Even though both teams are unexpectedly struggling, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers always bring a high quality of football to fans around the nation. This was most definitely the case Sunday, as Ben Roethlisberger played hero in the Steelers’ 19-16 defeat over the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Roethlisberger had some help, though. After a game-tying touchdown pass from Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco to Dallas Clark, Steelers’ return man Emmanuel Sanders brought the ensuing kick off back 44 yards to the the Pittsburgh 37. A field goal from Shaun Suisham as time expired sealed the Steelers’ victory.
What happened in between those plays is why the Steelers were able to capture the win against their long-time rivals. Roethlisberger was 3 of 5 for 31 yards and led the game-winning drive with which began with 1:58 on the clock and saw no third-down plays. He chewed up clock and completed two passes for first downs.
Flacco had a chance to be called the hero, but Roethlisberger wouldn’t let him have it. Flacco completed 7 of 9 passes for 60 yards on his game-tying drive that lasted 16 plays and 73 yards. Flacco was surely more impressive than Roethlisberger on his final drive of the game, but Big Ben was just a bit luckier. He began his drive with plenty of time on the clock and a tie game. He knew what needed to be done and he executed, orchestrating a methodical drive well into field goal range.
The 38th meeting in this rivalry’s history was close as usual. To put it in obvious context, Baltimore out-gained Pittsburgh 287-286 in total yardage. The teams went blow for blow in four quarters, but the Steelers got it done with the game on the line.
Entering the game, Roethlisberger had been 8 of 15 for a total of 97 yards this season inside two minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game within seven points. Sunday he improved those numbers and sent Steelers’ fans into the streets of Pittsburgh as a happy bunch.