PITTSBURGH–A typical Ravens-Steelers tussle that was close and physical. Joe Flacco engineered a brilliant 16-play drive that tied the game at 13 with 1:45 left to play. But Ben Roethlisberger had an answer, methodically moving the Steelers down the field, and setting up Shaun Suisham for the game-winning field goal as time expired. The win was the second straight for the Steelers (2-4) and kept them relevant in the AFC North. It was the third loss in the last four games for the Ravens (3-4), who now trail the Bengals (5-2) by two games in the AFC North.
Turning point: After the Ravens tied the game at 13, Emanuel Sanders ran the kickoff back 44 yards to the Steelers 37, putting the Steelers in good position to start their game-deciding drive. Sanders almost took the kickoff all the way for a touchdown, but the officials ruled that he barely stepped out of bounds as he streaked down the sideline. Special teams have been a major problem for the Ravens all season, and this was another case when it cost them.
Ravens Players of the Game
Offense – Joe Flacco
Flacco was at his best in the fourth quarter, leading the fourth-quarter drive that tied the game, which featured a lot of no-huddle. Flacco completed four key third-down passes during that drive to four different receivers – one to Jacoby Jones, one to Tandon Doss, one to Ray Rice, and finally the one-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark. It was in a losing effort, but Flacco led the blueprint that the Ravens may follow after the drive. Throw on first down, run out of more spread formations, and put the ball in Flacco’s hands when it counts.
Defense – Daryl Smith – LB
Smith caused a fumble for one turnover, and continues to be a playmaker and sure tackler for the Ravens defense. The Ravens’ defensive front gave up too many yards on the ground in this game, but Smith was solid, although he could not keep the Ravens from suffering another disappointing loss.
The Ravens appeared to have escaped the game without any major injuries, and players will have extra time to heal after during next week’s bye.
From the locker room
Joe Flacco on confidence, AFC North – “I still got a lot of confidence. Cincinnati won today. They probably got a little bit of a stranglehold on it (AFC North) right now. We got a lot of games to go. We just got to continue to move forward.”
Terrell Suggs on the Ravens 3-4 record – “I’m very concerned. It’s been very rare with this franchise that we’ve been under .500. We can’t kid ourselves anymore. we got a tremendous amount of work to do. We’re at a state of emergency now. We gotta have these games. Every time I line up I expect to win.”