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‘We Didn’t Play Physical’: Highsmith Frustrated With Performance, Knows Ravens Didn’t Do Anything Exotic

Everybody inside Acrisure Stadium on the field and in the stands, as well as in the Tri-State area at that point, knew what the Baltimore Ravens were going to do down the stretch Sunday in the rivalry matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14.

The Ravens, already missing quarterback Lamar Jackson due to injury and down backup Tyler Huntley due to injury in the game, had undrafted free agent quarterback Anthony Brown in the lineup, all but taking away any threat of a passing game. That was just fine for the Ravens, who leaned heavily on a physical offensive line and a standout duo of running backs in J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards to put the game away down the stretch, leading to the 16-14 win.

Late in the game, the Ravens ran the football on 14 of the final 20 plays, imposing their will against the Steelers’ soft defensive front, icing the game. For third-year outside linebacker Alex Highsmith, the Steelers’ inability to get a stop late was rather frustrating and embarrassing as they were outmuscled time and time again.

“No, they just  just ran it and we weren’t able to stop them, so we just didn’t play physical enough,” Highsmith stated to reporters after the loss, according to a video via Steelers.com. “It’s frustrating because we knew what they were gonna do.”

The Steelers said all evening after the game that they knew that the Ravens were going to run the football. Everyone, for that matter, knew what Baltimore was going to do in the second half with Brown in the lineup for Huntley.

It didn’t matter though, and that’s what’s most frustrating of all when reviewing the game again. The Steelers were dominated at the point of attack by the Ravens. There was a real surge off of the ball by the Ravens’ offensive line, and the Steelers’ defensive front could not get off of blocks, allowing the Ravens to run at will throughout the matchup.

Not being physical enough has been a problem in recent seasons for the Steelers, especially against run-heavy teams like the Ravens. How that gets corrected is unknown at this point. It won’t get fixed this season, but the Steelers will have to focus on getting players that are much more physical at the point of attack and won’t be pushed around.

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