This game looked line something from last year or seasons past. The offense struggled from start to finish, the defense needed to rescue them, and that's just what happened when the Ravens edged Pittsburgh, 13-10, Sunday night for a key AFC North road win.
Here's a few observations from the game in re the defense.
1. The run defense did its job -- The Ravens allowed 134 yards on the ground overall, and the Steelers moved the ball in the second half with the rush. Still, the Ravens didn't let Pittsburgh control the clock or the game with run, something that's happened a bunch of times already this season.
2. The pass rush helped out -- The Ravens finished with three sacks in this game. Paul Kruger got a sack of Byron Leftwich in the first quarter, and Haloti Ngata and James Ihedigbo added big sacks in the second half to stop Pittsburgh drives. Leftwich seemed to be in some kind of pain after the ran for a touchdown in the game's opening minute, and he also seemed affected by that.
3. Corey Graham made some plays -- Stepping in at defensive back in the injury-depleted secondary, Graham swatted away one pass that would have been a touchdown. He picked off another to stop a scoring drive, and in the final minute made a bone-jarring hit that separated Heath Miller from the ball as the Steelers were trying to drive at the end.
4. Turnovers helped -- That's the formula the Ravens have used countless times over the years, get turnovers at the right time to stop the other team. Baltimore forced three Pittsburgh turnover, including one on the game's final play. Ed Reed recovered one fumble that new cornerback Chris Johnson forced.
The Ravens got a lot of big plays on defense at different times. The combination of everyone helping out is a big reason they pulled out the victory on a night when the offense didn't help much. Now, the Ravens have a two-game lead with six games left.