NFL Wire News

3 things we learned about the Steelers


The Sports Xchange

PITTSBURGH — Justin Tucker stood at the podium, faced the media and cracked a joke while cradling the game ball under his right arm.

“You probably don’t want to hear some kicker stand up here and give a detailed explanation about a kick,” the Baltimore Ravens kicker said Thursday night. “I’m sure you’d rather hear about guys throwing touchdowns passes or catches.”

Not on this night. The pinpoint kicking of Turner and the scattershot performance of his Pittsburgh Steelers counterpart, Josh Scobee, made a big difference.

Tucker’s third field goal of the game, a 52-yarder with 5:08 remaining in overtime, gave the Ravens their first win of the season, 23-20 over the Steelers.

The Ravens drove 32 yards in eight plays for the field goal. The winning march came after the Steelers drove to the Baltimore 33-yard line on their second possession of overtime but eschewed a game-winning field goal attempt by Scobee on fourth-and-1. Scobee missed two field-goal tries in the last 2:24 of the fourth quarter from 49 and 41 yards.

Quarterback Michael Vick threw incomplete to give the ball back to the Ravens (1-3), who erased a 13-point, second-half deficit and avoided the first 0-4 start in franchise history.

“In this league, most games come down to three points,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We have a great kicker.”

Scobee, acquired in a trade just before the start of the season after spending the first 11 years of his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars, said he felt awful about his performance.

“I feel like I let the team down, and it’s not something that I ever want to remember doing,” Scobee said. “It’s a bad feeling. It was a hard-fought game on both sides. I wish I had been able to come through, but it just wasn’t my night.”

Ravens running back Justin Forsett rushed for 150 yards on 27 carries. Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 20 of 33 passes for 189 yards and one touchdown with one interception.

What we learned about the Steelers:

1. There is a big drop-off with Michael Vick at quarterback rather than Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers put the brakes on their high-powered offense with Vick taking over for Roethlisberger, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee last week in a win at St Louis. Vick, 35, completed 19 of 26 passes for just 124 yards and a touchdown.

2. Le’Veon Bell is going to carry a heavy load. The star running back had 373 touches last season — 290 rushes and 83 receptions — and he will see the ball a lot again with Vick expected to start at least three more games. On Thursday night, Bell ran 22 times for 129 yards and a touchdown and also caught seven passes for 21 yards. Bell looked much sharper in the running game in his second game back after being suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. In his season debut at St. Louis, Bell had 62 yards on 19 carries for an average of just 3.3 yards an attempt. He averaged 5.9 yards a carry Thursday.

3. A new kicker might be on hand when the Steelers next play Oct. 12 at San Diego. Josh Scobee is just 6-for-10 on field-goal attempts this season after missing from 49 and 41 yards in the last 2:24 of regulation. He would have padded the Steelers’ lead to six points by making either kick. Instead, Scobee opened the door for the Ravens’ Justin Tucker to kick a game-tying 42-yard field goal with three second left in regulation, then win it with a 52-yarder with 5:08 remaining in the regulations.


–QB Michael Vick made his first start for the Steelers and completed 19 of 26 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown in a 23-20 overtime loss to Baltimore on Thursday night. He was taking the place of QB Ben Roethlisberger, who sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sunday and is expected to miss four weeks. It was just Vick’s fourth start in the last two seasons after he replaced Geno Smith for three games with the New York Jets in 2014.

–RB Le’Veon Bell rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in his second game of the season, and he added seven receptions for 21 yards. Bell was suspended for the first two games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, then had 62 yards on 19 attempts at St. Louis. The Ravens limited Bell to a total of 79 rushing yards in two games last season.

–WR Antonio Brown was limited to five catches and 42 yards as the Steelers simplified their game plan with Michael Vick replacing injured QB Ben Roethlisberger. That ended Brown’s NFL record streaks of 35 consecutive games with at least five receptions for 50 yards and 14 games in a row with at least seven catches.

–K Josh Scobee missed field goals from 49 and 41 yards in the last 2 1/2 minutes of regulation that would have pushed the Steelers’ lead to six points. Instead, the misses opened the door for Baltimore K Justin Tucker to force overtime with a 42-yard field with three left in regulation. Tucker then won it with a 52-yarder with 5:08 remaining in overtime. Acquired from Jacksonville in a trade just before the start of the regular season after K Shaun Suisham (knee) and K Garrett Hartley (hamstring) both sustained season-ending injuries, Scobee is just 6-for-10 on field-goal tries this season.

–LB Lawrence Timmons had 10 solo tackles, one assist and one sack. He was limited just two solos last week at St. Louis.

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