Due to the night game and Maureen’s recovery, the article is streamlined to an accounting for the gashing of the Ravens run defense and star treatment.  Thorough detail on pressure, packages, and scheme on the defense podcast with Jim Zip Code.


The Ravens were unable to stop the Pittsburgh run game and allowed 15 rushes of 6+ yards.  Let’s review the key blocks:

  • (Q1, 13:13): On 1st/10, LG Dotson blocked Madubuike, RG Daniels blocked Washington, and C Cole initially hit Queen to lead RB Harris RM6
  • (Q1, 10:37):  On 2nd/9, RB Warren took jet motion from pony RL31.  The Ravens had a 5 to 2 edge on blockers but TE Freiermuth blocked Bowser, WR Olszewski blocked Humphrey into Clark, and Hamilton slipped to allow big gain
  • (Q1, 9:24):  On 2nd/7, C Cole pancaked Jones and RT Okorafor blocked Houston to lead Harris RM6
  • (Q2, 14:09):  TE Gentry kicked out Pierre-Paul, LT Moore blocked Urban then Queen in L2, LG Dotson finished Urban to lead Harris RM9
  • (Q2, 8:10):  Freiermuth blocked Queen in L2, TE Heyward blocked Humphrey to lead Olszewksi jet RL6
  • (Q2, 7:39):  RT Okorafor blocked Urban, RG Daniels blocked Smith in L2, C Cole blocked Washington to lead Warren RR6           
  • (Q3, 9:26):  On 2nd/10, C Cole blocked Madubuike, LT Moore blocked Washington, LG Dotson blocked Smith in L2, to lead Harris RM15
  • (Q3, 0:46):  On 1st/10, LT Moore sealed Urban, Humphrey was blocked by TE Heyward to lose the left edge, and WR Johnson blocked Stephens to lead Harris RL9
  • (Q4, 15:00):  LT Moore blocked Clark, TE Heyward blocked Pierre-Paul, LG Dotson blocked Nichols, C Cole blocked Jones, and Queen was caught in wash to lead Harris RM15
  • (Q4, 13:38):  RG Daniels blocked Madubuike, LG Dotson and C Cole blocked Jones, Warren squeezed through for RM6 dragging Pierre-Paul and bulling Clark
  • (Q4, 12:57):  On 2nd/4 with pony, Olszewski blocked Clark and Freiermuth blocked Humphrey to lead Warren jet sweep RR7
  • (Q4, 12:15):  LG Dotson blocked Madubuike, RG Daniels blocked Washington, C Cole blocked Smith in L2, Moore blocked Hamilton in L2, to lead Harris RL6
  • (Q4, 8:41):  C Cole blocked Washington, LG Dotson blocked Madubuike, Urban was unable to contain reverse to ORS on Harris RR6
  • (Q4, 8:01):  On 2nd/4, C Cole blocked Washington, RG Daniels blocked Madubuike, LG Dotson blocked Smith in L2, and Warren ran through the tackle of Queen and bulled Clark for RM9
  • (Q4, 4:16):  LG Dotson blocked Madubuike, C Cole blocked Queen in L2, RG Daniels pancaked Jones to lead Harris RM7

Notes on the run failures

  • The Ravens missed Calais Campbell and Michael Pierce.
  • The Steelers effectively probed for the weakness and ran effectively both inside and via jet motion.  They used pony (2-RB packages) effectively and the backs were generally patient as the Pit OL was winning their interior blocks.
  • This shows up to greater degree when the plays are reviewed by simple number of mentions:
    • Madubuike 7
    • Queen 6 (1 MT)
    • Washington 6
    • Clark 5
    • Urban 4 (1 MT)
    • Humphrey, Jones, Smith 4 each
    • Pierre-Paul 3
    • Hamilton 2
    • Bowser, Houston Nichols, Stephens 1 each

In words, the Steelers were able to block everyone effectively.

  • The Steelers did not allow the Ravens to change personnel on a key 3rd and 1 (Q1, 9:07) which forced the Ravens to defend a QB sneak conversion with only 2 DL.
  • The defense was tired because the offense kept them on the field.  From the middle of the third quarter (Q3, 9:31), the Steelers outsnapped the Ravens 28-10 over the next 3 drives while Pittsburgh scored the game’s final 10 points and the Ravens had just 1 first down.

Star Treatment

Odafe Oweh

  • (Q2, 11:36):  On 3rd/3, he initially dropped to coverage then rushed for a QH after Houston flushed QB Pickett.  The pass was incomplete 16 yards [5] when WR Pickens stepped OOB before the catch  
  • (Q2, 6:23):  He beat LT Moore inside for a QH after he chased Pickett right.  Pickett threw 12 yards [5] incomplete for WR Johnson.
  • (Q2, 5:36):  On 3rd/5, he looped to peel RG Daniels which freed the underneath Madubuike to flush Pickett but the pass was complete to Freiermuth PL10 (10 + 0) [2]
  • (Q3, 8:16):  On 2nd/7, Madubuike bulled C Cole to blow up Harris RM-7.  Hamilton helped to contain and Oweh tackled among a swarm of Ravens defenders.
  • (Q3, 6:47):  He added late pressure after Bowser flushed Pickett left on PM6 (0 + 6) [2] to Warren
  • (Q4, 12:20):  He was unable to retip Washington’s PD at LoS for a possible INT by Hamilton

Odafe had one of his best games of the season despite the collapse.  He provided pressure and was one of the only defenders not named among the key run blocks (see above).

Brent Urban

  • (Q1, 11:16):  He backed up RT Okorafor to force Warren RM1 tackled by Jones with assist Nichols on his 1st NFL snap
  • (Q1, 7:58):  On 1st/Goal after ATS, he brought late pressure as Pickett threw incomplete for Harris 5 yards [1] with PD Smith
  • (Q3, 9:31):  The offensive line again delivered time for Pickett but Urban, blocked by RT Okorafor, got his right arm up for PD
  • (Q4, 11:12):  He contained the left edge unblocked and tackled Warren RM2 with assist from Nichols
  • (Q4, 10:32):  On 2nd/8, he beat RT Okorafor inside to tackle Warren RM-2

Brent had difficulty against the run (see above) which I did not restate here, but he made some key plays in a season-high 29 snaps.

Chuck Clark

  • (Q1, 12:36):  On 2nd/4, he assisted Stephens on WR Sims WR screen PR2 (-4 + 6) [5]
  • (Q2, 3:39):  On 3rd/3 with ATS, despite 5/1 pass rush, he reached across TE Freiermuth 9 yards [4] for a drive-ending PD from trail coverage
  • (Q4, 6:47):  On 3rd/18, again with ATS despite 5/1 pass rush, he stripped Freiermuth for a drive-ending PD 8 yards [5]
  • (Q4, 2:06):  He was behind Sims on PM28 (26 + 2) [3] over Hamilton

As with most other defenders he had mentions among the run plays.  However, he also had 2 drive-ending PDs on plays where the pass rush allowed ATS.