Hidden Stars Abounded In Pittsburgh Steelers’ ‘Special’ Win Over Baltimore Ravens


There was only one Joe who had an impact in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 43-23 drubbing of the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night…and he certainly wasn’t wearing purple.

Speaking at halftime, “Mean” Joe Greene, the most dominant player in Steelers history, stated we “couldn’t fathom how special this is” to him.

Oh I don’t know. A sideline full of the Steelers’ Hall of Fame fraternity (Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Mel Blount, Andy Russell, and Franco Harris) standing amongst current players as the “remember when” reel of Mean Joe’s career played on the Jumbotron inspired plenty of “special.”

Beating down the arch-rival Ravens and shoving them into last place in the division gave Steeler fans a special boost Monday morning. Embarrassing the vaunted Ravens defense and collecting yards as yellow flags rained down on the frustrated Ravens’ unsportsmanlike play was also special.

Listening to Joe Flacco’s dismal post-game interview was particularly exceptional. Prior to the game, Flacco and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh bragged that Pittsburgh was a place they felt “comfortable” playing.

Flacco and Harbaugh looked anything but comfortable in the post-game interviews.

Flacco endured a relentless blitz dialed up by another Steelers great, Dick LeBeau. He was sacked four times, incurred at least 10 hits and had his helmet knocked off twice. Flacco’s post-game comments would include:

"“…I lost my mind on that play…I got everybody messed up on that play…” regarding the Jason Worilds interception brought on by pressure by James Harrison."

Hearing those words fall out of his mouth was absolutely delightful. Thanks again to the power that is “Mean Joe.”

Here are a few more under-the-radar STARS and STRIKES of the night:

Silent SuperSTARS

Cameron Heyward had two solo tackles and one quarterback hit but some of his best plays showed up in the stats of the Steelers linebackers. Heyward’s ferocious pressure commanded double-teams by the Ravens o-line. While Heyward occupied two linemen, linebackers Harrison, Lawrence Timmons and Arthur Moats feasted on Flacco.

More from Pittsburgh Steelers

Heyward’s most ingenious play of the night was stuffing Justin Forsett late in the fourth quarter. With only three yards to the goalline, Heyward used teammate Brett Keisel like very large blocking pad to push Forsett back for no gain. Timmons was credited with the tackle but it was Heyward who made the play.

What a game by the unsung tight end: Matt Spaeth. The heads-up play to get open for the accidental two-point conversion will get all the attention. However, Spaeth’s best work of the night was burying the leader of the flag circus, Terrell Suggs. Suggs didn’t record a sack or hit on Roethlisberger thanks in part to the work of Spaeth.

It seems Todd Haley also appreciated Spaeth’s efforts. He threw him a bone on the fourth-and-2 play with just 2:58 left in the game. The Ravens, in shock that the Steelers weren’t just trying to draw them offsides, bit on run and Roethlisberger lofted a 33-yard pass to Spaeth. 43-23. Game over.

Maurkice Pouncey also gets an honorable mention for his work on Haloi Ngata. Outside of the three-sack series, Pouncey and company continue to play their part in blocking opponents into the ground. Roethlisberger was quick to credit his lineman contributions in his second straight six-touchdown game.


Cam Thomas continues to rush the quarterback as if he is blocking him. He spent more time shadow boxing Flacco than running at him. Why did he have nine more snaps than Brett Keisel and 20-plus snaps more than the rising star Stephon Tuitt?


Tuitt keeps showing up. Unlike Thomas, Tuitt attacks the quarterback and has the speed to run down the play. LeBeau needs to figure out a way for him to get more snaps (17 snaps out of 71)

Even when Flacco had enough time to throw downfield the corner group of Antwon Blake, William Gay and Brice McCain. Secondary coach Carnell Lake is doing a phenomenal job coaching up these former free agents.