Steelers-Ravens grades: Scobee rhymes with ‘D’
Quarterback (C) — Mike Vick was mostly accurate and efficient, and he had a couple of clutch first-down runs to keep scoring drives alive in the Steelers’ 23-20 overtime loss to the Ravens. The Steelers didn’t ask him to do anything special. Just things he’s accustomed to doing — like running when pressured.
Skill positions (B) — Predictably, Le’Veon Bell had a lot of touches – 22 rushes for 129 yards and seven catches for 21 yards. He appears to have reached his form after missing the first two games, especially on an 11-yard touchdown run in which he reversed field to pick up a block by Vick.
Line (B) — It was an up-and-down game for the offensive front. They did just enough to create narrow seams for Bell, and they gave Vick plenty of time to throw. They’ll get most of the blame for the four sacks, but the sacks were really on Vick, who often held the ball too long. The line came up big on a 21-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
Coaching (B) — Offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn’t panic with Vick behind center. He orchestrated a more controlled passing game that involved mostly Bell. Wide receiver Antonio Brown couldn’t produce the big plays without Roethlisberger. His streak of getting at least five catches for 50 yards was snapped at 35.
Line (B) — The defensive front was both solid and shaky. The middle of the line was often wiped out as running back Justin Forsett rushed for 150 yards. But they slammed the door on the Ravens on fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter. Overall, the short-yardage defense excelled.
Linebackers (B) — Lawrence Timmons and Sean Spence played well as both recorded sacks. Arthur Moats in run and pass coverage gave the defense a lift in the second half, then James Harrison sacked Joe Flacco on fourth down with 2:11 left.
Secondary (C) — Cornerback Ross Cockrell moved up the depth chart in a hurry by having a nose for the ball in practice. He came through Thursday by recording his first career interception and he recovered a fumble that led to a Steelers touchdown.
Coaching (C) — Keith Butler has to fix the run defense, which struggled in the second half. But his secondary played relatively well, partly because he ordered a variety of blitzes, including a corner blitz by Antwon Blake, to rattle Flacco.
Placekicking (D) — Josh Scobee didn’t have a good night. He missed field goal tries of 49 and 41 yards. He could have put the game on ice with his 41-yarder.
Punting (A) — Jordan Berry consistently put the coverage team in position to make plays. The Ravens didn’t have a chance to set up a return.
Coverage (B) — Usually, the Ravens fare well against the Steelers, but they were shut down for the most part. A penalty by Robert Golden for purposely leaving the field was the only mishap.
Returns (B) — The Steelers didn’t have few chances, but Dri Archer turned in his best effort on the overtime kickoff to give the offense good field position. Antonio Brown returned a punt 21 yards to the Steelers 41 to swing field position in overtime.
Offense (C) — Quarterback Joe Flacco had some bad throws and curious clock management in the finals seconds of regulation. Still, he was good enough to Baltimore in position to win the game in overtime, mostly behind the running of Justin Forsett.
Defense (B) — The Ravens were plagued by missed tackles. They had a difficult time wrapping up Bell. While they had four sacks, they let Vick slip out of the pocket for big yards.
Special teams (A) — The Ravens couldn’t generate anything with their special teams. But Justin Tucker corrects lot of mistakes. He forced the game into overtime when Scobee missed a 41-yarder, and for the eighth time in his career he made the game-winning kick, a 52-yarder in overtime.
Coaching (B) — Coach John Harbaugh thought he would catch the Steelers napping with a fake field goal, but it backfired when Sean Spence chopped down tight end Nick Boyle behind the line of scrimmage.