BALTIMORE, MD – After not winning a single game in October, the Ravens came out of their bye strong, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14.
The win raises Baltimore’s record back to the .500 mark at 4-4, and awards the Ravens first place in the AFC North. Baltimore has now defeated Pittsburgh in four consecutive meetings, including the playoffs.
The Ravens had a 21-0 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Steelers were able to score two touchdowns in eight minutes. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, playing just 20 days after undergoing a knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, found Antonio Brown for a 23-yard touchdown and ran for a four-yard score. Following Big Ben’s rushing touchdown, 48 seconds remained in the game and the Steelers had no timeouts. This led to the Steelers attempting an onside kick that was horribly botched by kicker Chris Boswell. The ball barely left the tee, and a flag was thrown on Boswell that gave the Ravens possession to close out the game.
“It felt really good to get back in the win column,” wide receiver Mike Wallace, a former Steeler, said after the win. “I just really wanted to win for [the Ravens’] sake.”
Wallace made Ravens history on Sunday. The Ravens opened up the scoring in the first quarter when Wallace caught a pass from quarterback Joe Flacco. Wallace was able to evade defensive back Artie Burns and raced to the end-zone for a 95-yard touchdown. The 95-yard score is the longest play from scrimmage in Ravens’ franchise history.
The Ravens added two field goals before scoring their second touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The play came on a Pittsburgh punt. Second-year running back Buck Allen was able to block the punt before rookie wide receiver Chris Moore recovered the fumble and ran into the end-zone. The score by Moore is his second special teams touchdown on the season. After Moore’s score, the Ravens converted a two-point conversion on a reception by wide receiver Steve Smith Sr.
In the third quarter, Roethlisberger had a pass tipped by defensive tackle Brandon Williams. Defensive end Timmy Jernigan was able to pick off the pass for his first interception of the season. Unlike his fumble recovery in week 6 where he ran the ball out of the end-zone before fumbling it again, Jernigan fell to the ground immediately after catching the ball.
The Ravens had a minor scare early in the second half. Flacco scrambled and slid awkwardly without facing any contact, but when he got up there was a bulge sticking out of his left knee. The bulge turned out to be the result of Flacco’s knee brace breaking. Flacco is wearing a brace on his left knee for the entire 2016 season as a result of his torn ACL that he suffered last November. Flacco had to exit the game for a short period to acquire a new brace, but was not injured.
Other injuries suffered on Sunday were to running back Kenneth Dixon, who exited in the fourth quarter with a chest contusion. Wallace also left the game at one point with what was described as an “illness.”
The Ravens have a quick turnaround this week. In just four days, the Ravens will host the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. The Browns (0-9) have yet to win a game this season and fell to the Dallas Cowboys 35-10 on Sunday.
In week 2, the Ravens defeated the Browns 25-20.
“It’s always good to beat your division rivals,” linebacker Terrell Suggs said after the game. “But what does it mean if we don’t win Thursday?”