The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens played a physical AFC North match-up that came down to the final seconds. After overcoming an early 10-point deficit, the Steelers pulled out an important 23-20 victory over the Ravens, keeping their playoff hopes alive.Charlie Batch at the helm. Mixing run and pass, the 11-play 48-yard drive took over five minutes off the clock, culminating in a Shaun Suisham 46-yard field goal to put the Steelers in front 3-0.
The Ravens offense finally got in gear, moved the ball into Steelers territory, and drew even on the scoreboard. Josh Tucker capped the 10-play 40-yard drive with a 45-yard field goal, to make it 3-3 in the second quarter. After a three-and-out, the Ravens offense took the ball over in solid field position, took advantage of a 30-yard pass interference call to tack on another three points, with Tucker connecting from 23-yards to make the score 6-3 Baltimore.
After Antonio Brown throws an interception on a fake end-around, the Ravens quickly move the ball downfield, aided by a questionable defensive holding on a third down, and extend the score again. On the deciding play, Joe Flacco connected with Anquan Bolding to make the score 13-3 with three minutes remaining in the first half.
The Steelers were able to put a drive together late in the first half, with Suisham capping the 37-yard drive with a 41-yard field goal to move the score to 13-6 at halftime.
The Steelers took the opening kick-off of the second half and put together their best drive of the game. Jonathan Dwyer capped the seven-play 78-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown run to move the score to 13-13. The big play on the drive was a 43-yard strike from Batch to tight end Heath Miller.
The Ravens took advantage of a second Steelers turnover, this one a fumble by Emmanuel Sanders after corralling a Batch reception, to take the lead. Ray Rice capped this scoring drive with a 34-yard touchdown run, to make the score 20-13 late in the third quarter.
After James Harrison strip-sacked Flacco to give the Steelers field position, the offense came through with a play when they needed it. A Batch-to-Miller seven-yard touchdown passed capped the four play drive to again draw the Steelers even at 20 mid way through the fourth quarter. The Steelers defense stopped the Ravens, and the offense took over with a little over six minutes remaining and did not relent. Charlie Batch completed some crucial passes early on the drive and Suisham came through with a clutch 42-yard game-winning field goal as time expired, to vault them to a 23-20 victory.
Offensively, the Steelers were not pretty, missing some on some wide open plays and turning the ball over three times. In the passing game, Batch had his best statistical output in his Steelers’ career, completing 25-of-36 for 276-yards one touchdown and one interception. Miller was the leading receiver grabbing five balls for 96 yards and one touchdown. Brown (5-58) and Sanders (5-60) were solid, but both committed turnovers. Mike Wallace (5-44) also continued his trend of dropping passes, which does not help in critical match-ups.
The running game gobbled up some tough yards and kept the chains moving. Jonathan Dwyer has 16 carries for 49 yards and one touchdown paced the rushing attack, with Isaac Redman chipping in 43-yards on nine carries.
Defensively, the Steelers put on another solid display, even after losing another starter early in the contest. This time, cornerback Ike Taylor injured his ankle on the first series and did not return, being seen on the sideline in a walking boot. In all, they recorded three sacks (Foote, Harrison, and Hood) and forced two Ravens turnovers.
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