What We Saw: Week 8

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season.

Steelers @ Ravens

 

In an AFC North battle, the Pittsburgh Steelers remained undefeated by defeating the Ravens 28-24, in a game that came down to the final play. The battle between division rivals saw some not so great quarterback play, and injuries to both sides as Diontae Johnson was in and out with a hamstring injury, and a key member of the Ravens offensive line, Ronnie Stanley was carted off with what would later be determined to be a season-ending ankle injury. 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers  

 

Quarterback

 

Ben Roethlisberger: 21/32, 182 yards, 2 TDs 

 

In the first half, Ben Roethlisberger did not seem like his normal self, over-throwing deep balls and then just taking a few dump-offs, even getting some treatment on his elbow after diving on top of a fumble, making some fear that he reinjured himself. However, in the second half, Roethlisberger got himself more in a groove being much more efficient with his passes, including completing both of his touchdowns passes. The first of these was a crossing route to Eric Ebron, who got himself wide open and took off for the remaining 15 yards after the catch. The next touchdown pass was one to Chase Claypool in the corner of the endzone for the touchdown to take the lead. The tide turned in the second half as Roethlisberger got more comfortable in the pocket taking his shorter passes, following a little treatment on his elbow which he stated was just hitting his funny bone and is no issue.

 

Running Backs

 

James Conner: 15 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 13 yards

Anthony McFarland Jr: 1 carry, 1 yard 

 

While the early game script moved the Steelers away from the run, James Conner took advantage of the opportunities he was given in a limited game script including rushing for a touchdown at the goal line.  No other back came into the game to spell carries for Conner besides one carry from Anthony McFarland Jr. With Roethlisberger taking shorter passes, Conner had some involvement in the passing game.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Juju Smith-Schuster: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 67 yards

Chase Claypool: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD

Diontae Johnson: 3 targets, 1 reception, 6 yards

James Washington: 1 target

Eric Ebron: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 48 yards, 1 TD

 

There was some early concern in the Pittsburgh passing attack as Dionatae Johnson exited early in the first quarter and was being treated for a hamstring injury. However, he would return to this game though his presence would not have been majorly noticed until he got in a scrum on the sideline. While Roethlisberger would take a few shots down the sideline to him, they would not connect for a completion until late in the 4th quarter, the final drive of the game for Pittsburgh. With Diontae Johnson neutralized this game, Roethlisberger would turn to Chase Claypool, looking his way in many key situations, including third-down conversions.

 

 

On the final drive and in the second half Reothliberger very much leaned on Juju Smith Schuster in order to extend drives and also for key third-down conversions. With the absence of Diontae Johnson, we saw a continued trust between Roethlisberger and Eric Ebron who hit on short passes to extend drives. Among these completions was an 18-yard touchdown, on a wide-open crossing route which he would walk the remainder of the way to the endzone.

 

 

Baltimore Ravens

 

Quarterback

 

Lamar Jackson: 13/28, 208 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 4 sacks | 16 carries, 65 yards 

 

Lamar Jackson struggled to pass the ball this week, facing pressure all day from the Pittsburgh defensive line and forcing him to throw two interceptions, including a pick-6 on the first drive of the game. That interception was forced by the defender stepping in front of the pass and taking it straight to the house, while the second was a pass Jackson through off-balance towards the sideline trying to fit it over the defender who would get his hands on it as well.

 

 

While it wasn’t all bad, as Jackson would fit a touchdown pass through a tight window to Marquise Brown for his second touchdown of the game, while the first one was on a thrown ball to the corner of the endzone to Miles Boykin. Jackson could have also had a touchdown run as he, like the entire offense, had success in the ground taking one up the middle and just being stopped at the 1-yard line.

 

 

Running Backs

 

J.K. Dobbins: 15 carries, 113 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

Gus Edwards: 16 carries, 87 yards, 1 TD | 1 target, 0 receptions, 0 yards 

 

With the absence of Mark Ingram, the question was whether either back would take advantage of the opportunity and get a majority of the carries. While Baltimore kept up its usual split of the backfield, both J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards took advantage of the opportunities running free against this usually good Pittsburgh rush defense. While either got involved in the passing game due to a mobile quarterback in Lamar Jackson, even with the loss of Ronnie Stanley in the offensive line, Baltimore’s run game was very successful throughout the game on Sunday, no matter who was running, with J.K. Dobbins getting 54 snaps compared to the Edwards’ 26.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Willie Snead: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 106 yards

Marquise Brown: 2 targets, 1 reception, 3 yards, 1 TD

Mark Andrews: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards

Devin Duvernay: 3 targets, 1 reception, 39 yards

Miles Boykin: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 20 yards, 1 TD

 

With Lamar Jackson‘s struggles in the passing game on Sunday, no receiver really emerged in this game and got very involved. Marquise Brown voiced his opinions on Twitter about his lack of involvement in this game, catching a touchdown one play after a touchdown catch in the corner of the endzone was ruled incomplete.

 

 

With Miles Boykin catching another touchdown, he found himself a little more involved as Mark Andrews was looked to continue drives but the passes were not as accurate to him. Lamar Jackson’s favorite target in this game seemed to be Willie Snead, as he found himself wide open on multiple 4th down conversions with Lamar Jackson completing those passes to him both times, as he broke 100 yards total.

 

 — Callen Elslager (@callen_elslager on Twitter and Reddit)

One response to “What We Saw: Week 8”

  1. Really good website, thank you very much for showing us

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