The Pittsburgh defense did everything it needed to do in this one to come out of this game with a win.
Pressure Joe Flacco into poor throws?
Shut down Ray Rice?
Hold the Ravens to field goals once they got into the red zone?
Force a turnover or two to set your offense up with a short field?
OK, the Steelers didn't do that.
And that wound up being the difference between a win and a loss Sunday night against the Ravens.
Baltimore gained 200 total yards and Flacco was a pitiful 20 of 32 for 164 yards, while Rice gained 40 yards on 20 carries.
But the Steelers lost because they couldn't give their offense anything resembling a short field.
I know I'm splitting hairs here, but when the offense's average starting position is its own 19, that's tough to ask it to move the length of the field more than once or twice with a backup quarterback making his first start in three years.
This defense is playing lights out - having held its fifth consecutive passer to 174 yards or less - but the lack of turnovers continues to be the difference between this being a very good defense and a great one.
@ The field position battle was lost on the leg of Baltimore punter Sam Koch, who averaged 46.5 yards per punt and placed half of his eight kicks inside the 20.
Drew Butler put half of his eight punts inside the 20 as well, but his averaged was 44.4 yards and his net was 35.4 thanks to a 63-yard return for a touchdown by Jacoby Jones.
@ I asked Mike Tomlin after the game if Baltimore did anything special to block up that return for a touchdown. He said the Ravens doubled the gunners, which forced the Steelers to get a tackle out of their inside guys.
That obviously didn't happen, even though - with the gunners doubled - the inside guys outnumbered the Ravens, 10-6.
@ Byron Leftwich wasn't great Sunday night. Heck, he wasn't even all that good. But he played well enough to lead this team to a win next week at Cleveland.
Getting Antonio Brown back next week will help immensely.
There were, just like last week against Kansas City, several times when Leftwich dropped back to pass, had plenty of time and there was nobody open.
And when he did throw some great passes - like the one that Mike Wallace fumbled in the first quarter and the one in the third quarter that Wallace couldn't get his feet down on in bounds in the end zone - they just didn't work out.
Wallace has got to come up with that throw in the end zone and tuck that ball away over the middle before he takes off like a bolt of lightning, especially if he wants to get a big contract at the end of this season.
But the Steelers gave Brown a new contract in the training camp because he's at his best on third downs. In fact, he might be the best third down receiver - or at least in the conversation - in the NFL.
Having him back returning some of Koch's punts might've helped as well.
@ James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley showed up in this game like they haven't in some time.
Both outside linebackers were getting consistent pressure, and both recorded sacks.
They also showed up big in the run defense, which limited the Ravens to 47 yards on 23 carries.
We also saw inspired play out of Casey Hampton in this game.
If the Steelers can get that out of those guys, they will be a very dangerous team the rest of the way - especially once Ben Roethlisberger returns.
I'm hearing Roethlisberger could be back in time for the rematch with the Ravens in two weeks. At least that is what the Steelers are hoping.