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Ravens' Harbaugh not worried about job security after loss to Steelers

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Ravens' Harbaugh not worried about job security after loss to Steelers

As the Baltimore Ravens enter their bye week 4-5, sitting third in the AFC North and having now lost three in a row, their week off will be spent answering several tough questions.

One of the biggest and toughest ones has to do with their head coach of 11 years. 

John Harbaugh has led the Ravens to the playoffs six of his 10 full seasons, and of course in 2012, coached his team to winning Super Bowl XLVII. But the Ravens haven't seen the postseason since 2014, and with a loss against the Cincinnati Bengals come Week 11, the playoffs once again look to be in the rearview mirror.

The bye week could bring the end of an era. Or it could not.

After his teams 23-16 loss Sunday to the Steelers Sunday in what was considered a must-win game, Harbaugh was asked about the possibility of being relieved of his coaching duties sometime in the next week. 

"I've never been someone who's worried about keeping a job," Harbaugh said. "It's always been, for me, [about] doing the job. I've got a bunch of great coaches and a bunch of great players that bust their tails every day to do the best job they can. I feel really good about the way this team has been coached for the last 11 years, and for the last number of weeks we've been in the season. So, there are no regrets. Never been any regrets here with me."

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, in February at his annual State of the Ravens press conference, was asked why there were no coaching changes made after the Ravens' heartbreaking, last second Week 17 loss to the Bengals that knocked them out of the playoffs. 

"I’m not going to give a ‘playoff or bust’ edict to you all, or to my coach," Bisciotti said at the time. "He’s under as much pressure, probably, than he’s ever been in his life, and I expect him to keep his chin up and take his positivity and his talents and make the most of this season. I may as well replace him now if I’m going to tell him, ‘Make the playoffs or you’re out of town next year.’ That’s just not the way to run a business.”

Ravens players stood by Harbaugh, telling reporters after the loss that they didn't think there needed to be a personnel change.

"No, I don't. We have a lot of confidence in what we can do as a team," Joe Flacco said.

"There are a lot of teams out there that aren't quite in the position that they want to be in; we're just one of them. Obviously, the name of the game in this league is winning football games, and there is always going to be pressure internally and externally when you're not winning games like you want to. We understand that, and we just have to do more." 

When asked about the report of Harbaugh being on the hot seat, linebacker C.J. Mosley responded with, "Let's not worry about that."

The wound of a division loss, especially to the Steelers, is still very fresh. Both Harbaugh and players noted that their bye week will be spent getting mentally, and physically, back on track. And while Harbaugh's future could be in jeopardy, the head coach remains focused on his future with this team.

"We'll keep fighting, and that's what we'll do," he said. 

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Big Ben's big day propels Steelers past Ravens in Week 9 rematch

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USA Today

Big Ben's big day propels Steelers past Ravens in Week 9 rematch

BALTIMORE -- Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes, ran for a score and put up an unexpected left-footed punt to help the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-16 Sunday.

James Conner rushed for 107 yards and caught a TD pass for the Steelers (5-2-1), who have won four straight since falling to the Ravens at home on Sept. 30.

Roethlisberger went 28 for 47 for 270 yards. His 1-yard run put Pittsburgh up 20-6 in the third quarter, and the 36-year-old showed his grit by missing only one play after being flattened during a sprint from the pocket with just over 13 minutes left.

The Ravens (4-5) scored only one touchdown in their third straight defeat. Joe Flacco was limited to 209 yards passing and sacked twice.

Pittsburgh opened the second half with a drive that lasted nearly seven minutes and ended with a 1-yard plunge by Roethlisberger. The conversion sailed wide to the right, keeping the score at 20-6.

Down by two touchdowns and facing a potential two-game deficit in the AFC North, the Ravens reacted. Flacco completed six passes in a 75-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Alex Collins.

The defense followed by forcing the game's first three-and-out, but the Baltimore offense failed to sustain the momentum.

After the Ravens punted. Roethlisberger was collared from behind by Za'Darius Smith and remained on the ground for several minutes. Joshua Dobbs came in, completed a 22-yard pass to Jesse James, then gave way to Roethlisberger.

The drive led to a field goal for a 10-point cushion with 8:26 remaining.

Roethlisberger threw 29 passes in the first half and showed his kicking prowess as Pittsburgh took a 14-6 lead.

With the Steelers facing a fourth down from the Baltimore 38, Roethlisberger lined up in shotgun formation and popped up a 27-yard punt -- his seventh career kick.

The Ravens then settled for a field goal one play after Flacco failed to see wide-open Lamar Jackson on the right side near the end zone. Jackson, a rookie quarterback who's been used in a variety of ways, went in motion on the play and was left uncovered.

Roethlisberger put Pittsburgh ahead with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Conner, and the Steelers made it 14-3 when Roethlisberger capped a 75-yard drive with a 6-yard TD pass to Antonio Brown.

INJURIES

Steelers: None reported.

Ravens: Starting offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and James Hurst (back) were on the inactive list. ... CB Tavon Young hurt his right ankle in the fourth quarter and did not return. ... Also inactive, though not injured, was Ty Montgomery, obtained Tuesday in a trade with Packers.

