumped directly to home video. Or so the metaphor would go.
The Ravens averaged just 4.3 yards per play for the entire game. Although they converted 23 first downs on 70 plays run, they struggled to continue drives, going 2-for-14 on third down. They failed to hit the 100-yard mark on the ground once again, but more importantly, they turned the ball over twice, one a Lamar Jackson interception and the other a Sammy Watkins fumble.
“There are definitely some things that we had to correct – very uncharacteristic things, which really hadn’t shown up this year”, Roman said. “But the NFL season is a long season, and when you have games like that, which it seems like everybody does, it’s really how you respond to it and what you do from there. I think we had a lot of opportunities in that game that we didn’t capitalize on. But that’s a great learning experience for all of us, so we can play our best football moving through the rest of this season”.
The Ravens’ next opponent is the Chicago Bears, who despite losing their last four games have seemingly started to head in the right direction. Rookie quarterback Justin Fields’ last game actually showed a lot of promise—against the Pittsburgh Steelers, of course, of all teams.