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Baltimore Ravens waste no time switching focus to Pittsburgh Steelers


Baltimore Ravens wide receiver John Brown (13) catches a 44-yard pass for a first down in front of Denver Broncos cornerback Isaac Yiadom (41) during the first half of an NFL game on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Photo by David Tulis/UPI

By Todd Karpovich, The Sports Xchange

The Baltimore Ravens did not have much time to savor a spirited victory over the Denver Broncos.

Instead, coach John Harbaugh quickly turned his focus to AFC North rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"We're going to play the Steelers on 'Sunday Night Football' in Pittsburgh, and we know what that means," Harbaugh said at his Monday news conference. "We're going to get their best shot. There's no team that rallies for big games more than they do. They come up big for the big games, and playing the Ravens is a big game."

Baltimore had 20 first downs and 342 total yards and converted 8 of 16 third-down attempts in a 27-14 victory over Denver. The Ravens are the first team in NFL history to score touchdowns on their first 12 trips inside the 20-yard line.
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It's a far cry from an offense that struggled for much of last season and had the NFL's 29th-ranked passing attack.

"We've had a good mix. I think we've probably thrown the ball in six times and run the ball in six times," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "If you can do both of those things, especially when you get down tight inside the 5-yard line ... that helps a lot. It takes a lot of pressure off your offense. We've got good playmakers, and we put a lot of pressure on the defense with the guys that we have out there."

The Ravens' offensive line did a solid job containing Denver linebacker Von Miller, who was limited to two tackles and no sacks with two penalties. Baltimore will need to maintain that success against Pittsburgh in a hostile environment on the road.

"The o-line, pass protection-wise, was just outstanding," Harbaugh said.

The Steelers are in some turmoil with star running back Le'Veon Bell reportedly on the trading block. All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown also has been fined for missing time with the team.

The Ravens are not paying much attention to the off-field drama and are preparing to play another prolific Pittsburgh offense.

"It's Pittsburgh. That's all you really need to say," Ravens linebacker Matt Judon said. "It's Pittsburgh, and they're not going to take it light on us, and we're not going to take it light on them."

The Ravens made a move Monday, signing former Bears center Hroniss Grasu. In a corresponding move, the team cut cornerback Robertson Daniel, who was promoted from the practice squad on Sept. 22.

Grasu, a third-round pick in 2015 from Oregon, spent 2016 on injured reserve. He made four starts last season but was released by the Bears after training camp this year.

If Daniels isn't claimed off waivers, he could be signed to the Ravens' practice squad.

-- QB Lamar Jackson played a just two snaps against the Broncos, which was a season low. Jackson played 30 snaps Week 1 against the Bills and six snaps in Cincinnati. On Sunday, Jackson served as a decoy on a 6-yard touchdown run by Alex Collins. However, coach John Harbaugh said Monday that Jackson will continue to get more opportunities to make plays.

-- LT Ronnie Stanley played with brace on his injured right arm against the Broncos on Sunday. At one point, the brace broke and Stanley threw it to the sideline to stay in the game. He should be available Sunday against Pittsburgh.

-- LB C.J. Mosley (knee) practiced last week and was "really close" to playing Sunday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday. However, the team remained cautious with Mosley, who calls plays for the defense. He is still day to day and his status for the game against Pittsburgh is uncertain.

-- DT Michael Pierce (foot) did not play Sunday against the Broncos, but he is getting closer to returning to the lineup. "You still have to say it's day to day because you don't know," coach John Harbaugh said. "But I'm really hopeful."

-- TE Hayden Hurst, a rookie first-round pick, has not played in the regular season because of a fractured foot. However, he could return to practice this week. There was speculation Hurst would be out of the first three or four weeks because of the injury, but coach John Harbaugh never confirmed that timeline.

-- DT Willie Henry (hernia) has a chance to return to practice this week, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that depends on a positive prognosis from the team doctors. Henry had a breakout season in 2018 but has yet to play this year.

-- LB Matthew Judon was helped off the field Sunday against Denver. He was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury leading up to the game. There was no update on his status Monday.

-- TE Maxx Williams got poked in the eye against Denver and had to leave the game. He did return and the injury should not keep him out against the Steelers. Williams had one reception for five yards against the Broncos.

-- QB Joe Flacco improved 17-2 at home in September. He has thrown 32 touchdown passes and eight interceptions for a 99.0 rating in his career. Flacco also was 25 of 40 with 277 yards with a touchdown against Denver. "That's what you'd like to see Joe do," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a combination of a lot of things, including confidence in the guys that he's throwing to."

-- C Hroniss Grasu was signed by the Ravens on Monday. He was a third-round draft pick from Oregon by the Chicago Bears in 2015. Grasu started eight games as a rookie but spent all of 2016 on injured reserve. He made four starts last year and was released by the Bears after training camp.


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U.S. Daily News | Sports: Baltimore Ravens waste no time switching focus to Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Ravens waste no time switching focus to Pittsburgh Steelers
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