Pass coverage problems sink Ravens

Pass coverage problems sink Ravens
December 2, 2012, 10:30 pm
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Ngata, Ravens can't break through Pittsburgh's blocking

The Steelers couldn't move the ball much in the first half but as the game went on, the Ravens began having more trouble stopping Charlie Batch and his air attack.

Pittsburgh went to a lot quick screens, short passes and several throws over the middle where receivers found themselves with plenty of room to run, a big reason the Steelers rallied for a 23-20 victory ove rthe Ravens Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Batch heated up beginning late in the second quarter and threw for 276 yards and a touchdown. He also directed a late drive that set up the Steelers for Shaun Suisham's 42-yard field goal at time ran out, giving the Steelers the win. 

"We need to be sound with what we're doing," Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said when talking about how open the Steelers got over the middle. "We're going to watch the film and see where we need to fix these things, and we're doing to do that."

The problems with the secondary began popping up in the first half and happened on a more regular basis in the second half. Batch had time to throw -- the pass rush didn't both him much -- and receivers who were getting wide open, especially over the middle. 

That's a big reason the Steelers were able to bounce back from a 10-point deficit in the first half. 

"I thought we had some errors," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when talking about the secondary. "A couple of their guys got open on us over routes and things like that. A couple of man-coverage plays where they got loose on us. They did a good job of faking a screen one time. Twice, they showed screen looks, and then released a guy upfield, got loose on us. We overreacted to the screen a little bit. That's what happened on those plays."

The Ravens shut down the Pittsburgh offense when last they met two weeks ago. In this game, the Steelers used their third-string quarterback to rally them for a last-second victory, using mostly the passing game. 

"We figured out what was clicking for us," Pittsburgh running back Jonathan Dwyer said. "Charlie got off to a rough start, but he made some big plays in the second half and led us to a win."

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