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Ravens shut down Leftwich, Steelers 13-10

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Ravens shut down Leftwich, Steelers 13-10

PITTSBURGH (AP) Jacoby Jones returned a punt for a touchdown, Justin Tucker kicked two field goals and the Baltimore Ravens took control of the AFC North with a 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.

The Ravens (8-2) moved two games in front of the Steelers (6-4) by shutting down Pittsburgh's offense, which sputtered without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Byron Leftwich, making his first start in more than three years, completed 18 of 39 passes for 201 yards and an interception. He ran for a score but was also sacked three times.

Baltimore's Joe Flacco wasn't much better, completing 20 of 32 passes for 164 yards, but the Ravens didn't need Flacco to dominate to beat the Steelers for the third straight time at Heinz Field.

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Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'

Former Patriot: Joe Flacco 'not a guy that strikes fear in your heart'

Some say Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback. Some say he isn't.

Former Patriots center Dan Koppen clearly sides with the second option.

In a segment on CSN New England's "Sports Tonight," Koppen said he doesn't think Flacco is much of a threat throwing the ball. 

He was asked if Flacco was going to be a reason the Ravens win or a reason they lose to the Patriots. 

"Well, if you look at his last performance, he could be a reason that they win, but over the course of his career, he's not a guy that strikes fear in your heart," Koppen said.

Koppen also said Flacco wouldn't have been this successful without his teammates' help.

"Some Patriots fans have seen this team come in and win, but I believe it's more about the players around him than Joe Flacco himself. ... He's not a guy that elevates the players around him. He needs a good running game, he needs a line, he needs those receivers, and he's also had a strong defense his whole career."

The only way to tell if this is a valid criticism would be to take all the players around Joe Flacco and replace them with average players, and that isn't going to happen. 

For now, the Ravens are winning and in first place in the AFC North, and fans should enjoy that.

MORE: Flacco named FedEx Air Player of the Week

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Joe Flacco named Week 13 FedEx Air Player of the Week by NFL

Joe Flacco named Week 13 FedEx Air Player of the Week by NFL

With a dominating performance over the Miami Dolphins defense in Week 13, Joe Flacco was named the FedEx Air Player of the Week by the NFL. 

In the Ravens 38-6 victory, the quarterback threw for 381 yards with four touchdowns, both season-highs. He completed 36 of his 47 passes and finished with a passer rating of 119.2.

This was Flacco's first time selected as the Air Player of the Week this season. Drew Brees (three time winner) is the only quarterback to receive the award more than once.

As the winner of the award, FedEx will make a $2,000 donation to the USO in Flacco's name through FedEx Cares. 

On the year, the Raven's play caller has thrown for over 3,258 yards with a 64.6 percent completion rate. He has found the endzone 15 times but also has thrown 11 interceptions.

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