PITTSBURGH — In the first half of Sunday's 31-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers here at Heinz Field, the Ravens' secondary played well enough to keep people from wondering about cornerback Jimmy Smith, who missed his second straight game because of a sprained right ankle. That was especially evident against star wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had just one catch for seven yards in the first two quarters.
But Brown exploded in the second half, making nine grabs for 89 yards and the game-winning 4-yard touchdown with nine seconds left.
"Just a couple plays where he got away and got out of coverage," Ravens cornerback Shareece Wright said. "He made his plays."
Rookie cornerback Tavon Young said the defense figured that the Steelers would try to get Brown more involved after his quiet start.
"That's their No. 1 receiver. Of course they would target him," Young said. "On the outside, he didn't really do anything on the outside. But once he got into the slot and was working the zone, they were just making plays."
Brown, who caught six passes for 73 yards in Pittsburgh's 21-point fourth quarter, said he didn't panic over his meager numbers in the first half.
"You just have to stay simple," he said. "Over the course of the game, there are going to be ups and down. I might not get the ball as much as I want to, but just stay positive. We have a great quarterback. We don't blink. They're always looking for opportunities, and they found a way to get me the ball."
Brown finished with 10 catches for 96 yards. He had seven catches for 85 yardas and a touchdown in the first game against the Ravens on Nov. 6.
He now has a league-high 106 catches for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.