The Baltimore Ravens were able to pull off a 20 – 17 victory over their rival Pittsburgh Steelers at home thanks to stellar play by Ryan Mallett along with a suddenly stingy defense. The win gives the Ravens their third regular season sweep of the Steelers in their 20-year franchise history.
The Steelers came into the game having scored 30 points in six consecutive games.
The Ravens defense was able to slow down the Steelers triple threats at wide receiver. Antonio Brown was limited to seven receptions for 61 yards, while Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant were also ineffective.
Ben Roethlisberger was not able to get into any kind of rhythm against a very aggressive Ravens defense. He completed 22 out of 34 pass attempts for 220 yards. Roethlisberger also threw two interceptions.
Jimmy Smith and Daryl Smith both had interceptions against Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense. Their two interceptions were half of the total number of interceptions the defense had all season. Jimmy Smith also returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, but it was called back due to an offsides penalty called on Courtney Upshaw.
Mallett took over at quarterback after signing with the team less than two weeks ago. The Ravens signed him to a two year deal and wanted to get a good look at him in live game action. What started off as a trial run may have secured a 2016 roster spot as a backup to Joe Flacco.
The Ravens were able to score a touchdown on their first possession with Mallett at quarterback. He ended the day having completed 28 of his 41 pass attempts for 274 yards. Mallett threw one touchdown and most importantly didn’t turn the football over.
“I want to thank the Ravens organization for bringing me in and giving me a shot. Everyone welcomed me with open arms. That’s a credit to my teammates,” MalIett said. “It was a totally new system to me. Jimmy [Clausen] and Matt [Schaub] helped me get acclimated.”
Marc Trestman was able to help Mallett by calling a more balanced game. They gained 121 yards on the ground. Coming into the game, the Steelers were only giving up an average of 89 yards.
Coach Harbaugh had plenty of praise for the way the offensive staff was able to find success against their rival and get Mallett up to speed quickly.
“For Marc [Trestman] and Marty [Mornhinweg] to put together a game plan, all the coaches that were involved to put a game plan together that we could operate, it says a lot. It was just a great effort.” Harbaugh said.
It took a collective effort to beat their division rivals. All hands were on deck and the results showed. The Ravens will travel to Cincinnati to conclude the 2015 season next week.