After a week filled with uncertainty and frustration, the Steelers put together a strong second half to beat the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 17-10 in front of a capacity crowd at Acrisure Stadium.
The biggest turning point for the Steelers was Miles Killebrew's blocked punt early in the fourth quarter, which led to a safety. The team would go on to score 14 unanswered points to win the game. The team goes into the bye week with a 3-2 record.
As sweet as this win was for the Steelers, there were many takeaways from this game, both good and bad.
What Did We Learn After Week 5?
Teryl Austin's Defense Is Not Working On The Back End
To get a glimpse of how poorly they were, here is what Teryl Austin's defense did in the first quarter: 143 total yards of offense and nine first downs allowed. Keeping in mind that this team came into this game ranked 30th in total yards per game and 25th in yards per play, the output by Lamar Jackson and his Ravens makes sense. Simply put, this defense has only one strong component, which is their defensive line; everything behind it is not good enough. Teryl Austin, similar to Matt Canada's offense, he has failed so far to put his second-level linebackers and defensive backs in positions to succeed. In their "defense", they are overworked due to the inefficiency of their offense. Yet this ground has serious issues that need to be ironed out during their bye week.
The Steelers Offense Came Through When It Mattered
Admittedly, the Steelers offense was disjointed and moved like molasses for the majority of this game. Then, at some point in the third quarter, quarterback Kenny Pickett got into rhythm, mainly with receiver George Pickens, who had a monster game. With this offense, it is never pretty. For the most part, it is frustrating to watch. Then comes a point where everything mysteriously came together. In all, Matt Canada may have bought more time with this win, but the key to success will be consistency.
Joey Porter Jr. Should Always Be On The Field
When you think of it, Joey Porter Jr.'s first regular-season interception was inevitable. Even with the small sample size we have seen from him this season, Porter Jr. has already proved to be the best press corner on the roster. In this game, his presence made an immediate difference as his contemporaries (i.e., Levi Wallace) were getting beaten often. Remember when Austin said earlier this week that Porter Jr. wasn't ready? Well, his performance in this game killed that theory, and he deserves to be a starter going forward.
Jaylen Warren Is Awesome
It is easy to forget that Jaylen Warren once led a conference in rushing back in 2020 with Oklahoma State. Warren is one of those players who makes you proud to be a Steelers fan. His no-nonsense, rugged style of running is effective because he makes you forget how agile he is. His run sequence after the blocked punt play was easily the best of his NFL career. The one aspect he has over Najee Harris is patience, as he is excellent at seeing the open gaps. He is truly a tremendous asset to the team.