Anquan Boldin has unquestionable talent and the back-to-back plays he just put together just might make the difference in what traditionally has been a low-scoring series between the Ravens and Steelers.
Boldin first eluded defensive back Cortez Allen down the visiting sideline to slow up and make a 31-yard catch. One play later, he didn’t play games, just burning Allen down the sideline for a 28-yard touchdown reception that gave Baltimore a 13-3 lead.
Those two catches for 59 yards give Boldin four grabs for 75 yards and a touchdown so far. Pretty nice start for the No. 1 wideout.
The first touchdown drive of the game was a quick one - four plays for 69 yards and just two minutes.
To set that possession up, the teams traded interceptions immediately before. First, Joe Flacco avoided a sack and then lofted a pass in Dennis Pitta’s direction down the home sideline. But Pitta was tripped up in the middle of his route and the soft toss was easily picked off by safety Ryan Clark.
The Steelers’ next drive ended in similar fashion, this time because of failed trickery. Pittsburgh attempted a wide receiver pass, with Antonio Brown passing back across the field. However, Ravens cornerback Corey Graham didn’t bite on the fake and intercepted Brown to give Baltimore the ball at its own 31.
And now the Ravens, with their home crowd behind them, feel firmly in control even though they lead by only 10 with less than a minute remaining in the first half.
Update: Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor won’t return after suffering a right ankle injury. That’s big because the Ravens keep picking on his backup, Allen.
Pittsburgh has added three points since that news was announced, on Shaun Suisham’s 41-yard field goal with 32 seconds to go in the half. That cuts Baltimore’s lead to 13-6.
Update II: At the end of the first half, the score remains the same.
Baltimore has outgained Pittsburgh 191-93. Flacco has been unimpressive, but doesn’t have atrocious numbers. He has completed 11 of 22 passes for 134 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Charlie Batch has just 57 passing yards.
Update III: Just as the Ravens seemed to take control, the Steelers have quietly stormed back to tie it at 13-13 about four minutes into the third quarter.
The field goal late in the first half made a huge difference, and now it’s back to even after Jonathan Dwyer’s 16-yard touchdown run.
Dwyer, as he has done a few times today, ran right and then bounced back around to the other side of the line before speeding toward the open turf and making his way to the end zone. It was an impressive drive for the Steelers, whop opened the second half with a seven-play, 78-yard possession that lasted 3:55.