Baltimore Finds Out Again, You Can’t Run On the Steelers

We’ve gushed about the Steelers run defense on multiple occasions, but it’s hard to praise them too much.

There were a lot of reasons the Steelers won on Saturday — several crucial Baltimore turnovers in the third quarter, the Steelers’ passing offense and the Ravens’ veteran receivers inability to catch the bal l– but you have to also throw in there the Steelers’ ability to erase the Ravens’ running game.

Ray Rice had a 14-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. But after that run, here’s a rundown of each and every Baltimore run over the remaining 46 minutes of the game.

Down Distance Rusher Yardage
1 10 Ray Rice 0
2 12 Ray Rice 1
2 6 Willis McGahee -1
1 5 Willis McGahee 1
2 15 Ray Rice 1
2 17 Willis McGahee 2
1 10 Ray Rice 5
3 1 Ray Rice 2
1 10 Ray Rice 2
1 10 Ray Rice 0
1 8 Willis McGahee 2
2 6 Ray Rice 0
11 carries 15 yards
“successful” plays 2

It’s obvious why the Ravens largely gave up on their running game in the second half; it wasn’t working. Even when Baltimore should have been able to catch Pittsburgh looking for the pass — like second and 12, second and 15 and second and 17 — the Ravens failed to break off a decent run. Even with the 14-yard touchdown run, Baltimore ended up average a depressing 1.9 yards per carry (35 yards on 18 carries).

Whether the Steelers’ face the Patriots or Jets next week, they’ll likely face a team that is less willing to give up on the running game. But at the same time, the Steelers’ run defense is not really something we Steelers fans have to worry about.

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  • Jason F

    Pats routinely abandon the pass against us. I don’t worry about the run defense because it will barely get used. Short passes are what worries me. I hope the Jets win, because I think the Steelers can beat Sanchez handily, but I doubt the Jets ability to beat the Pats in Gillette.

    • Matt

      you mean abandon the run :) They are going to throw it a lot. They’ll also probably do some screens to the RB, cuz that caught us early on against the Ravens.

    • JJ Cooper

      Do remember that the Patriots ran the ball as effectively in the first meeting as anyone has all year against the Steelers.

  • DC in ATL

    Given how great our run defense is, and the key part he plays, its a shame Casey Hampton gets overlooked for the Pro Bowl every year.