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Steelers notebook: Special teams come up big

Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - The Steelers' Emmanuel Sanders returns a kickoff for an apparent fourth-quarter touchdown, but he stepped out of bounds on the 44-yard line against the Ravens on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Steelers' Emmanuel Sanders returns a kickoff for an apparent fourth-quarter touchdown, but he stepped out of bounds on the 44-yard line against the Ravens on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - The Steelers Emmanuel Sanders steps out of bounds as he is pursued by the Ravens' during a fourth quarter punt Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 at Heinz Field. The play helped set up the Steelers game-winning field goal in a 19-16 win.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>The Steelers Emmanuel Sanders steps out of bounds as he is pursued by the Ravens' during a fourth quarter punt Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 at Heinz Field. The play helped set up the Steelers game-winning field goal in a 19-16 win.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Steelers receiver Derek Moye holds on to the ball after being upended by the Ravens' Matt Elam in the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review</em></div>Steelers receiver Derek Moye holds on to the ball after being upended by the Ravens' Matt Elam in the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Steelers receiver Derek Moye catches a pass over the Ravens' Matt Elam during the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Steelers receiver Derek Moye catches a pass over the Ravens' Matt Elam during the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review - Steelers receiver Derek Moye is tackled after a second-quarter catch against the Ravens on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Chaz Palla  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Steelers receiver Derek Moye is tackled after a second-quarter catch against the Ravens on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Steelers receiver Derek Moye catches a pass over the Ravens' Matt Elam during the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Steelers receiver Derek Moye catches a pass over the Ravens' Matt Elam during the second quarter Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.

Steelers/NFL Videos

Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 9:51 p.m.
 

For the most part, the Steelers' kick return teams have rarely impacted any game this season. But Antonio Brown, Felix Jones and Emmanuel Sanders gave the offense good field position.

Brown returned a first-quarter punt 18 yards to jump-start the Steelers' first scoring drive, which ended with a 3-yard scoring pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Heath Miller.

Jones closed the first half with a 42-yard kickoff return. He moved the pile nearly 10 yards before getting cut down at the Steelers' 40.

After the Ravens tied the game 16-16 late in the fourth quarter, Sanders returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards, setting the stage for Shaun Suisham's game-winning 42-yard field goal as time expired.

Moye, Paulson catching on

Wide receiver Derek Moye and tight end David Paulson have been quiet for much of this season. But both made big plays Sunday.

Moye, cast in the role of Roethlisberger's big red-zone target, had a 19-yard catch. Paulson, a starter while Miller recovered from knee injury, caught a 17-yard pass to ignite a Steelers drive that ended with a Suisham field goal for a 13-6 Steelers lead.

Big on first down

The Steelers, buoyed by an efficient run game, averaged nearly 7 yards on first down. Coach Mike Tomlin credited offensive coordinator Todd Haley for mixing up the game plan. “If you can run the ball efficiently, then you can dial up play-passes and things associated with it and keep people off-balance,” Tomlin said.

Injury report

Offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert suffered a right quad injury on the Steelers' first possession. He did not return and was replaced by Guy Whimper. Defensive end Brett Keisel suffered a rib injury for the second week in a row. He was injured in the third quarter, but returned.

Ralph N. Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rpaulk@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RalphPaulk_Trib.

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