Ravens' secondary broke down in fourth quarter against Steelers

The football never hit the ground in the fourth quarter for Charlie Batch. The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback connected on every pass attempt, except when free safety Ed Reed intercepted him in the end zone.

It was a slow burn for the Ravens secondary against the Steelers third-stringer during the close of a 23-20 loss Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens allowed Batch, whose 38th birthday is Wednesday, to complete 10 of 11 passes in the fourth quarter for 105 yards, including a game-tying touchdown pass to tight end Heath Miller and one interception for a 98.9 quarterback rating.

During the second half, Batch was 16 of 20 for 219 yards after passing for just 57 yards on  9-for-16 passing in the first half.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh chalked up the frequent breakdowns to too much aggressiveness rather than communication issues.

"It was more just keeping our eyes on our guy as opposed to jumping a screen-fake or another kind of fake to another guy," Harbaugh said Monday. "We got a little overanxious. I would say it was over-aggressiveness more than it was a miscommunication in those instances."

In squandering a 10-point lead, the Ravens' defense gave up several passes over the middle. That included a 23-yard completion to Miller and a 17-yarder to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

"They made adjustments to certain things we were running," Reed said. "They made the plays, and we just have to play with better eyes, better composure. ... Charlie Batch is a professional. He did some good ball movement, ball fakes, pump fakes that kind of moved me a little bit.

"We have to look at ourselves as individuals. This is a team sport, but I think we had a bunch of individual plays, not selfish plays, but individual things where all of us can say, 'Man, if I'd made that play, if I would've done that, we could have been there.'"

Harbaugh addresses Tomlin handshake

In the wake of an awkward, somewhat tense exchange between Harbaugh and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin during the traditional postgame handshake, the Ravens' coach downplayed the oft-discussed episode.

"Really, I don’t know anything about the speculation," Harbaugh said. "Nothing uncomfortable at all. I thought Mike did a terrific job preparing his team. Obviously, they played very well, and I made a point to congratulate him on that. Hopefully he accepted that, and it was all good.”

Following the game, Harbaugh stuck out his hand and said "Congratulations," to Tomlin. While Tomlin accepted the handshake, he didn't respond verbally to Harbaugh.

Harbaugh then said, "Hey, hey, hey!" with Tomlin reacting by looking directly at him and replying: "Thank you, good job."

Both coaches headed to their respective locker rooms with Tomlin pausing to respectfully pat quarterback Joe Flacco on the chest.

 “I really don’t know about the handshake agendas," Harbaugh said with a smile. "I felt fine about it. It was fine. I just wanted to make sure he knew that we congratulated him and that was it.”

Dickson, Ellerbe on the mend

The Ravens aren't ruling out tight end Ed Dickson and inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe for Sunday's game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

Both starters were sidelined Sunday after Dickson injured his right knee against the San Diego Chargers, and Ellerbe hurt his right foot and ankle.

"Dannell Ellerbe is continuing to work, and we anticipate he's got a chance to get back this week," Harbaugh said. "We were hopeful for this past game, but it just didn't work out. We took him right to gameday, and he was unable to go.