Steeler Nation entered this game without much hope of a victory. Charlie Batch was starting. Kelvin Beachum was playing right tackle. The Ravens hadn't lost at home since 2010. This seemed like a recipe for disaster. But credit the Steelers for having the gumption to stick with it and not throw in the towel, even when the Ravens went up by two scores.
The Steelers won the toss and deferred.
Flacco comes out gunning and takes a shot deep for Torrey Smith that Ike breaks up but injures himself in the process. The Ravens get out to midfield but Flacco makes a horrible throw on 3rd down.
Manny Sanders gets the drive rolling with a 3rd down grab across the middle then Dwyer takes over. Dwyer grounds and pounds his way down the field carrying us to the edge of field goal territory. AB makes a catch to get us closer and Suisham connects from 46 to put points on the board.
Ray Rice gets a few touches and picks up a first down then the Ravens go back to the air and the defense holds.
The Steelers take over in bad field position but work it into a 3rd and 2. Rather than taking an easy throw for the first down, Batch tries to air it out down the sideline for AB and just misses him. Punt.
Pierce comes in for Rice and gets the Ravens to 3rd and short then runs over Ryan Clark on the sideline to get the first down. Clark had a shot at him short of the sticks too. Vontae Leach is a douchebag and makes a big deal out of making a catch.
With the Ravens already in field goal range, the defense comes out of the break on a mission. They succeed and don't even give up another first down. Tucker ties it.
Redman tries his hand and works us into 3rd and 4 but Batch gets sacked by Freddy Kruger when he holds on to the ball forever. That sack isn't on the line. Batch needs to get rid of it sooner. Punt.
Flacco continues to work the outs and come-back routes and converts a 3rd down to Torrey Smith to move them into Steelers territory. Flacco takes a shot deep for Smith and his feet get tangled up with Allen's but the flag comes out for pass interference. Shaky call. The defense takes it to heart and shuts the door on the Ravens offense, with Foote deflecting a 3rd down pass.
Things start to look bad when the Steelers go 3-and-out and have to give it right back to the Ravens, but thankfully Flacco makes a downright terrible throw when he's flushed out of the pocket and it lands right in the arms of Ryan Clark.
The Steelers take over at midfield but Haley tries to get cute with it and calls a reverse pass with AB trying to hit Dwyer on the sideline. Not a good play call and AB's pass is intercepted.
The defense seemingly comes up with a stop but a phantom flag on Keenan Lewis comes out for something on 3rd down. Tomlin gives the ref a death-stare and tells him it was a terrible call. Flacco takes advantage and hits Boldin down the sideline then goes right back to the same play and drops one in right at the goal line before Clark can get across. Good throw.
Not looking good.
The Steelers take over with 3 minutes left on the clock after Rainey puts together a nice return down the sideline to give us good field position. Dwyer picks up a first down across midfield as the clock hits two minutes. After a failed screen pass, things look dire on 3rd and 13 but a defensive offsides gives us a free play and Batch takes a shot for Wallace down the sideline who flat out drops a perfectly catchable ball that hits him right in the hands. Ugh.
The Steelers come out determined to play ground-and-pound Steelers football. Redman converts a 3rd and 3 to get things moving then Batch hits Heath down the middle for a big gain that he rumbles all the way down into the red zone with. Two plays later, Dwyer bounces one outside and Batch gets out in front of him and throws a big-time block to spring Dwyer for his first NFL touchdown.
Even the ESPN play-by-play recognized it.
One more, since seeing Ed Reed laying on the ground after a missed tackle never gets old.
The wheels completely fall off on the next drive. Batch barely gets a pass of as he's being sacked and it's ruled incomplete, but the Ravens challenge and lose. On 3rd down, Batch hits Sanders wide open over the middle and he has a clear path to the sideline and probably scores but he loses the ball as he tries to switch hands with it and the Ravens fall on it.
The defense holds to a 3rd and 11 but Troy misses an assignment on a tight end and the Ravens convert. Two plays later, Rice bounces one to the outside and takes it home for 6 and the lead.
AB makes a big grab wide open down the sideline and falls down near midfield trying to put a move on Ed Reed. The drive stalls out there when Sanders can't hang on to a pass on 3rd down but the field position was flipped. Sanders had the ball in his hands but took a lick from Pollard.
Larry Foote rings up a sack as the quarter ends.
The ground game takes over with Dwyer and Redman carrying us down into Ravens territory. Batch goes to Heath up the middle for another big gain to get us to the red zone. Batch gets greedy and tries to hit Heath down the seam on the next play but Ed Reed undercuts it and comes up with the interception.
Not what we needed there.
Three plays later, Darth Harrison shows up and hammers the ball out of Flacco's hand.
Ziggy falls on it and all of a sudden we're in business.
Great picture. Ziggy gives the ball to LeBeau.
That touchdown puts him ahead of Elbie Nickel for the most TDs ever by a Steelers Tight End
The Ravens get the ball back with 7 and a half minutes to play. Flacco completes one pass then craps all over himself. Big-time stand by the defense.
Chuck gets it back at the 15 with a long field ahead. Things start slow with two bottled-up runs but Batch stands in under pressure and hits Wallace to get things rolling. Batch gets blasted by Ngata right in the head but no flag comes out. Chuck keeps rolling and hits AB twice to get us across midfield as the clock hits two minutes and suddenly there's hope that this might actually happen. Out of the break, Batch finds Wallace open for another first down and takes a shot from Kruger. The flag comes out for roughing the passer to put us in field goal range. With Baltimore out of timeouts, the Steelers could've just kneeled on it and kicked the field goal but Tomlin elects to run the ball. A false start on Pouncey knocks us back 5 yards then it's Dwyer, Dwyer and Redman. The clock rolls to two seconds before Tomlin calls the timeout.
Great coaching right there.
Suisham like a boss
Players of the Game
Offensive Game Ball: Charlie Batch
Defensive Game Ball: Cortez Allen
This says it all: