Ultimately, it served as inspiration.
Rice was reaching the end of a two-game suspension for domestic violence when a video of him striking his then-fiancee surfaced Monday. By the end of the day, the three-time Pro Bowler had been cut by Baltimore and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.
"We had a tough family situation this week," coach John Harbaugh said. "I thought our guys handled it tremendously - with class, with character. They responded."
Coming off a season-opening loss to AFC North foe Cincinnati, the Ravens (1-1) held Pittsburgh to two field goals and forced three turnovers.
"We was all about getting the win. We wanted to kind of give that to Ray," rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "We all wish the best for him. Even though he messed up, every man got to go through their mistakes to get better. We wish him the best, but as a team we've just got to keep moving forward."
Asked if he was curious how the team would fare after the tumultuous short work week, Baltimore defensive lineman Chris Canty shouted, "We weren't curious at all. We knew how this was going to go. This was going to go one way, our way, tonight. No question about it."
"Obviously, a disappointing effort for us," coach Mike Tomlin said. "A lot of the self-inflicted wounds are going to prevent you from being in a football game like that. We turned the ball over too often (and) were highly penalized. Those two things are a lethal combination."
It was only the second time in the last 11 regular-season meetings between the teams that the outcome was decided by more than three points.
Roethlisberger completed 22 of 37 passes for 217 yards. It was the first time since Nov. 26, 2006, that Baltimore held Pittsburgh without a touchdown.
"We moved the ball; we just made a mistake here and there," Roethlisberger said.
That led to a 22-yarder by Tucker with 11:14 left.
Although the Rice video and the reaction were the talk of Baltimore for much of the week, a few fans showed their loyalty to the banished running back by wearing his No. 27 jersey.
But the crowd of 71,181 was quick to turn its attention to on-field action at the opening kickoff.
Pierce and Justin Forsett combined for 32 yards on Baltimore's next series, which ended in a field goal for a 10-0 lead.
Pittsburgh finally broke through with 2:50 left in the half, getting a field goal to end an 11-play, 73-yard drive.
It was 10-6 before Flacco connected with Daniels on a 1-yard touchdown pass to cap an 80-yard drive highlighted by Flacco's 24-yard completion to tight end Dennis Pitta.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press