Steelers storm to early lead as Ravens start slow again (Ravens within 10-6)

After the Steelers and Ravens traded punts on the opening two possessions of the contest, Pittsburgh came up with the first strike of the day.

The Steelers drove 60 yards in 10 plays and 6:05, with 25 of those yards coming via the rush, and took a 7-0 lead on Ben Roethlisberger’s 3-yard shovel pass to Heath Miller with 5:28 to go in the first quarter.

Pittsburgh turned to the Wildcat for a couple of plays on the drive to help get their ailing running game going. The Steelers already have 39 rushing yards, more than halfway to their season average.

The Ravens again started slowly offensively, gaining one yard and going three and out on their first possession. But Baltimore has responded with two first downs on their current drive.

Update: The Ravens are on the board, answering the Steelers’ touchdown with a 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.

That trimmed Pittsburgh’s advantage to 7-3 with five seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

Baltimore drove 49 yards in 10 plays with Joe Flacco completing all five of his attempts for 43 yards on the scoring possession. It marked just the third time this season the Ravens have scored in the first quarter. Since finding the end zone in the first quarter of the opener, Baltimore has just two field goals in the initial session over the six games since.

Update II: Riding the rush, the Steelers are now up 10-3 after a Shaun Suisham 34-yard field goal with 9:59 to go in the first half.

Pittsburgh is up to 64 rushing yards in the first 20 minutes after averaging just 61 per game coming into the contest. Rookie Le’Veon Bell is leading the way with 11 carries for 61 yards.

Update III: You can look at the Ravens’ second field goal of the half - a 38-yarder by Tucker with eight seconds remaining - one of two ways.

Baltimore received some free points thanks to a late turnover by the Steelers. Or the Ravens just left four points on the field after starting inside the Pittsburgh 40 following the giveaway.

Either way, the Ravens trail the Steelers 10-6 at halftime thanks to Miller’s fumble after a 14-yard reception with 50 seconds to go in the half. Daryl Smith punched the ball loose and Matt Elam recovered it.

The offense stalled at the Pittsburgh 20 and had to settle for Tucker’s kick.