After the Ravens defense allowed rookie Peyton Hillis to rush for 144 yards and surrendered their first touchdown of the season against the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore defense, led by a great performance from Haloti Ngata, dominated up front against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Though the boxscore will tell you that Reshard Mendenhall rushed for 79 yards and accounted for both of the Steelers’ touchdowns, the Ravens d-line was in their face all day long.
Haloti Ngata, looking for a new contract after this season, was the Ravens leader up front yesterday with eight tackles and the team’s only sack. Ngata’s speed went unmatched as he was able to catch up with receivers across the middle and make his way through the offensive line. Paul Kruger also got in on the action up front as a pass rusher and appeared to fit right into the Baltimore de.
The defense limited Pittsbugh to just four third down conversions on 11 attempts and pressured Charlie Batch to just 12 completions and an interception. Though I should give credit to Batch for quickly releasing the ball when the Ravens threw everything they had at him on third downs.
While the Ravens were able to control the run game, they were tested in the secondary. Though they’ve played the offenses of New York and Cincinnati, prior to this match up only Seneca Wallace and the Browns have truly tested the Ravens secondary down field. Lardarius Webb proved once again that he has what it takes to be a great defender in the secondary yesterday. His reactions to the quarterback Charlie Batch secured the Ravens from a few big plays down field.
And in the victory the Ravens finally ended their interception drought. They did wait until there was just 28 seconds left in the fourth game in the season, but they got it done. Hopefully it’s the first of many and how fitting it was that number 52 came up with the ball that secured the win in Pittsburgh.