Ryan Mallett starts in Ravens' upset of Steelers

ByJamison Hensley ESPN logo
Sunday, December 27, 2015

BALTIMORE -- Ryan Mallett started for the Ravens during their 20-17 upset of AFC North rival Pittsburghon Sunday, becoming the team's fourth starting quarterback in six games.

Mallett threw for a career-high 274 yards on 28-of-41 passing with one touchdown in the win.

The Ravens (4-10) signed the strong-armed Mallett 12 days ago, and the coaching staff has repeatedly praised him for his work ethic in learning the new offense. He was cut by the Houston Texans in October after being late for team activities, including missing a team flight to Miami.

Baltimore turned to Mallett because he is considered the favorite to back up Joe Flacco next season. The Ravens had gone with Matt Schaub and Jimmy Clausen over the past four games, and they have combined for five touchdowns and seven interceptions. This comes after Flacco's streak of 122 straight starts -- the fifth-longest in NFL history -- ended when he tore two knee ligaments Nov. 22.

Mallett, 27, hadn't started a game since he was with the Texans on Oct. 8, when he left after taking a shot to the ribs and never returned. He had been 1-3 as a starter this season, with three touchdowns and four interceptions for a 63.6 passer rating.

This marks the first time in the Ravens' 20-year history that they will have started four quarterbacks in a single season. Schaub backed up Mallett, and Clausen was inactive for Sunday's game.