Joe Haden helps Steelers put ‘lid’ on Ravens WR John Brown
This time, the Pittsburgh Steelers had the antidote for Baltimore Ravens speedy wide receiver John Brown.
It came in the form of veteran shutdown cornerback Joe Haden, who excelled in the Steelers’ 23-16 victory Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Haden was tasked with shadowing Brown, who had a 71-yard reception and a 33-yard touchdown catch in the Ravens’ 26-14 victory against the Steelers on Sept. 30.
Brown caught three passes for 17 yards and was a non-factor in the rematch. That was a departure from the first meeting when his three receptions totaled 116 yards.
“Nothing really changed,” linebacker Vince Williams said about the Steelers defensive strategy. “We had to keep a lid on John Brown.”
The lid rarely was opened.
“They basically took me out of the game plan,” Brown said. “That’s just something we have to figure out and get right.”
The secondary was led by Haden, who also had four tackles. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had 209 yards passing after lighting up the Steelers for 363 yards in the first game.
“We made sure they didn’t catch balls on the outside,” Haden said. “We tried to keep Brown in the box and not let him get over the top like he did last time. We paid a lot of attention to him. Those were some of the things to make sure they didn’t get big plays.”
Flacco took the field Sunday without the benefit of his starting tackles, James Hurst and Ronnie Stanley. Rookie Orlando Brown Jr. and second-year player Jermaine Eluemunor.
“When we did get into the seven-step, or even the five-step stuff, Joe was under duress,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Flacco was sacked twice and hit six times. In the first game, he was touched just two times.
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