NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 8 PFF ReFocused: Pittsburgh Steelers 28, Baltimore Ravens 24

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) reacts after breaking up a pass on fourth down in the end zone against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens face-off, it rarely disappoints, and today’s matchup was no exception. The game came down to the final snap, which saw Lamar Jackson’s pass broken up by Minkah Fitzpatrick in the end zone to hold onto the Steelers' 28-24 victory. 

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the Game

The Pittsburgh offense was stagnant for the majority of the game and was able to get away with a subpar performance thanks to the play of the defense. The Steelers were able to sack Jackson four times — tied second for most in a single game of his career — and force the former MVP to commit four turnovers, including a pick-six on the third play of the game. 

Despite the mistakes from the Ravens' offense, it was able to successfully run on PFF’s highest-graded run defense entering Week 8. The trio of J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Jackson each topped 60 yards rushing and combined for six rushes of 10 or more yards. Dobbins was able to run for his first career 100-yard game on a whopping 7.5 yards per carry on 15 attempts. 

The Steelers offense was limited by Baltimore's secondary, combining for only two pass plays that gained 15-plus yards. Baltimore’s Willie Snead had three such catches in his first 100-yard receiving performance since 2016 when he was a member of the New Orleans Saints

Ben Roethlisberger did not light the box score up by any means, but he kept the ball safe and avoided the big mistakes that plagued Jackson. Roethlisberger had a 7.5-yard average depth of target, and 23 of his 32 attempts were on passes thrown less than 10 yards down the field. 

Rookie watch

Dobbins was the leading rookie for both squads, finally getting his chance to showcase why the Ravens drafted him in the second round. He had three runs of 10-plus yards and forced five missed tackles on runs. Devin Duvernay was targeted twice and caught one pass for a huge 39-yard gain. 

One of the biggest stars from the 2020 receiving class has been Chase Claypool. After a dud last week, Claypool bounced back, catching five passes for 42 yards and the touchdown that would ultimately be the game-winner. 

Patrick Queen was flying to the ball against the Steelers. He did struggle to wrap up, though, leading the team in missed tackles. Justin Madubuike did not contribute to the box score but was on the field for 18 snaps. 

For the Steelers, Alex Highsmith was the only rookie defender to make it on the field for Pittsburgh, contributing for 24 snaps.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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