Ravens lead Steelers 13-10 after 3 quarters

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Ravens lead Steelers 13-10 after 3 quarters

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jacoby Jones had a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown and Justin Tucker made two of his three field-goal attempts to give the Baltimore Ravens a 13-10 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers after three quarters of their AFC North showdown Sunday night.

Jones had a touchdown return for the second consecutive week; he ran back a kickoff in a win over Oakland. Jones, who also had a kickoff return for a score against Dallas last month, has four career touchdowns on punt returns.

In addition to the special teams score, Baltimore's defense set up field goals by Tucker of 26 and 39 yards off of Pittsburgh turnovers. Mike Wallace fumbled in the first quarter and backup quarterback Byron Leftwich threw an interception in the third quarter.

Leftwich had a 31-yard touchdown run less than a minute into the game. Making his first NFL start in more than three years because of shoulder and rib injuries to Ben Roethlisberger, Leftwich was 11 for 24 for 153 yards at the end of the third quarter.

Not known for his scrambling ability, the 250-pound former first-round pick took the second official snap of the game and scrambled out of the pocket, turned the corner, got a block, split two defensive backs at the right sideline and made it to the end zone for his 10th career touchdown rushing and first since 2008.

The play was a career-best run for Leftwich and the longest touchdown run of the season for Pittsburgh.

The Steelers' Shaun Suisham kicked a 22-yard field goal during the final minute of the third quarter.

Tucker missed a 41-yard try less than a minute into the second quarter.

The Steelers (6-3) have Rashard Mendenhall in their lineup for the third time this season and he had seven carries for 25 yards at the end of the third quarter. Backup Isaac Redman was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Jonathan Dwyer has 42 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Both teams were struggling on third downs - Pittsburgh converted three of 12 opportunities through three quarters and the Ravens were 3 for 11.

The Steelers have won four consecutive times to pull to within a game of their rivals. The teams will play again in two weeks in Baltimore.

Joe Flacco was 18 for 29 for 153 yards and Ray Rice had 15 carries for 28 yards through three quarters for Baltimore (7-2).

Roethlisberger was knocked out of last Monday's overtime win over the Kansas City, allowing Leftwich to make his first start with the Steelers over four seasons. It is Leftwich's first NFL start since September 2009 with Tampa Bay. He hasn't won a game he started in more than six years.

The Steelers have lost to the Ravens each of the past four times they played them without Roethlisberger.

The Ravens are missing three defensive starters of their own: linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb.

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Gilman's Cyrus Jones drafted by Patriots

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Gilman's Cyrus Jones drafted by Patriots

Baltimore native and former Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday. A Gilman graduate, Jones was the Patriots first pick in the draft, at No. 60 overall.

At 5-10 and 197 pounds, Jones is ideally suited as a slot corner who could be challenged when matched up against taller receivers on the outside. But he has solid fundamentals and his proven ability as a return specialist adds to his value.

Jones finished this past season with 37 tackles and two interceptions for the Crimson Tide and 108 tackles, seven interceptions and 25 passes defensed over three seasons as a defensive back.

RELATED: RAVENS TRADE DOWN TWICE, STEER CLEAR OF JACK, SPENCE

Jones, who began his collegiate career as a receiver before moving to cornerback as a sophomore, led the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision this past year and set an Alabama single-season record with four punt return touchdowns.

“Returning is a specialized thing,” Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said earlier this month when discussing Jones. “A lot of guys can’t do it, especially punts. It’s very hard to catch punts. So the guys that can do it and are good at it, I mean, that’s additional value for sure.”

The Ravens were interested in Jones, and he impressed them at their local pro day, but now the Baltimore native is headed to New England of all places. 

MORE RAVENS: RAVENS TAKE PASS RUSHER CORREA WITH SECOND-ROUND PICK

Five things to know about Ravens third-round pick Kaufusi

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Five things to know about Ravens third-round pick Kaufusi

OWINGS MILLS - Herre are five  things to know about Ravens third-round pick, BYU defensive end – rush linebacker Bronson Kaufusi. 

1. Kaufusi had 20 sacks, 11 tackles for losses this year. 

2. Kaufusi is already 24 years old. A native of Prova, Utah he went on a two-year church mission to New Zealand. 

“I don’t feel like my age is an issue, and it hasn’t seemed to be an issue for the NFL teams I’ve talked to,” Kaufusi told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Whoever can make plays is going to play, and get the job done. To me, it doesn’t matter how old you are. This is serious stuff. The best players are going to play. It is not a big concern for me.”

3.  Kaufusi’s father, Steve Kaufusi, played for the Eagles (1988-90). 

4.  His car is a 1990 Ford Explorer. Might be time to upgrade. 

5. Kaufusi led the nation with four blocked kicks. Expect the Ravens to use his 6-foot-6 height on special teams. He played soccer and basketball growing up with helped his footwork.

RELATED: RAVENS TRADE DOWN TWICE, STEER CLEAR OF JACK, SPENCE

Ravens trade down twice, steer clear of Jack, Spence

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Ravens trade down twice, steer clear of Jack, Spence

The Ravens passed on drafting linebacker Myles Jack and outside linebacker Noah Spence on Friday, trading back twice early in the second round with two of the top remaining defensive players still available to them.

Steering clear of Jack and Spence leaves the Ravens open to second-guessing, but it’s clear the Ravens had issues with both of them. Jack is dealing with a knee injury and Spence has been dogged by off-field concerns.

Jack was considered a top-10 talent and was frequently linked to the Ravens in the first round in many mock drafts. But concerns over Jack’s knee – which he exacerbated when he said before the draft that he might ultimately need microfracture surgery – sent Jack tumbling all the way out of the first round. Many teams were concerned with the condition of Jack’s knee, but passing on a player considered to be one of the top defensive talents in the draft when healthy is definitely a gamble.

RELATED: RAVENS TAKE PASS RUSHER CORREA WITH SECOND-ROUND PICK

The Ravens dealt their No. 36 pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who promptly selected Jack, the versatile linebacker from UCLA. The Ravens, who moved to the No. 38 spot, picked up a fifth-round pick in the deal.

Then before their pick at No. 38, the Ravens traded down again, dealing that pick to the Dolphins for the No. 42 pick and a fourth-round pick.

Spence was selected at No. 39 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Jaguars, who selected defensive back Jalen Ramsey one pick before the Ravens in the first round, wind up with both Ramsey and Jack, who two weeks ago were both considered top-10 players.

As for Spence, who made a predraft visit to the Ravens, he was dismissed from Ohio State after failed drug tests and ended his career at Eastern Kentucky, where he had 11 ½ sacks last season.

Both Jack and Spence seemed to fit the mold of what the Ravens were looking for, but it’s obvious that the Ravens also had enough reservation to look elsewhere.

MORE RAVENS: RAVENS TRADE DOWN TWICE, MOVE FROM NO. 36, TO NO. 38, TO NO. 42