TRIBUTE TO SYNAGOGUE VICTIMS

Roethlisberger wore cleats emblazoned with a Star of David in response to the late-October shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The Star of David was in yellow and served as the upper part of the Steelers logo. There were also the words, "Stronger Than Hate" on each shoe.

Roethlisberger and his wife are friends of Michele Rosenthal, a former team employee. Two of Rosenthal's brothers were among the 11 killed in the attack that stunned the Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

MR. TOUCHDOWNS

Conner has 10 touchdowns, most by a Steelers player through eight games since 1950. Brown has nine TD catches, a team record through eight games.

 

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Ravens vs. Steelers Week 9: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens vs. Steelers Week 9: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

It's one of the greatest rivalries in football, and both the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will be seeking redemption in this Week 9 matchup.

The Ravens (4-4) and the Steelers (4-2-1) square off at M&T Bank Stadium with the Steelers leading the regular season series 24-21. Baltimore has won four of the last seven matchups, and under John Harbaugh, the series is tied at 12-12, including the playoffs.

Ahead of the matchup, here's everything you need to know.

Seeking redemption

A must-win. It's an overused phrase in the world of sports, but for the Ravens this game is just that. After dropping their last two and finding themselves third in the AFC North behind the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, a loss Sunday would have serious implications on the Ravens' playoffs hopes.

After a stunning last second loss to the New Orleans Saints that was followed up by Cam Newton and the Panthers running all over the Ravens defense, shutting down the Steelers at home would provide the Ravens with a much-needed confidence boost.

On the other side of the field, the Steelers are seeking revenge after getting embarrassed by the Ravens on home turf during Sunday Night Football back in Week 4.

But this isn't the same team we saw back in September. Since the 26-14 loss, the Steelers have gone for over 400 yards in total offense in back-to-back games, have averaged 34 points-per-game in their last three and have won three in a row. 

With these two, throw history out the window.

Le'Veon who?

Three-time Pro Bowler Le'Veon Bell has yet to show up for the season as he waits out a long-term contract agreement. But Pittsburgh doesn't appear to be missing him.

James Conner has taken the opportunity he's been presented with in Bell's absence and literally ran with it. Last Sunday against the Browns, Conner put up 212 yards, 146 of them on the ground, and earned himself AFC Offensive Player of the Month. 

Through seven games, the running back has nine touchdowns, 599 yards and is averaging 4.72 yards-per-carry. He's also on pace to produce more rushing yards (1,369), more receiving yards (738) and more touchdowns (21) than Bell did in 2017. 

"I think it’s like, since 2015, if you look at their stats, there are a lot of stats in different categories that the Steelers are actually better without him, that they’re better in those categories since 2015 without Le’Veon," Ravens defensive coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale said about Conner Thursday. "So, that might be why he’s riding a jet ski down in Miami right now."

The Ravens' 11th ranked rushing defense will have its hands full with Conner as he too will be seeking revenge for the 19 rushing yards they held the Steelers to in Week 4. 

Injuries are mounting for the Ravens

The Ravens have made it through much of the season without any monumental injuries, but their offensive line is starting to crumble.

Guard Alex Lewis (neck) and center Bradley Bozeman (calf) returned to the practice field Thursday, but guard James Hurst (back) and tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. To add insult to injury (pun intended) the Steelers are tied for second in the league in sacks at 24. With the O-line potentially being shuffled around, the healthy men up front will have to work extra hard to protect their QB and new running back Ty Montgomery.

Safety Tony Jefferson (hamstring), inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (thigh) and outside linebacker Tim Williams (ankle) all did not practice Thursday.

For those of you who were hoping Ben Roethlisberger's fractured left finger would limit him, you're out of luck. The quarterback was a full participant at practice Wednesday. 

Click here to see the updated injury report for Ravens-Steelers

Ravens vs. Steelers Week 9 How to Watch:

Who: Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

What: Week 9 regular season

When: Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: M&T Bank Stadium

TV Channel: CBS

Live Stream: Watch Now with fuboTV - Try free trial

Radio: WBAL New Radio 1090 and 98Rock

Weather: 59 degrees, sunny

Ravens 2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1: Sun., 9/9. Ravens vs. Bills. Win, 47-3 (1-0)

Week 2: Thur., 9/13 Ravens at Bengals. Loss, 34-23 (1-1)

Week 3: Sun., 9/23 Ravens vs. Broncos. Win, 27-14 (2-1)

Week 4: Sun., 9/30 Ravens at Steelers. Win, 26-14 (3-1)

Week 5: Sun., 10/7 Ravens at Browns. Loss, 12-9 (3-2)

Week 6: Sun., 10/14 Ravens at Titans. Win, 21-0 (4-2)

Week 7: Sun., 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m. Loss, 24-23 (4-3)

Week 8: Sun., 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m. Loss 36-21 (4-4)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 10:  BYE week

Week 11: Sun., 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12: Sun., 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.

Week 13: Sun., 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: Sun., 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Sun., 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: Sat., 12/22 @ Chargers, 8:20 p.m. ET

Week 17: Sun., 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.