Baltimore Ravens are last in AFC North after loss to Steelers


43. 55. 23. 26. Final

Nov 2, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is elbowed in the head by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell (23) after losing his helmet during the first half of the game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

All the optimism from just a few weeks ago is gone as the Baltimore Ravens are now last in the AFC North after a horrendous 43-23 loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

In the first few minutes of the game, the optimism had returned, as the Ravens’ defense held the Steelers to multiple three-and-outs. With the defense humming, the Ravens struck first with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith.

From there, Pittsburgh took over. Joe Flacco was indecisive and under duress all night, a terrible combination. Meanwhile, the Ravens secondary performed as expected, terribly.

Jacoby Jones

made the game a little more interesting with his first touchdown of the season, a 108-yard kick return that made the score 29-17 early in the fourth quarter. At that point, the Ravens still had hope.

The Steelers were able to ice the game from there, though, Ben Roethlisberger uncorked five touchdown passes, all of which were poorly defended. As good as the pass rush looked at times, the secondary was so bad as to render the pass rush irrelevant. The Ravens scored another touchdown in garbage time, but the game was over by that point.

All in all, the Ravens’ performance was a disgrace. The only fight they showed for most of the game was after the play was over, hence their double-digit penalties. At this point, the Ravens don’t even look like a playoff contender, let alone a Super Bowl contender.

With the loss, the Ravens fall to 5-4, ranking last in the AFC North. The Steelers, meanwhile, ascend to first place for the time being.

Goat of the Week: Dominique Franks

Lots of choices this week, but I think picking the entire Ravens’ secondary is a bit of a cop-out. To go through the contenders: Lardarius Webb gave up a long touchdown, as did Chykie Brown. C.J Mosley gave up a touchdown pass as well, struggling to cover Le’Veon Bell throughout the game. That said, the goat award goes to Dominique Franks.

Yes, Chykie Brown was awful, and even Lardarius Webb struggled mightily, but it was Franks who was the worst. Franks gave up two touchdowns, dropped an easy interception and generally looked like a Division III cornerback at best. Observe his inability to cover a rookie, Martavis Bryant, here:

What made Franks’ night special was the diversity in his failures. In the above touchdown, Franks just got beat by a superior player. On another play, Franks completely blew a coverage, playing the flat when he was clearly supposed to take a deep third. That resulted in a touchdown for the Steelers as well.

All in all, Franks was a special kind of bad this week. He definitely earned this dishonor.

An honorable mention goes to the rest of the team, as nobody played well Sunday night.