Steelers take early lead in Baltimore (Ravens move ahead 6-3)

The Steelers have struck first at M&T Bank Stadium, in large park because tailback Jonathan Dwyer is quite a handful, literally.

The burly 5-foot-11, 229-lb. runner rushed five times for 25 yards to help Pittsburgh put kicker Shaun Suisham in range for a 46-yard field goal. Suisham drilled it and the Steelers lead 3-0 about eight minutes into the contest.

The Ravens showed an interesting offensive strategy out of the gate, passing on their first six offensive plays, getting two first downs in the process before punting. They also seemed to find some openings deep, even though Torrey Smith dropped a well-placed deep ball.

Long passes might be even more available now that Pittsburgh cornerback Ike Taylor has left the game with a right ankle injury. His return is questionable.

Update: Yards and points aren’t going to come easy against the Steelers’ defense, but the Ravens have broken through 1:08 into the second quarter, tying the contest at 3-3 on Justin Tucker’s 45-yard field goal.

Tucker has now made 23 of his 25 attempts this season, including 12-for-14 from 40 and beyond.

That closed a 10-play, 40-yard drive that chewed 4:30 off the clock. Bernard Pierce and Vonta Leach were the standouts on the drive. Pierce ran three times for 11 yards while making a five-yard catch. Leach caught two passes for 16 yards.

Update II: Tucker’s second field goal of the day, a 23-yarder with 9:34 to go in the first half, has given the Ravens a 6-3 lead.

Baltimore got the ball at its own 42 after a serious momentum swing provided by Paul Kruger’s fifth sack in four games and a tipped punt by Albert McClellan.

The Ravens then moved into comfortable field goal range on Cortez Allen’s 30-yard defensive pass interference penalty. That pushed the Ravens to the 10-yard line, but they couldn’t cross the goal line and settled for three points. Either way, Baltimore is on top and playing well.