The game was there for the taking by the Ravens, but something always seems to fall apart in the final two minutes when they play the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
Chris Boswell made a 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left and Pittsburgh’s defense overcame a sloppy night to stop one Baltimore’s last-gasp drive in the Steelers’ 39-38 victory Sunday night.
The Steelers (11-2) trailed by 11 points going into the fourth quarter but capped an emotionally trying week following Shazier’s spinal injury to rally for their eighth straight victory and third division title in four years.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to top 500 yards passing three times. Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 213 yards, including two long gains in the fourth quarter that allowed the Steelers to recover after blowing an early 14-point lead. Le’Veon Bell had 125 yards of total offense and scored three touchdowns.
Alex Collins ran for 120 yards and a touchdown for the Ravens (7-6).
Javorius Allen scored two touchdowns of his own and Baltimore appeared to have things well in hand after Allen’s second touchdown run gave the Ravens a 38-29 lead with 6:44 to go.
Then Roethlisberger and Brown went back to work. A 57-yard connection set up an 11-yard sprint by Bell with 3:29 to go. The Steelers forced the Ravens into a three-and-out and Roethlisberger calmly led Pittsburgh within field goal range, including a 34-yard lob down the sideline to Brown that set up Boswell’s winner.
The Ravens had one last shot, but Watt chased down Flacco as Flacco scrambled to buy time. The ball rolled out of bounds and the clock expired before the Ravens could get off another play.
Shazier, who remains in a Pittsburgh hospital recovering from a spinal injury suffered last week against Cincinnati, told his teammates to finish the work he helped start, and the Steelers raced to a quick 14-0 lead behind Bell. He lined up in the slot and worked free for a 20-yard touchdown reception on Pittsburgh’s first drive then bulled over from a yard out early in the second quarter to give the Steelers some breathing room.
Then the adrenaline faded and the reality of replacing Shazier set in. The Ravens recovered from a slow start to get back in it, with Flacco finding Moore for a 30-yard score and Collins bouncing off a handful of defenders on his way to an 18-yard touchdown that helped Baltimore get to 20-14 at the break.
In leading Pittsburgh to Chris Boswell‘s game-winning field goal with 42 seconds left, Roethlisberger recorded his 39th game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime, the most in the NFL since he began his career in 2004.
The Ravens despite the yardage they gave up to Big Ben had the momentum and the edge going for them until late in the 4th quarter. That’s when Ben escaped a 3rd-and-13 hole deep in his own territory with a crucial 17-yard completion to TE Jesse James.
The Steelers defense tightened up to close out the final minutes. Another woulda-coulda-shoulda effort by the Ravens that came up just a tad short…If the Ravens miss out on the playoffs by one game, this will be the one they remember.
Le’Veon Bell 20 Yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Chris Boswell Kick)
8 plays, 59 yards, 3:25
Le’Veon Bell 1 Yd Run (Chris Boswell Kick)
12 plays, 90 yards, 6:10
Chris Moore 30 Yd pass from Joe Flacco (Justin Tucker Kick)
9 plays, 78 yards, 4:04
Chris Boswell 52 Yd Field Goal
9 plays, 54 yards, 4:53
Alex Collins 18 Yd Run (Justin Tucker Kick)
5 plays, 85 yards, 2:21
Chris Boswell 43 Yd Field Goal
11 plays, 50 yards, 1:52
Justin Tucker 47 Yd Field Goal
6 plays, 46 yards, 2:07
Javorius Allen 1 Yd Run (Justin Tucker Kick)
7 plays, 60 yards, 3:06
Patrick Ricard 6 Yd pass from Joe Flacco (Justin Tucker Kick)
3 plays, 74 yards, 1:13
Chris Boswell 24 Yd Field Goal
15 plays, 80 yards, 5:27
Roosevelt Nix 1 Yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Two-Point Run Conversion Failed)
5 plays, 67 yards, 1:14
Javorius Allen 9 Yd Run (Justin Tucker Kick)
6 plays, 56 yards, 2:31
Le’Veon Bell 11 Yd Run (Chris Boswell Kick)
8 plays, 68 yards, 3:15
Chris Boswell 46 Yd Field Goal
10 plays, 55 yards, 1:43
|Passing 1st downs||13||23|
|Rushing 1st downs||9||6|
|1st downs from penalties||4||2|
|3rd down efficiency||4-10||12-18|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-0|
|Yards per Play||6.7||6.4|
|Yards per pass||7.3||7.0|
|Yards per rush||5.8||3.7|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||4-4||3-4|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|