Columnist Mike Preston gives his position grades for the Ravens' game against the Steelers. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

Quarterback: Joe Flacco was inconsistent most of the night but made enough plays to be effective. There was a belief he would get on a roll after last week, but it didn't happen. His interception in the first quarter stalled one drive, and he should have chucked the ball instead of fumbling at the end. Grade: C-

Running backs: Alex Collins was the player of the game. He carried this team and was the offense's only consistent weapon. Collins finished with 120 rushing yards on 18 carries. Buck Allen rushed for 25 yards ron six carries. Collins showed great acceleration on outside runs. Grade A


Receivers: Chris Moore continues to make plays both in the base offense and on special teams. Mike Wallace provided the Ravens with a deep passing threat, but Jermy Maclin dropped too many passes. He hasn't given the Ravens much this season. Grade: C -

Offensive line: For most of the night the Ravens’ pass protection was excellent. This group helped open up the running game. The Ravens didn't blow the Steelers off the ball, but they stayed engaged. Grade C+

Defensive line: The Ravens had trouble stopping the Steelers’ running game early and didn't get much pressure on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Ravens appeared tired down the stretch. Grade: D

Linebackers: This might have been this group's worst game of the season. Neither Terrell Suggs nor C.J. Mosley had much impact, and the linebackers were a liability in pass coverage. The young outside linebackers didn't set the edge on several plays. Grade: D

Secondary: Rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey held up well and made some nice tackles. The Ravens safeties were slow in pass coverage. The Steelers didn't go after Humphrey but picked on cornerback Brandon Carr. He’d better get used to it with top cornerback Jimmy Smith out for the rest of the season. Grade: F

Special teams: Justin Tucker converted on his field-goal attempt and did a nice jobs squibbing short kickoffs. The Ravens had good coverage, and punter Sam Koch did well by pinning the Steelers along the sideline. Grade: A

Coaching: The Ravens came out slowly, but coach John Harbaugh got his team to rally. They made a mistake by throwing so much so early in the game, and they failed to take advantage of the Steelers’ poor run defense. On defense, the Ravens brought pressure, but that left them with a suspect secondary especially when they brought the safeties. The Ravens gave up 39 points and scored 38. Enough of this great defense talk. Hold that chatter. Grade: D

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