Ravens shut down the run

Game action from Week 9 against the Baltimore Ravens.

BALTIMORE - Running back Le'Veon Bell rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown the last time he played against the Ravens.

Not this time.

Bell was limited to 32 yards on 14 carries in the Steelers' 21-14 loss to the Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Steelers stayed persistent with the running game until they fell behind by three scores in the fourth quarter. But they were never able to generate the type of success against the Baltimore defense on the ground that they'd envisioned.

Head coach Mike Tomlin was among those who thought the Steelers would do better than 18 carries for 36 yards as a team.

"I did, but obviously that did not transpire," Tomlin acknowledged. "They had a lot to do with that but we're capable of more than we displayed in that area."

Bell's 32 rushing yards were his fewest since he gained 20 on eight carries on Dec. 28, 2014 against Cincinnati.

"The just loaded the box and played well," Bell said of the Ravens. "You gotta give those guys credit. We stuck to our gameplan, did what we did. But they had a good gameplan, too."


FOLLOWING THE PLAN:** The Steelers gained 205 of their 277 total net yards on their final three possessions, when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball a combined 24 times.

But Roethlisberger didn't necessarily think the Steelers stuck with the ground game too long.

"It's a fine line," he said. "We've been talked about in weeks past for scrapping the run game too soon.

"We had a gameplan, we stuck wth it. And then at the end we had to go so we picked up the pace, went no-huddle and had to throw it."

Added Tomlin: "We just weren't interested in getting one-dimensional. The climate changed once the punt got blocked," which gave Baltimore a 21-0 lead with 13:36 left in the fourth quarter.

RELATIVE PROGRESS: The Ravens' 274 total net yards were the fewest gained against the Steelers this season and Baltimore's 50 rushing yards were the second-fewest the Steelers have allowed on the ground (Cincinnati, 46, Sept. 18).

New England (140) and Miami (222) had rushed for a combined 362 yards against the Steelers in the previous two games.

"We did some things better, especially, I think, in the run game," linebacker William Gay said. "But everything still needs to improve."

The Steelers also had three sacks (two by Harrison, one shared by linebackers Ryan Shazier and Anthony Chickillo), their first three since they had three on Oct. 9 against the Jets.

And cornerback Artie Burns came up with his first interception, the first by a Steelers' defensive back this season.

"There were some good things but we didn't win the game so it wasn't good enough," safety Mike Mitchell said.


LONG DISTANCE:** Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace's 95-yard catch-and-run touchdown was the longest play against the Steelers this year.

Burns was in press-coverage on second-and-9 from the Baltimore 5-yard line with 1:21 left in the fourth quarter and was beaten on an inside move.

"That was on me," Burns said. "I should have played more up field. I missed a play on the ball, he caught it, the rest was history. I tried to get the pick but (Ravens quarterback Joe) Flacco made a good throw and they made a good catch and he was off."

Wallace eluded Mitchell with a stiff-arm and with speed at the Baltimore 22 and was gone.

"It was a little bit of both," Mitchell said. "It was an open-field tackle."

THEY SAID IT: "I look forward to getting to 5-4 next week." _ Defensive end Cam Heyward on the Steelers' 4-4 record through eight games.

"I appreciate his efforts and his display of will." _ Tomlin on Roethlisberger playing after missing one game following knee surgery.

"It could if you're weak-minded. That's not something that's going to shake our confidence or my confidence. We're just going to go back and do what we've been doing, just do it better." _ Harrison on the Steelers' three-game losing streak potentially altering their outlook.

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