Going into the Steelers and Ravens game yesterday evening, Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin and Ravens Coach John Harbaugh had played 29 games against each other. Not surprisingly, Harbaugh had won 14 and Tomlin had won 15…as tight as the rivalry can get. The 30th matchup between these two teams had a much different feel than normal. The Ravens were the 1st seed in the AFC and the Steelers were reeling themselves out of playoff contention. The Steelers had let up 40 points in 2 straight games, and the buzz around social media was basically that Pittsburgh has folded. Big Ben had looked really bad at times and the Steelers offensive line has had its struggles. So, the perfect recipe for this young Ravens team to come into Pittsburgh and put the Steelers to bed…by essentially killing their playoff hopes.
It was a rather quiet Heinz Field for the whole first half. The Ravens possessed the ball for 24 minutes of the first half, while the Steelers had it for just 6. Also, the only TD drive of the first half came from the Ravens when they went 99 yards right through this “elite” Steelers defense. Steelers Receiver Diontae Johnson dropped what would’ve been a TD for the Steelers, but ultimately they were stopped in Ravens territory late in the second half.
Luckily, Pittsburgh was able to get 3 points off of Chris Boswell’s 53 yard field goal before half. It was 7-3 Ravens going into halftime and there wasn’t much hope that this Steelers offense was going to get anything going.
The Steelers came out on offense to start the 3rd quarter and did more of the same…nothing. The Ravens came up with a field goal to make it 10-3 and the mood in Heinz Field was getting tense. Things were either about to get real ugly, or Pittsburgh was going to somehow find a way to make a game out of this. Pittsburgh headed into the 4th quarter down 10-3.
The Steelers offense finally got something going thanks to a 40 yard catch and run by receiver Chase Claypool which got Pittsburgh down to the Ravens 29 yard line. The next play, Big Ben made his best play of the game by pump faking the Baltimore defense and hitting Diontae Johnson wide open for the TD.
So, make the extra point and its tied 10-10 right? Wrong…Boswell missed just his second extra point of the season and it came at a rather bad time.
With 14 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Ravens were going to get the ball back and it was time for the Steelers to get a stop. Baltimore ended up getting 3 to make it 13-9 and the missed extra point was looking pretty costly at this point in the game. The Steelers made their way into Ravens territory on the next possession but had to settle for 3 to make it 13-12 Ravens. It was time for Renegade…
The Steelers D did what they had to do, they got off of the field largely from T.J. Watt getting his 2nd sack on Lamar Jackson. The Steelers were getting the ball back with around 7 minutes left with a chance for Big Ben to savior one more comeback against Baltimore. The offense came out and pounded the ball with Najee Harris and Benny Snell and it was a beautiful thing to see. The Steelers got it down to the Ravens side of the field with plenty of time left and started to use the clock in their advantage. The biggest play and call of the game came on 3rd and 5 for the Steelers when Ben threw it to DJ for the first down and it was tipped and picked by Patrick Queen. This was all taken away by a hold on the Ravens corner…and it was actually a good call. The Steelers decided to kill more time and make Baltimore use some of their timeouts before a huge 3rd and goal from the 5 yard line. Ben took the snap out of shotgun and read through his reads before finding Diontae Johnson on the left side of the field with room in front of him.
So, the Steelers went for two and got it thanks to Ben’s throw to the rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth. The score was 20-13 Steelers with 1:48 left on the clock and the Ravens held one timeout. On the kickoff, Boswell kicked it out of bounds which gave Baltimore the ball at the 40 yard line to start…not ideal for Pittsburgh. Before you knew it, the Ravens were at the Steelers 10 yard line and had a chance to tie it up with 20 seconds remaining. On 3rd down, Jackson hit WR Sammy Watkins for the TD and the Ravens needed an extra point to tie it up at 20…unless they decided to go for two. The Ravens play aggressive, so Coach Tomlin wasn’t surprised they were going for two to try and win the game. Pittsburgh called a timeout to get the defense set and finally this game was going to be decided by ONE FINAL PLAY from the 2 yard line.
BALLGAME! The Steelers pulled out a win they will need if they’re going to make a push for the playoffs and Ben gets what maybe is his last 4th quarter comeback as a Steeler. WHAT A FINISH!