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Steelers Stymied

Sunday evening's duel between two quarterbacks ready to collect their 401k's had its fair share of early fireworks, but faded in excitement as the night wore on. After a hotly contested and exciting first half, NBC's marquee NFL matchup turned into a defensive battle, and a field day for Raven's kicker Justin Tucker. He scored all 12 of the game's second half points. That's right, 4 Baltimore field goals were all the AFC North foes could muster in the second act.

Sept. 30, 2018 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

That was the boring second half. The first, on the other hand, was a rather entertaining one. The Ravens and their recently unthreatening offensive attack defied all the "Flacco is washed up" narratives of yester-year and raced out to a 14-0 lead. After a sputtering late season offense last season, resulting in their failure to make the playoffs, Baltimore upgraded their skill positions; particularly the receiving corps. They added proven wideouts Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown; while also drafting the most dynamic college playmaker of the decade: Lamar Jackson -- who brings a whole new dimension to the quarterback position. He was used in spurts, but the throwing duties still belong to Flacco, clearly.

After the 14-0 lead, Pittsburgh was in need of a shot of adrenaline. With a little over 12 minutes left in the second quarter, they got one. Ravens running back Alex Collins fumbled the ball at the Steelers two yard line. Pitt recovered and momentum swung their way. Heinz field was finally coming to life after a grueling first quarter. Behind the aging arm of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers marched down the field and kicked a field goal to make the game a 14-6 contest.

After an unsuccessful Ravens possession, Pittsburgh got the ball back and scored their lone touchdown on a typically acrobatic Antonio Brown catch. They also evened things up with a successful 2 point conversion. Heading into intermission, The Steelers had leveled the score and seized momentum at home. The game was theirs to lose. And they did.

Sept. 30, 2018 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America

The heralded Ravens defense stepped up big time in the second half, allowing just 47 yards of total offense. Tucker hit 4/4 field goals in the half, and that was all the Baltimore offense required to secure the divisional road win.

Baltimore improved to 3-1 on the year after the win, good enough to tie them with the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North. Pittsburgh fell to 1-2-1 and tied with...wait for it...the CLEVELAND BROWNS for last place in the AFC North.

Next week, the Ravens head to Cleveland to play said Browns, while the Steelers stay home for a matchup with the NFC South's 1-3 Atlanta Falcons.

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