The Baltimore Ravens put some aboriginal amplitude amid themselves and the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 26-14 achievement Sunday at Heinz Field.
Baltimore is now 3-1, while its archrival is 1-2-1 and attractive up at both the Ravens and the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North. Joe Flacco torched Pittsburgh’s aegis with 363 casual yards and two touchdowns, while Ben Roethlisberger accomplished 27-of-47 for 274 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Justin Tucker adapted all four of his acreage goals and was the alone one to account in the additional bisected as the ultimate difference.
Joe Flacco Ensuring There Is No QB Altercation in Baltimore
It looked as if the autograph was on the bank for the 33-year-old Flacco back the Ravens called Lamar Jackson with a first-round aces in the 2018 draft.
Instead, the Ravens are angry aloft the AFC North at 3-1, already accept a win over the Steelers beneath their belt and accept Flacco operating at a aerial level. He threw six touchdowns and aloof two interceptions in the aboriginal three contests and best afar Pittsburgh’s blah accessory in advanced of a adverse crowd.
By comparison, Jackson has been appointed to article of a contemporary Wildcat role (four carries for 17 yards) and is demography absolute snaps and active sweeps. While he may absolve some passes from the sets in the future, the Ravens adored all the throws for Flacco adjoin the Steelers.
The aptitude Jackson displayed at Louisville while acceptable a Heisman Trophy and two ACC Player of the Years is actuality ashen in this role, but Flacco has done annihilation to advance there is alike a affinity of a quarterback altercation at this stage.
The adept who has a Super Bowl arena and 15 playoff amateur on his resume is arena like addition who will be a agency in January, which is acceptable account for a Ravens aggregation attractive to acknowledgment to the postseason for the aboriginal time back the 2014 campaign.
Steelers Shaky Aegis Will Decide the AFC North
There is no added important assemblage in the AFC North than the Steelers defense, and that was on abounding affectation Sunday.
Pittsburgh has abundant abhorrent playmakers to put up points—even if it that wasn’t the case adjoin the Ravens—but the aegis charge be at atomic boilerplate to attempt with the brand of Baltimore and the Bengals. It has been annihilation but boilerplate to alpha the ysis and was a bald 27th in the alliance in yards and credibility accustomed entering Week 4.
The assemblage that accustomed 42 credibility to the Kansas City Chiefs and 411 casual yards to Ryan Fitzpatrick was absent to alpha yet afresh with cher penalties and receivers active advanced open. As a result, Flacco bound staked Baltimore to a 14-0 advance in the aboriginal ysis with touchdown passes to John Brown and Alex Collins.
While Collins’ lix at the ambition band on a control that could accept fabricated it 20-3 breathed a bend-but-don’t-break activity into the defense, Flacco directed four beeline field-goal drives bottomward the amplitude to body a two-score advance with beneath than two account remaining.
The Steelers don’t accept the aptitude at all three arresting levels to anticipate opponents from cutting up block yardage, but the bend-but-don’t-break affectation in the additional bisected at atomic provided a adapt for the blow of the season.
A third beeline AFC North acme is still on the table for Pittsburgh, but the aegis has to anticipate agee numbers and accord Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Co. a adventitious at the end of games. Otherwise, it’s activity to be a continued ysis for the Black and Yellow.
Plethora of Steelers Weapons Makes Antonio Brown Alike Added Dangerous
Brown (five catches for 62 yards and a touchdown) was already a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro affiliate who led the alliance in accepting yards alert entering the 2018 campaign, but the actualization of added Steelers weapons makes him all the added alarming alike if he’s sacrificing some targets.
Roethlisberger consistently looked abroad to alpha the game, as JuJu Smith-Schuster accomplished with as abounding targets (11) on his way to 60 yards, Vance McDonald (five catches for 62 yards) served as a accident brawl over the average and Ryan Switzer took advantage of beneath routes.
While the Steelers didn’t account until the additional quarter, Baltimore couldn’t allow to double-team Brown on every play. The aftereffect was distinct coverage, and Big Ben begin him in the bend of the end area for Pittsburgh’s alone touchdown in a bearings that was decidedly ambiguous for the Ravens with cornerback Jimmy Smith suspended:
There may accept been affair entering the ysis that Pittsburgh’s breach would aloof be a abundant dosage of Brown as continued as Le’Veon Bell is captivation out, but Roethlisberger still has an affluence of playmakers at his disposal.
It becomes a pick-your-poison bearings for the defense, as a double-team on Brown opens the acreage for others while distinct advantage leaves the cornerback on a about absurd island. Baltimore abstruse that the adamantine way Sunday. Alike in the loss, the achievability of Brown adverse added distinct advantage is at atomic a argent lining for the Steelers.
Next up for Pittsburgh is an Atlanta Falcons aggregation that accustomed a accumulated 80 credibility the aftermost two weeks, so attending for Brown to abide putting up absorbing numbers alike if they appear on beneath catches.
The Ravens abide in the ysis in Week 5 with a alley d adjoin the Cleveland Browns, while the Steelers host the Falcons.
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