The Baltimore Ravens (1-3) opened up Week 4 of the NFL season with a 23-20 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2).
Thursday night’s AFC North match up featured Michael Vick starting at quarterback for the Steelers, who are without Ben Roethlisberger because of injury. Vick managed the game well for a 35-year-old backup, completing 19 of 26 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. Vick also avoided turnovers all night while adding 33 yards on the ground.
Pittsburgh’s performance was heavily reliant on halfback Le’Veon Bell, who became the first player to rush for 100 yards against Baltimore in 29 games.
The real story, however, revolved around two missed field goals late in the fourth quarter by Steeler kicker Josh Scobee. Scobee went wide left on consecutive kicks from 49 and 41 yards, opening up an opportunity for Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. In the final seconds, Tucker responded to Scobee’s misses by forcing overtime with a 42-yarder. Tucker ended the stalemate with 5:08 left in OT, nailing a 52-yard field goal.
Moving to Sunday’s match ups – every Florida team will face a divisional opponent.
In the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins (1-2) and New York Jets (2-1) will travel to London for an early game. Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins’ developing offense will face a challenging Jets defense led by Darrelle Revis.
“They’ve had a good pass rush, so they force the quarterback at times into bad decisions.” Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin explained. “Those fundamental principles of a good defense have helped them.”
Moving to the NFC South, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) will host Cam Newton and the undefeated Carolina Panthers (3-0).
Bucs standout linebacker LaVonte David is no stranger to Newton and his ability to make explosive plays.
“It’s just all about everybody flying around, man. Flying around, hitting him – you know he’s the quarterback and most quarterbacks don’t want to get hit.” David said. “When you get a chance to get a lick on him, you gotta get a lick on him.”
Finally, Jacksonville (1-2) will travel to Indianapolis (1-2) for an AFC South rivalry game.
The biggest headline of this match up comes from Indy, as the Colts may take the field without their starting quarterback Andrew Luck who is injured. Luck hasn’t missed an NFL game since he was drafted first overall by the Colts in 2012.
Jags’ head coach Gus Bradley says his team has approached this game with a “business as usual” mindset.
“They’ve responded great, we’ve had a couple of good practices,” Bradley said after his team was waxed last week at New England. “That part’s not surprising to me, but I think that it’s important to give direction – a message.”
The message for this Sunday? Beat Indy.
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