Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Baltimore Ravens Pitch Second-Half Shutout, Halt Steelers 26-14

September 30, 2018 - 11:59 pm

By Joe Schiller

There are good starts – and there’s what the Baltimore Ravens did in the opening minutes against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

Baltimore’s offense came out strong – engineering back-to-back touchdown drives of 75 and 31 yards to take an early 14-0 lead.

Joe Flacco found his favorite target, John Brown, for a 33-yard touchdown strike. Following Tony Jefferson’s forced fumble, Flacco tossed a short three-yard touchdown pass to Alex Collins.

Despite a fierce comeback from the Steelers, the Ravens held their ground, pitched a second-half shutout against one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, and won a crucial AFC North battle at Heinz Field 26-14.

Flacco finished the game 28-of-42 for 363 passing yards and two touchdowns. He was accurate and stayed clean in the turnover department for the second straight game.

John Brown nabbed three receptions for 116 yards and Willie Snead added 56 of his own on six catches. The tight end trio of Maxx Williams, Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle combined for 99 yards.

In this rivalry, no lead ever seems safe and the Steelers made that apparent. They settled down after a shaky start and scored 14 unanswered points by way of two field goals from Chris Boswell and a 26-yard touchdown reception from Antonio Brown.

Brown saw 11 targets and finished with five receptions for 62 yards and the score.

Alex Collins had a chance to deliver a knockout blow but coughed up a costly fumble on the one-yard line. And after two successful touchdown drives, the Ravens couldn’t find any offensive groove.

The momentum swung in favor of the Steelers heading into halftime tied at 14-14 but the second half featured defensive dominance, won by the Ravens.

They made James Connor non-existent, holding the second-year running back to 19 rushing yards on nine carries.

Big Ben couldn’t find a rhythm in the passing game even without a consistent pass rush and potential third-down conversions that worked in the first half ended in frustrating fashion during the third and fourth quarters.

Justin Tucker’s four field goals were the only points in the second half for either team. His leg proved vital again while Anthony Levine’s game-sealing interception put the nail in the coffin.

With the win, the Ravens improve to 3-1 on the season. They pick up a crucial AFC North win on the road in the hostile Pittsburgh environment and head to Cleveland next Sunday to face the Browns.