Baltimore Ravens

Beating Steelers was critical, but Ravens still have room for improvement

The Ravens may have had their most important win of the season Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but this team still has room for a lot of improvement, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

The Ravens will welcome five field goals from Justin Tucker any time, but not at the expense of touchdowns. In games against highly touted quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, the Ravens will probably need more than one touchdown to win.


To improve, the Ravens have to cut down on the number of penalties, especially inside the red zone. The Ravens had nine penalties for minus-55 yards against the Steelers, three of those illegal procedure penalties against right tackle Michael Oher.

The Ravens showed commitment in running the ball against Pittsburgh, but they still only averaged 3.0 yards on 25 attempts. Most of the problem has been on the offensive line, where the Ravens aren't getting movement at the line of scrimmage.


Defensively, the Ravens have to improve getting pressure from their front four. The Ravens have a number of blitz packages, and most of them have worked, but when they aren't in use the Ravens fail to harass quarterbacks.

Overall, though, it was a great win against their biggest rival Thursday night. Quarterback Joe Flacco stepped up and carried the offense for one of the few times this season and Jacoby Jones has emerged as a weapon on offense and a returner in recent weeks.

The biggest improvement has been in the secondary with cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Corey Graham.

This win has set the stage for the Ravens to go on a possible late season run into the postseason.