The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens for their first of two matchups this season. All reports point to this being Ben Roethlisberger’s last time hosting the Ravens in Pittsburgh. Tony Romo, Jim Nantz, and Tracy Wolfson will be on the call for today. We can probably expect there to be plenty of Ben Roethlisberger talk in this game and for the rest of the season, but Ben will no doubt be looking to make the most of his last handful of games in a career spanning nearly two decades.
Both the Steelers and Ravens have a lot of question marks on the injury report heading into today, so the inactives list will be highly anticipated.
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Steelers Inactive Players
CB Joe Haden
DT Isaiah Buggs
QB Dwayne Haskins
RB Anthony McFarland Jr.
DT Carlos Davis
Ravens Inactive Players
CB Chris Westry
RB Ty’son Williams
OLB Jaylon Ferguson
WR Miles Boykin
TE Nick Boyle
Matt Canada had mentioned Anthony McFarland still having a chance to find a role this year, but that will not be this week. Another healthy scratch for him. Isaiah Buggs gets another healthy scratch to his name as well. Carlos Davis was activated off IR, but he will not see the field this week either. The Ravens appear to have gotten a best-case scenario with their injuries after their entire secondary was labeled questionable on Friday.
The Ravens start out the game with the ball. ON first down, Lamar Jackson with the short pass to Devonta Freeman, good for 14 yards.
On 1st down, Freeman got the ball again, this time on the ground for 1 yard. Lamar Jackson scrambled for 12 yards to pick up another fresh set of downs.
Devonta Freeman was nearly brought down behind the line on first down, but Devin Bush and Alex Highsmith tripped each other. Freeman went for 5 yards. The Ravens sent too many people in motion on 2nd down, so they are backing up to 2nd and 10. Incomplete pass from Lamar Jackson intended for Mark Andrews brings up 3rd down. 3rd and 10, and Jackson finds Latavius Murray on a crosser for a gain of 16 and another first down.
The first down pass was batted down by Montravius Adams. His first stat registered as a member of the PIttsburgh Steelers! The Ravens did some misdirection on the hand off and Freeman was able to take it the other way for 18 yards.
Chris Wormley found his way to Lamar Jackson on 1st down, dropped for a loss of 9. That was more of a coverage sack, so good job to the secondary. Baltimore called for delay of game on a bad snap for the Ravens. The Ravens bailed out by the play clock. Its now 2nd and 24, but it could have been 2nd and 34. Murray got the ball on the check down again and took it 18 yards. 3rd and 6 and Lamar Jackson threw the ball under pressure off his back foot. Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted it in the end zone!
Najee Harris got the ball on 1st and 2nd down. Some nice leg drive on 2nd got him down near the first down marker. Dan Moore Jr. injured on the play. Looks like Zach Banner and Chuks Okorafor will be the makeup at tackle. Banner had been ill, so there is a chance that Chaz Green will come in. Lets hope not. Banner appeared to be at right tackle with Chuks at left. The 3rd and 1 attempt was no good with a Najee run up the middle. Pressley Harvin punted and the ball came off his foot the wrong way. It went just 38 yards.
TJ Watt darted into the backfield on 1st down for the one yard TFL. ON 2nd, Mark Andrews with another drop. That is rare, and can’t be counted on. That would have been an easy first down. Lamar Jackson dropped back on 3rd and 11 and he went to Marquise Brown. Justin Layne came and met him at the line of scrimmage. The Ravens punt and Ray-Ray McCloud gets a 13 yard runback to start the Steelers’ offense at the 27 yard line.
Joe Haeg being in is not good for the Steelers’ hopes of keeping a 5th round draft pick.
In the blink of an eye, the Steelers had 3rd and 2 where they went deep to Chase Claypool incomplete. Pressley Harvin boomed a 64 yard punt that rolled out of bounds at the 1-inch line. Steelers firmly have the field position battle advantage at this point.
Lamar Jackson found Patrick Ricard for a 9 yard gain on 1st. Bought them a little breathing room. Devonta Freeman was able to pick up three for the first down.
