PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Considering his famous mantra, “the standard is the standard,” head coach Mike Tomlin offered a pretty even-handed assessment of the play of Byron Leftwich, perhaps knowing the size of the cleats the backup QB had to fill Sunday night.

“I thought it was gritty,” said Tomlin after a 13-10 loss at Heinz Field, adding that he never thought about subbing Charlie Batch. “Obviously not enough plays by him, or by any of us, to secure victory.”

Leftwich actually out-gained Joe Flacco with his 201 yards in the air, and supplied his team’s only touchdown on a 31-yard keeper. However, the Steelers were 5-of-17 on third down–normally a strong point for injured Ben Roethlisberger–and the veteran second-stringer ended just 18-of-39 with an interception and a passer efficiency rating barely above 50.0.

“They didn’t convert any [third downs] either. We expected this to be a net-punting-type game, and a significant play was going to swing it. Unfortunately for us, they provided the significant play with the punt return,” Tomlin said.

To underscore his point, he broke down that punt return touchdown by Jacoby Jones, which largely decided the game for the Baltimore Ravens:

The Steelers (6-4) try to bounce back on the road against the Browns (2-8) next Sunday at 1:00.

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