Updated: Dec 6, 2021
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger - Ben Roethlisberger went off in the fourth quarter, completing 9 of 10 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns, along with a two-point conversion. Roethlisberger had a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger also had the 51st comeback drive of his career when he connected to Diontae Johnson on a game-winning 5-yard touchdown. Overall, Roethlisberger completed 21 of 31 passes (67.7%) for 236 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and had a quarterback rating of 11.8. It was a gutsy performance by Roethlisberger, in which was likely his last Steelers-Ravens game at Heinz Field.
Diontae Johnson - Johnson had a bad drop in the second quarter that would have gone for a touchdown, but he bounced back in the fourth quarter with two touchdown receptions. Johnson displayed a beautiful route on the game-winner. Johnson finished the game with eight receptions for 105 yards (13.1 average) and two touchdowns. Johnson is really emerging into a top-flight receiver in the league. His route-running and run after the catch abilities are truly incredible.
T.J. Watt - Watt had a standout performance, as he compiled six total tackles (five solos), 3.5 sacks, three tackles for a loss, six quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and a career-high 12 quarterback pressures. Watt's 3.5 sacks tied a career-high. Watt now leads the league in sacks with 16, which also ties James Harrison's single-season franchise record for sacks, which was set in 2008. Watt is also on pace to break Michael Strahan's single-season sack record of 22.5 sacks (2001). If Watt breaks Strahan's NFL single-season sack record, I don't know how the Associated Press doesn't give him Defensive Player of the Year. Watt is accomplishing rare feats right now, as he's the second player since 1982 to record at least 13.0 in four consecutive seasons, joining Reggie White, who did it twice (1985-88 and 1990-93).
Chris Wormley - Wormley had the best game of his career as a Steeler against his former team. The Ravens traded Wormely and a seventh-round pick to the Steelers in March of 2020 in exchange for a fifth-round pick. Wormley finished the game with five total tackles (three solos), 2.5 sacks, two tackles for losses and three quarterback hits. Wormely and Watt combined for six sacks. As a defense, the Steelers sacked Lamar Jackson seven times. Cameron Heyward recorded the other sack.
Dan Moore Jr./John Leglue - Dan Moore Jr. and John Leglue, who replaced B.J. Finney at left guard in the first quarter due to a back injury, were really blocking well on the left side in the fourth quarter. The run game struggled early on, but Najee Harris and even Benny Snell Jr. ripped off some big runs late in the game. Moore was labeled as mauler when he was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round, and he displayed that against Baltimore. Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger also gave Leglue props during their post-game press conferences for stepping up.
Offensive line line pass protection - The O-line was stellar in pass protection, allowing just one sack and three quarterback hits. According to Pro Football Focus, the O-line conceded just five pressures and one sack in pass protection. Four of the Steelers' five starting offensive lineman finished Sunday’s contest with zero pressures allowed; starting right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor allowed a unit-high two pressures.
Ahkello Witherspoon - Witherspoon started at outside cornerback with Joe Haden out instead of James Pierre, who struggled against the Bengals in Week 12. Witherspoon stepped up and performed admirably. According to PFF, Witherspoon drew a team-high six targets yet allowed only three receptions for 37 yards, registering a forced incompletion and a dropped interception.
Inside Linebackers - Joe Schobert and Devin Bush continue to struggle, Schobert was especially bad in this game. He was constantly getting beat in coverage, an area that he was supposed to excel at. The duo of Schobert and Bush has been a big letdown this season.
First-half offense/ third downs - The offense mustered just four first downs in the first half. They were also 0-of-4 on third down. The Ravens meanwhile converted four of their eight third-down attempts. The result wasn't pretty, as the Ravens out-possessed the Steelers, 23:30-6:30. Thanks to a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception and a red zone stop, the Steelers trailed just 7-3 at halftime. They were fortunate that the game didn't get out of hand with those drastic numbers in the time of possession during the first half.