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Prisuta's Further Review

Posted Oct 21, 2013

They ran for more yards by halftime (82) than they had in any previous full game this season on the way to their first 100-yard effort on the ground as a team (141) in just over 11 months (Nov. 18, 2012, 134 against Baltimore).

The question is where did all those rushing yards come from in Sunday’s 19-16 triumph?

The Steelers didn’t scheme or gimmick their way to an average of 4.9 yards per carry against Haloti Ngata and the Ravens.

“You saw the Wildcat,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery pointed out. “I don’t think the Wildcat has ever been run in the history of this franchise.”

But the Wildcat aside, and a couple of scrambles by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers mostly attacked between the tackles.

Rookie Le’Veon Bell said the mix was “50-50” between power and inside-zone runs, about what it has been for the most part this season. Except this time Bell had 93 yards rushing after managing 91 combined in his first two NFL starts, against the Vikings and Jets.

“We did the little things right,” Bell said. “The O-Line had an attitude. I had an attitude. The whole offense had an attitude, really wanted to get downhill and wear those guys out.”

Added guard David DeCastro: “There were holes there and the backs were hitting them. That’s how it works.”

THE TIMMONS FACTOR
Injured linebacker Larry Foote had observed prior to the Baltimore game that linebacker Lawrence Timmons’ 10-tackle afternoon on Oct. 13 against the Jets included about three “bone-jarring” hits.

“We saw it on the sideline,” Foote said. “We heard it on the sideline. We heard the crowd go, ‘ooooohhhhh.’

“He was (ticked) off, angry. For the most part he always plays like that, but when he’s on that level he’s unstoppable. He came ready. We need that same intensity against Baltimore.”

Timmons delivered it again, with 17 tackles against the Ravens.

Bones were most likely jarred in the process.

MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders’ 44-yard kickoff return to the Steelers’ 37-yard line jump-started what became the drive for the game-winning field goal.

The Steelers also got a 42-yard kickoff return from running back Felix Jones on the way to a season-high 97 kickoff-return yards (the total also included an 11-yard rumble by defensive lineman Cam Heyward).

Their long kickoff return coming in had been 34 yards.

Just as significantly, the Steelers held Baltimore burner Jacoby Jones to an average of 27 yards on three returns and punt returner Tandon Doss to 12 yards on his lone return.

Jones had returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown in the Ravens’ 13-10 win over the Steelers last Nov. 18, and Doss had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown on his resume this season.

“Fly down to him,” rookie safety Shamarko Thomas said of the Steelers’ coverage approach. “You can’t give him time to make a move. It was attack, man, play our game. Do what we have to do.”



IT’S A SNAP
Kicker Shaun Suisham’s 4-for-4 day (field goals of 34, 28, 38 and 42 yards) extended his career-best streak to 18 straight successful attempts between 40 and 49 yards. Suisham has made 46 of his last 47 attempts of fewer than 50 yards.

It’s all about the long-snapper, Suisham insisted, attributing such consistency to “Greg Warren.”

MOVE OVER HINES
Wide receiver Antonio Brown’s six catches for 50 yards ran his total for catches on the season to 47. That’s the most in the first six games of a season in Steelers’ history (since 1960), besting the 43 recorded by Hines Ward in 2004.

TRIPLE-FIGURES
The Steelers improved to 48-4 all-time when Ben Roethlisberger surpasses 100.0 in passer rating (107.2), including 2-0 this season.

Roethlisberger completed at least 70 percent of his passes (73.9) for a third consecutive game for the fourth time in his career.

BELL ON BALTIMORE
“I love rivalry games. I love trash talk, hard hitting. That’s the type of player I am. I just enjoyed the game. Those guys brought it, we brought it. It came down to the last play. It can’t get any better than that.”

THOMAS ON BALTIMORE
“Exciting and physical, just like Coach Tomlin said on Monday. He was like, ‘It’s going to be exciting with the fans coming home after a win (over the Jets) and it’s going to be physical, so bring your pads.’ It definitely was that.”