The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t take a conservative approach out of the gate of tonight’s primetime affair with the Ravens at Heinz Field.
The Steelers went right at Baltimore, needing just three snaps and 43 seconds to jump out to a 7-0 lead.
Backup quarterback Byron Leftwich went deep on the first snap, drawing a 42-yard pass interference penalty. Wideout Mike Wallace burned Cary Williams so badly that the cornerback needed to grab the speedy receiver to slow him down.
The Steelers executed a reverse on the next snap, gaining seven yards, and then Leftwich scrambled 31 yards to the end zone on the following play, breaking a tackle or two on his way to rumbling across the goal line for a touchdown.
Not the best start for the Ravens, but they had to know it wasn’t going to be easy whether Ben Roethlisberger was playing or not.
The Steelers could have experienced some bad fortune on the play, as Leftwich dinged up his throwing shoulder when he stumbled in the end zone. A Charlie Batch appearance coming?
Leftwich returned for the second possession, but television cameras showed him still uncomfortable on the sideline.
Update: Safety Ed Reed recovered a fumble by Wallace and returned it to the Steelers’ 12.
The Ravens couldn’t capitalize with a touchdown, but they did come away with Justin Tucker’s 26-yard field goal. It’s 7-3 in the middle of the first quarter.