The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens epitomize an NFL rivalry, and the two franchises went head-to-head in Week 18 of the regular season with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread. The Steelers entered the game with the same scenario as has been discussed all week. Win the game, and hope the Jacksonville Jaguars can somehow upset the Indianapolis Colts and they’re in the postseason.
This game had more to it than just playoff hopes, especially for the Steelers. This game was Ben Roethlisberger’s final regular season game of his career, and T.J. Watt was hoping to set a new single-season sack record with just two sacks of Tyler Huntley.
After losing the coin toss, the Ravens chose to defer their possession to the second half. Ben Roethlisberger and company took over with good field position after a nice return by Ray-Ray McCloud, but weren’t able to do anything with the field position after a three-and-out.
Baltimore’s first possession showed promise, but a botched snap by Huntley resulted in a fumble recovery by the Steelers. What looked like T.J. Watt’s record-tying play was ruled a run, and didn’t have him tie Michael Strahan on that play. Nonetheless, the offense turned the takeaway into a Chris Boswell field goal to give the Steelers a 3-0 lead with 6:06 left in the first quarter.
Huntley’s next possession ended the same way his first possession did, with a turnover. This time it was an interception by Terrell Edmunds for the Steelers’ second takeaway of the game. However, unlike the first takeaway, the Steelers gave the ball right back when Ben Roethlisberger’s pass intended for Ray-Ray McCloud was intercepted by Geno Stone.
The Ravens had the ball and were driving at the end of the 1st quarter.