— For at least one night, the
Taking advantage of the absence of
The defense that helped the Ravens win for the third time in their past four trips to Pittsburgh did not look like the unit that had surrendered an average of 390.2 yards through the first nine contests, a number that earned the defense the No. 27 ranking in the
Instead, the Steelers managed 311 yards of total offense, compared with their season average of 354.1.
It's a positive sign for a unit much maligned over the first half of the season, but outside linebacker
"I think it's huge," defensive tackle
The defensive effort was much appreciated as the offense seemed unable to find much footing in the game. While
The defense may have been tired, but inside linebacker
"We do a good job of working our conditioning in practice, and that's the Ravens mentality," he said. "It doesn't matter what happens on the other side. We're going to be ready 24-7, and that's what the defense did. Whatever happened, we ran out on the field and we ran in and ran out." The defense kept the team's losses to a minimum.
After a major gaffe in which Leftwich split strong safety
Johnson's play was significant not only because the Ravens had signed the former Oakland Raider on Tuesday, but also because his strip negated a 15-yard completion to Wallace that would have given Pittsburgh a fresh set of downs.
Johnson played in place of second-year man
Kruger not only sacked Leftwich on the ensuing possession, but he also hit Leftwich as he released another throw on third-and-10 on the Steelers' next series.
Between Leftwich's touchdown run and
"I thought the defense stepped up," McClain said. "Obviously, we had some mistakes we can correct, but all in all, we played solid ball, and we communicated like we were supposed to and we got it done when we needed to."