Quick Links

Defense can't hold off late Pittsburgh rally


Defense can't hold off late Pittsburgh rally

The Ravens made a lot of good plays on defense Sunday, coming up with three Pittsburgh turnovers in this AFC North battle. In the end, though, the Ravens couldn’t do enough to stop the Steelers.

After leading much of the game, the Ravens watched the Steelers score the game’s final 10 points, including Shaun Suisham’s 42-yard field goal as time expired that gave Pittsburgh a come-from-behind 23-20 victory. That ended Baltimore's home winning streak at 15 games. Pittsburgh was the last team to beat the Ravens at home, and that was two years ago.

 The Ravens shut down third-string quarterback Charlie Batch throughout the first half. He missed on a bunch of passes, including his overthrow of a wide open receiver in the end zone in the final minute. But the veteran slowly came to life in the second half, and the Pittsburgh air attack also awoke as the Steelers scored 17 points in the final two quarters.

“[He] played very well,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “He did a good job. Charlie’s always been a good quarterback. We had a lot of respect for him going into the game.”

Batch completed 25 of 36 for 276 yards and one touchdown. The Steelers were able to move the ball throughout the second half and put pressure on the Ravens, something they couldn't do in the first half. 

“They made enough plays to win the game, so you have to tip your hat to them,” Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin said.

But Batch and the Steelers needed to overcome the three turnovers the Ravens forced that derailed the Steelers a few times.

Corey Graham picked off a pass from wide receiver Antonio Brown in the first half. Brown throws left-handed and tried to throw back across the field to the right side after Batch handed him the ball on a reverse-- and the ball hung long enough for Graham to catch it.

Joe Flacco threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin four plays later for a 13-3. The Steelers’ offense got in gear after that but still needed to overcome two turnovers. Emmanuel Sanders caught a Batch pass over the middle but fumbled with no one near him. The ball rolled away, and Ed Reed recovered it.

In the fourth quarter, Reed stepped up again. He made a leaping interception of a Batch pass in the end zone that was intended for Heath Miller that preserved the Ravens’ 20-13 lead with 10:59 left in the game.

The Steelers then took advantage of a Joe Flacco fumble to get the ball in good field position and get a short drive for the tying touchdown. Batch then guided Pittsburgh on a long 12-play drive that ate up the final 6 minutes, 14 seconds.

“I’m not sure how they were hurting us,” linebacker Paul Kruger said. “It just seemed we were out of rhythm. They were making the plays they needed to make, and they were hitting us right where they could. We just have to go back and made those corrections and finish strong.”

Quick Links

Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

USA Today Sports Images

Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

Quick Links

Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

USA TODAY Sports Images

Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?