Patrick Smith, Getty Images
November 28, 2013
If you're looking for a cloud from a season-lifting victory, check out the lack of heat the Ravens generated on Ben Roethlisberger. They not only forfeited a streak of 22 games with a sack, they hit the Steelers quarterback just three times and watched helplessly as he guided a near-comeback in the fourth quarter.
This frustrating performance came against a beat-up Pittsburgh offensive line that hasn't done a very good job of protecting Roethlisberger this season.
Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil hurt his ankle and couldn't generate his normal push around the edge. Fellow outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the chief target of Pittsburgh's blocking schemes, went sackless for a fourth straight game.
Roethlisberger is of course brilliant at bouncing away from incoming defenders until he can find a target. Honestly though, he didn't have to do that for a lot of the second half. He just threw uncontested.
The Ravens' rush numbers remain excellent overall. But they've faced three elite quarterbacks -- Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers-- and all three outmaneuvered the Ravens' pressure during crucial stretches. It's a factor worth watching as the Ravens prepare for games against Tom Brady and the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson connection.