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Ravens notebook: Mixed bag for defense

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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers running back Felix Jones cuts back on the Ravens' Lardarius Webb in the fourth quarter Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at Heinz Field.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, 10:15 p.m.
 

The Ravens entered Sunday's game with 22 sacks in six games, second in the NFL.

That trend continued, as Baltimore registered three sacks. Yet two other areas where the Ravens had been proficient took a hit.

The Steelers ran for 141 yards, nearly 43 more than what the Ravens were allowing (98.2, tied for seventh).

Baltimore had held opponents to a 31.2 percent success rate on third down, fourth in the league. Pittsburgh converted 7 of 12 (58 percent).

“We didn't do a good enough job (defending the run),” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “To me, the fact that they were able to run the ball the way they did was the thing that allowed them to extend those drives.”

Ravens reality check

Linebacker Terrell Suggs is none too happy with the Ravens' 3-4 record entering their bye week.

“I'm very concerned,” Suggs said. “It's been very rare with this franchise that we've been under .500, especially with the exception of the first game. This is the perfect time for us to address everything. We can't kid ourselves anymore. We have a tremendous amount of work to do.”

One streak intact

The Ravens' 19-16 loss means no visiting team has won four consecutive regular-season games at Heinz Field. Baltimore had won 17-14 in 2010, 23-20 in 2011 and 13-10 a year ago.

Rice's shoulder OK

Rice had ice on his left shoulder, but he was not treating an injury.

“I'm icing my shoulder,” Rice said. “You can see that I lowered the pads today. There's nothing wrong with my shoulder. It's just called icing after a game. That's what happens when you play running back in the NFL.”

Rice had little room to run, as Baltimore's running game, ranked 27th in the league coming in, struggled. Rice gained 45 yards on 15 carries.

McClain returns

Middle linebacker Jameel McClain returned 10 months after suffering a spinal cord contusion and finished with five combined tackles.

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