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Ravens' defense dominates Ben Roethlisberger

The return of Ben Roethlisberger did not stop Pittsburgh's losing streak. Here's what we learned from Baltimore's 21-14 victory over the Steelers:

  1. Give the Ravens' defense and Roethlisberger equal credit for the ugliest offensive performance by any team this NFL season through the first 50 minutes of this game. In Pittsburgh's first 12 drives, the team had two first downs, nine three-and-outs and two turnovers by Big Ben. He dropped some gorgeous dimes in a frenzied fourth-quarter comeback attempt from 21-0 down, which should ease fears about his health. His early struggles were more mental than physical, as Baltimore's defense confused him often.
  1. The Ravens tried to correct their pass-happy ways and it didn't work. They went with a run-heavy approach, watching Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon prove equally ineffective, as they rushed 24 times for a combined 34 yards. Stephon Tuitt, Cameron Heyward won their battles up front and resurgent linebacker Ryan Shazier was all over the place for Pittsburgh.
  1. The key to Baltimore's underrated team defense is up the middle. Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan are very difficult to run on, as Le'Veon Bell (32 rushing yards on 14 carries) found this week. Middle linebacker Zach Orr consistently cleaned up plays and Eric Weddle has added stability to the secondary.
  1. Joe Flacco and the Ravens' offense weren't much better than Pittsburgh. They struggled to move the ball, scoring touchdowns on a slant that Wallace took 95 yards, a short field set up by turnover and a blocked punt returned for a score. Throw out Wallace's wild gallop and they gained 179 yards on 14 drives. Flacco has not looked comfortable in weeks and continued to make bad decisions.
  1. We'll hit Week 10 without a team over .500 in the AFC North. The Ravens already have a four-game losing streak on the docket, yet are tied for the division lead with Pittsburgh at 4-4. The Bengals, on a bye this week, had to have enjoyed watching this result. Pittsburgh seems to build a first-half hole every year that prevents a real chance at a bye.
  1. Baltimore did a great job double and triple teaming Antonio Brown through the first three quarters. Roethlisberger couldn't find any other receivers to step up, although that was largely on him because of poor timing and accuracy.
  1. Chris Boswell's last-second onside kick attempt was a sight to behold. Dan Hanzus breaks down the all-timer.
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