There’s something mildly depressing about watching a team that is fighting for its season struggle to put away a depowered squad just hoping to make it through the game healthy.

Except when that team is the Steelers. Then it’s kinda humorous.

Here’s how the Ravens’ position groups graded out in their 17-10 loss to the Steelers.


This was not a fruitful game for either offense, especially Baltimore’s. Tyler Huntley, playing in what could be his final game as a Raven, struggled to connect with a receiving corps that was down its top two weapons, Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. Snoop completed 15 of 28 pass attempts for 146 yards and a touchdown. The weather couldn’t have helped, but Huntley was inaccurate and uncharacteristically hesitant in the pocket.

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Grade: C-

Running backs

If Melvin Gordon is forced into a significant role in a playoff game, the Ravens will be in serious trouble. The veteran ran for just 18 yards on seven carries (2.6 per attempt) with a fumble, compelling the coaches to call upon starter Gus Edwards more often than they might have liked. Fortunately, Edwards and Justice Hill should keep Gordon off the field when the games count again. Edwards, whose fourth-quarter fumble led to the Steelers’ game-sealing scoring drive, finished with 48 yards on 10 totes (4.8 per carry). Hill didn’t receive any carries and caught just three of his 10 targets in the passing game.

Grade: C-

Offensive line

As has been the plan for much of the season, tackles Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses took snaps off to stay fresh. Moses had his hands full with All-Pro defensive end T.J. Watt, who picked up a pair of sacks before leaving the game with a knee injury. The rest of the line allowed just one sack of Huntley.

Grade: C+

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Pass catchers

With Flowers and Beckham out, Nelson Agholor stepped into the role of No. 1 receiver, catching all five of his targets and tallying 39 yards. Tight end Isaiah Likely continued to show his value as a dependable replacement for the injured Mark Andrews, catching a 27-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Laquon Treadwell grabbed his first reception of the season. Rashod Bateman was not targeted, a lifeless finish to a frustrating regular season for the 2021 first-rounder.

Grade: B-

Defensive line

The Steelers’ dink-and-dunk game plan was as much a product of quarterback Mason Rudolph’s shortcomings as it was a show of respect for the Ravens’ relentless defensive line. Rudolph completed a whopping 90% of his passes (18-of-20) but compiled just 152 yards, lobbing screens and checkdowns. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh running back Najee Harris needed 26 carries to earn his 112 rushing yards. Jadeveon Clowney’s second-quarter strip sack of Rudolph was particularly impactful for the defensive end’s bank account, as Clowney reportedly earned a $750,000 incentive by going over nine sacks on the season.

Grade: B-

Inside linebackers

Roquan Smith, who played 97% of the team’s defensive snaps through the first 16 games, suited up but did not play. Fellow Pro Bowler Patrick Queen started the game and donned the green dot on his helmet but played minimally after halftime. No matter, the backups did just fine. Veteran Del’Shawn Phillips, making his first start since 2021 (as a member of the New York Jets), had a forced fumble, though he left with a shoulder injury in the second half. Rookie third-round pick Trenton Simpson collected the first sack of his career.

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Grade: B+

Defensive backs

It was a forgettable regular season for safety Marcus Williams, who has played through a torn pectoral muscle for much of the year. On Saturday, a head-scratching breakdown by Williams and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin sprung Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson for a 71-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, giving Pittsburgh a lead it would not relinquish. Already missing star Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens lost another safety, ball-hawk Geno Stone, to a knee injury in the second half.

Grade: B-

Special teams

Jordan Stout was the Ravens’ MVP, booting seven punts, which tied a season high. Justin Tucker made a 36-yarder in the final minute to make it a one-score game.

Grade: B-

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Head coach John Harbaugh was justifiably cautious with his starters, prioritizing health over continuity. That left coordinators Todd Monken and Mike Macdonald to craft game plans without their most impactful players. All in all, it was a strong showing for a team that had nothing to gain from a win.

Grade: B

Ravens fans

At the risk of sounding like a pandering homer, I’ll point out that the 70,355 fans who packed M&T Bank Stadium could’ve filled their Saturday with warmer, drier activities than sitting through a meaningless, backup-filled snoozefest. Instead, they donned ponchos, tailgated and cheered – perhaps more against the Steelers than for the Ravens – through nasty conditions from start to finish.

Grade: A

This story was updated to reflect Jadeveon Clowney’s sack total for the season.

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