Madden simulation kicks Pittsburgh while they're down for Ravens week

Pittsburgh Steelers v Houston Texans
Pittsburgh Steelers v Houston Texans / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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And it Doesn't Get Prettier

After ending a tumultuous first half well, the Steelers get the ball to start the second half looking to close on the Ravens’ early lead. The Ravens nearly stopped that effort early, but a 13-yard scramble by Pickett on third down gave the Steelers some hope. That hope was quickly extinguished. On the next play, Pickett tried to escape a blitzing Roquan Smith and lost 12 yards on the sack. Smith wasn’t satisfied with one sack and dropped Pickett for eight more on the very next play. Not to be outdone, Patrick Queen got home for a third-straight sack for the Ravens' defense. Pittsburgh went from positive momentum to fourth and 42. Yikes.

The Ravens got started on the positive side of the 50 and on third and short, Jackson hit Andrews to keep the drive alive. On the next play, Larry Ogunjobi made his presence felt with a sack on Jackson to put the Ravens behind the sticks. With momentum on their side, Jackson shrugs off a third and long by finding Beckham over the middle inside the 10. Two short runs by Edwards forced the Ravens to pass on third down. Jackson stepped to his right and the pressure from Watt forced the pass into the dirt to end the third quarter.

A 22-yard field goal is nothing for Tucker, who extends the lead to 20-3 to open the fourth quarter.

A roughing the passer call on Broderick Washington Jr. saved an incomplete pass from Pickett on first down, giving the Steelers better field position to get the drive started. Pickett was unable to evade pressure on the next three plays with each of his passes failing to reach a receiver as Raven defenders closed in on him. On fourth and 10, Pickett is at least afforded an opportunity to get a clean pass away, but Calvin Austin III is unable to haul it in with tight coverage from Rock Ya-Sin.

The Ravens got the ball in plus territory with more than 5:30 on the fourth quarter clock. After a 21-yard run by Justice Hill, the Ravens put themselves in a position to put the game completely out of reach. A second down throw to the endzone proved that was Baltimore’s intention, but it fell incomplete to stop the clock at 4:00. Incomplete on third down kills the clock and some of my patience. Tucker nailed the field goal, bringing the score to 23-3.

Pickett began the next drive with an 11-yard pass to Pickens on a drag route. Two plays later, Pickett ran from pressure and found Austin across the field for 24 yards. Harris got in on the late passing surge with a 15+ yard catch on the next play. The next play saw the Steelers finally get into the endzone with a 22-yard touchdown to Darnell Washington with 2:19 on the clock.

The Steelers do lineup for the onside kick, but those are even harder to recover in Madden than in real life. Of course, as I prematurely typed that, Rashod Bateman dropped the ball and the Steelers recovered the onside kick. 

The Ravens inexplicably chose not to blitz early in this late drive as Pickett got the Steelers across the 50 with a pass to Robinson. The other side of the 2-minute warning and the clock began to be unfriendly to Pitsburgh’s comeback attempt as Pickens broke tackles in the middle of the field without picking up a first down. With the added pressure, Pickett forced an ill-advised pass over the middle and was picked off by Ya-Sin.

With 1:26 on the clock, the Ravens burn the clock out after the Steelers hopelessly spend their timeouts. This one is mercifully over at 23-10.