Eleven wasn’t quite heaven: Canadian Chase Claypool helps Steelers in sloppy win over Ravens

Photo courtesy: Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

Canadian receiver Chase Claypool played a role in helping the Steelers improve to 11-0 against the Ravens.

The NFL moved the Week 12 game three different times and it was finally played on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh. The home side prevailed in a sloppy 19-14 victory at Heinz Field.

Photo courtesy: Karl Roser / Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger completed 36-of-51 passes (70 percent) for 266 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Claypool was targeted by Roethlisberger nine times and the rookie Canadian caught six balls for 52 yards to lead all Steelers receivers.

He had a chance for touchdown No. 11 on the season, but Baltimore defensive back Marlon Humphrey knocked the ball away on a slant route in the end zone early in the second quarter. That was the only red zone target for the six-foot-four, 238-pound pass catcher in the game.

“They made plays to stop us and we didn’t make the plays when we had to,” Roethlisberger said in his post-game video conference. “Obviously, we won but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Just not good football.”

Pittsburgh could have blown out the Ravens but the Steelers were unable to capitalize in the red zone — Roethlisberger and the offence managed just one touchdown in four trips. Head coach Mike Tomlin attributed the red zone failures to his team “sucking” between the 20-yard marker and the goal line.

“It was really junior varsity to be quite honest with you and it was in all three phases. We make no excuses, we seek no comfort,” Tomlin said in his post-game video conference.

“We’re fortunate tonight, it’s good to proceed with the victory, I acknowledge that, but not a lot happened tonight to be proud of or to be excited about other than that.”

Claypool remained consistent without scoring a touchdown, recording his seventh game with 50 or more receiving yards. The 22-year-old has 45 receptions for 611 yards (13.6 per) and eight touchdowns and nine rushes for 22 yards with two scores on the season, totaling 10 touchdowns in 11 games.

“I thank the commissioner and Baltimore for moving the game so we didn’t have to play in the snow storm, but we have to prepare on another short week against a football team that’s playing well,” Roethlisberger said.

“We’ve got three football games in 12 days, mentally we are getting into that mental warfare.”

In Week 13, the Washington Football Team visits Pittsburgh for a shot at the undefeated Steelers on Monday. Less than one week later, the Steelers travel to Buffalo for a Sunday evening match-up with the AFC East-leading Bills.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.