1. Wrong game plan, fell behind:
Just think what could have been if the Ravens played like they did in the third quarter, in the beginning of the game. When you fall behind 14-0 in Heinz Field, it’s bad for business. The Ravens had a great opening drive brewing until Joe Flacco threw one of his most ill-advised interceptions of the season. The Ravens came into the game with the wrong game plan. They were passing the ball too much in the beginning of the game. The Steelers run defense was vulnerable (as we saw when Marty Mornhinweg figured it out). The Ravens should have come into the game and pounded the running game at the Steelers. Imagine if the Ravens got up 14-0. The Ravens shot themselves in the foot with a game plan that made no sense.
Defensively it was the same story. Dean Pees called the most passive defense of all-time on the Steelers opening possession. When Pees began to call some good blitzes things changed for the better. When he started to disguise his defense a bit, things changed for the better. The Steelers marched down the field at will in the first half of this game. Pees adjusted, but by the end of the game Roethlisberger had his number.
The players on the field played an inspired game. There were some obvious mistakes that were made, but the biggest blame goes on coaching. The Ravens had a clear way they had to play against the Steelers. They chose to enter this game with the exact opposite game plan. Marty Mornhinweg and Dean Pees are the people most at fault for this loss. The bad start slowed down the Ravens and it was a bad start by design.