Ravens flying on vapor in 16-14 win over Steelers

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Ravens are running out of healthy players, so it’s now less about the X’s and O’s and more about the Jimmys and Joes.

As the banged-up Baltimore Ravens continue to overcome adversity and move closer to securing a playoff berth, coach John Harbaugh sounded optimistic that quarterback Tyler Huntley would return to start Saturday’s game at the Cleveland Browns.

Huntley, who was filling in for the injured Lamar Jackson, was put in the concussion protocol midway through the third quarter of the Ravens’ 16-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The Ravens turned to undrafted rookie Anthony Brown to finish out the game at quarterback as the Ravens (9-4) remained atop the AFC North and ended a four-game losing streak to the rival Steelers.

When talking about the Ravens’ quarterback options for Saturday, Harbaugh did not mention Jackson, who injured his knee a week ago. League sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Jackson is not expected to be ready for Baltimore’s game in Cleveland.

Huntley was injured with 7:26 left in the third quarter, when he took a crushing hit from Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick on a third-down run. Fitzpatrick’s right elbow landed on Huntley’s face mask, causing the quarterback’s head to snap backward. Huntley lay on the ground for a few seconds before being helped up by teammates.

After being evaluated in the medical tent, Huntley jogged to the locker room with the Ravens holding a 13-7 lead and was eventually ruled out of the game. In his first start of the season, Huntley was 8-of-12 passing for 88 yards and ran for 31 yards.

Winning for the sixth time in seven games, the Ravens relied on an opportunistic defense and dominant ground game. Baltimore intercepted Mitch Trubisky three times inside its 15-yard line and produced 215 yards on the ground, including 120 from J.K. Dobbins, who was activated off injured reserve after being out six straight games.

In the fourth quarter, the Ravens ran the ball on 12 of their 15 plays (excluding kneel-downs) and handed the ball off to running backs on the final nine plays. Harbaugh acknowledged Baltimore didn’t call any quarterback runs, which was a way to avoid Brown getting hurt.

Asked who would quarterback the Ravens if Brown got injured, Harbaugh said, “We’ll keep that top secret information right now. But we do have a name. I did ask that question recently.”

Even though the Ravens would prefer this trend to end, the players are proud of how Baltimore has been able to win the past two games despite losing its starting quarterback each time.

“I think it just shows our resilience as a team and how good we are at handling adversity,” Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley said. “I think this team is very battle-tested in that sense. Not just this year, but year after year, there’s a lot of adversity that has come through this organization. I think we’re more than ready to handle any situation.”

Going into the Steelers game, the Ravens were already missing QB Lamar Jackson (knee), G Kevin Zeitler (knee), TE Nick Boyle, ILB Josh Bynes, TE Charlie Kolar, OLB David Ojabo and CB Pepe Williams.

Dobbins ran for 120 yards and a touchdown in his first game since undergoing a second knee surgery in two years and Brown calmly kept Baltimore’s offense humming along in the second half of a 16-14 victory Sunday.

“I’ve been hearing it most of my life from my father, ‘Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready,’” said Brown, who completed a modest 3 of 5 passes for 16 yards but guided Baltimore on a clock-chewing late field goal drive that helped the Ravens end a four-game losing streak to the Steelers. “This was just a testament to that.”

A testament, too, to a Ravens offensive line that had its way even with the offense effectively one-dimensional without Jackson. It hardly mattered. Baltimore ran for 215 yards, including a clinching 6-yard burst by Gus Edwards for a first down at the 2-minute warning that let the Ravens (9-4) run out the clock to maintain their grip on first place in the AFC North.

“The offensive line was blocking so good and I can only go as far as they go,” said Dobbins, who was activated off injured reserve Saturday.

Against the Steelers, Dobbins and the rest of the Ravens went far enough to effectively end any outside shot the Steelers (5-8) had of being a factor down the stretch. Justin Tucker kicked three field goals, the defense picked off three passes and Calais Campbell blocked the eighth kick of his career as Baltimore won in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2019.

Pittsburgh played most of the game without rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, who entered the concussion protocol in the first quarter at the end of an odd sequence in which he took a hit from Ravens linebacker Roquan Smith, was evaluated for a concussion, cleared to return only to be pulled after playing one additional series.  Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Pickett became “symptomatic” but could not provide clarity on why Pickett was initially allowed to return.

This is the second time Pickett has gone into the concussion protocol. He exited a win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 16, a game in which Mitch Trubisky came on in and threw two touchdowns in relief.

Team Stats
1st Downs 18 23
Passing 1st downs 5 16
Rushing 1st downs 12 3
1st downs from penalties 1 4
3rd down efficiency 4-13 4-8
4th down efficiency 1-2 0-0
Total Plays 61 53
Total Yards 309 329
Total Drives 10 9
Yards per Play 5.1 6.2
Passing 94 264
Comp-Att 11-17 22-31
Yards per pass 4.9 8.0
Interceptions thrown 0 3
Sacks-Yards Lost 2-10 2-12
Rushing 215 65
Rushing Attempts 42 20
Yards per rush 5.1 3.3
Red Zone (Made-Att) 1-3 2-4
Penalties 5-46 2-15
Turnovers 0 3
Fumbles lost 0 0
Interceptions thrown 0 3
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 32:59 27:01


Arrow to top