Lamar Jackson kept the ball himself on 1st down, but he lost his footing on his cut for 5 yards. Could have been much more. TJ Watt was able to shoestring Lamar Jackson for the sack on 2nd down. 3rd and 7, Lamar complete to Mark Andrews in the middle of the field. He lowered his shoulder to pick up the extra yardage for the first down.
On 1st down, Latavius Murray picked up three yards, brought down by Derrek Tuszka.
END OF 1ST QUARTER – 0-0 EVEN.
This is the first scoreless first quarter between these two teams since 2008. That is surprising given the low-scoring close games that this rivalry is known for.
On 2nd down, Lamar Jackson scrambled for the first down, but took a nice hit from Ahkello Witherspoon at the end.
Before the play on 1st down, a false start on the Ravens, so now 1st and 15. The ball was tipped up by Joe Schobert and Terrell Edmunds whiffed on the easy interception. The Ravens came up short on 2nd down, but TJ Watt was called for unsportsmanlike.
Cameron Heyward stuffed Freeman on 1st down for a loss of 2 yards. Mark Andrews got the short pass on 2nd down and picked up those two lost yards. On 3rd and 10, Mark Andrews got the ball again and fought through about five defenders to get just enough for the first down. Great effort play by Andrews.
On 1st and 10, Freeman went off left tackle for 4 yards. Lamar Jackson scrambled for 5 yards to set up 3rd and 1. The Ravens are well within field goal range by now. Called for a false start, backing them up to 3rd and 6. A little more manageable for Pittsburgh. Mark Andrews found some space in the deep middle and picked up 29 yards. The first explosive play of the game.
The very next play, Devonta Freeman in for the touchdown. 7-0 Ravens.
That was a 10+ minute drive and the half is almost over. The Steelers have had way too many games start out like this where their defense can’t seem to get off the field.
Ray-Ray McCloud tried to return the kickoff, but was brought down at the 17 yard line. Najee Harris took the ball on 1st down for 18 yards. Nearly an explosive play for him, but just shy. Ben Roethlisberger tried to go deep to Diontae Johnson. Johnson’s head was nearly taken off on a questionable late hit. Najee took the ball on 2nd and 10 but was swallowed up by multiple Ravens behind the line. Ben went to McCloud well short of the sticks on 3rd down. McCloud made the first guy miss, but still was nowhere near the 1st.
Pressley Harvin punted 43 yards, returned to the 27 yard line by Devin Duvernay
TJ Watt nearly got in for the sack on 1st down, but Lamar Jackson was able to get the ball off for a short gain. Lamar kept the ball for 8 yards and the first down.
Chris Wormley got his 2nd sack of the day, TJ Watt was also in the area. A loss of 9 yards, so 2nd and 19 now. Marquise Brown was able to make up 10 of those yards on 2nd. On 3rd down, Tre Norwood nearly got the sack, but forced Lamar to step up into Cameron Heyward for a sack. That is 4 sacks now on Lamar for the day. Lamar is clearly frustrated.
TWO MINUTE WARNING.
The Steelers received the punt back to their own 13 yard line.
Chase Claypool got the ball on 1st down for a 12 yard gain and a first down.
On 1st, Najee Harris got the short pass for 4 yards. Pat Freiermuth had his first catch of the game for 17 yards. A Raven is down injured on the play, so it forced the timeout within the two minute warning.
Pat Freiermuth again for 6 yards and getting out of bounds. 2nd and 4, Diontae Johnson gets his first catch of the game on a slant route. The Steelers are now within field goal range with 00:48 remaining in the half and three timeouts. Steelers call their first timeout.
On 1st and 10, Ben had the perfect pass to Diontae Johnson in the end zone, but Diontae Johnson dropped the ball. Not too many drops for Diontae this year, but that one hurts. Another incomplete pass on 2nd down. On 3rd, Pat Freiermuth was targeted, but it fell incomplete. That missed touchdown opportunity hurts, and now the Steelers will have to settle for a long field goal attempt. Chris Boswell nails the 53 yard field goal. 7-3 Ravens.
The Steelers get the ball back at the top of the 2nd half. With 00:27 remaining, its basically halftime.
HALFTIME 7-3 RAVENS.
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