The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens had an AFC North score to settle. In what is usually a very even series, the Steelers had won the previous three meetings, but these two teams were vastly different heading into this Week 4 prime time matchup at Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh won the coin toss prior to the game, and elected to defer their first possession to the second half. With Baltimore starting the game with the football, it took just under 5 minutes for the Ravens to draw first blood. Joe Flacco hit John Brown for a 33 yard touchdown to give Baltimore an early 7-0 lead.
On the Steelers’ first possession, on third down, Ben Roethlisberger hit Vance McDonald in the flat, and as it looked like he would be stopped for the yard to gain, safety Tony Jefferson stripped the football and recovered the fumble. Three plays later Flacco his running back Alex Collins in the flat to make it 14-0 while the Steelers had yet to even get a first down.
In their third offensive possession, Pittsburgh finally tallied their first first down of the game, and after a big pass and catch to JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Steelers found themselves in Baltimore territory for the first time. On third and ten, a pass to Smith-Schuster in the end zone was broken up, and Pittsburgh was forced to settle for a Chris Boswell field goal, making the score 14-3.
The Steelers’ defense continued to resemble Swiss cheese more than a steel curtain, and on the Ravens’ first play on their next drive Flacco hit Brown for a 71-yard completion to put the Ravens deep in Pittsburgh territory. However, on the next play from scrimmage, Alex Collins fumbled at the goalline, and it was recovered by Terrell Edmunds.
Sean Davis standing strong. pic.twitter.com/Q7WQqgfm1e— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 1, 2018
The next drive started at the one-yard line, and it took up over 6 minutes of game time, but when threatening the put up their first touchdown of the game, they were held to another Boswell field goal making the score 14-6 with 6:26 left in the first half.
Pittsburgh’s defense forced a three-and-out, giving the team’s offense the ball with 5 minutes remaining in the half. What happened next is a 76-yard drive, all passes, which ended in a beautiful strike from Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown for the score.
Mike Tomlin elected to go for the two-point conversion to tie the game, and the pass to James Conner in the flat was good, tying the game at 14-14.
The 14-14 tie held through halftime, and the Steelers opened the second half with their seemingly patented three and out to start a half. But both offenses failed to move the football throughout the early portions of the third quarter.
Leave it to Justin Tucker to break the tie, and he hit a 47 yard field goal with 4:00 left in the third quarter to give the Ravens a slight 17-14 advantage.
The Steelers’ offense ineptitude continued throughout the third quarter, and it wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Tucker hit another field goal, this from 49 yards, to extend the Baltimore lead 20-14.
The Justin Tucker show continued in the fourth quarter, and another Jordan Berry punt, this time down to the 6-yard line, Baltimore rattled off a nifty, time-consuming, drive ending in a Tucker chip shot to make the score 23-14 in the waning minutes of the quarter.
In desperate need of a drive, not only did the Pittsburgh offense fail to muster a first down, but on 3rd and 10 Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception which essentially iced the game away.
The turnover resulted in yet another Tucker field goal, to make the score 26-14. This score would stand as the final score of the Week 4 contest.
The loss moves the Steelers’ record to 1-2-1, and the Ravens advance their record to 3-1 — on top of beating Pittsburgh for the first time in the last three tries. In Week 5 the Steelers will remain at home, where they haven’t won a game yet this season, to host the Atlanta Falcons for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.