Do the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have a long and storied history? Storied, yes. Long, no. The rivalry dates back to 1996, and the series includes 56 games, which the Steelers have an 8-game advantage. No matter the record of either team, they both always seem to put on a fantastic show with great storylines attached twice, maybe three times a year.
Here’s a brief tale of the tape:
Points: Steelers 1,145, Ravens 1,105
Wins: Steelers 32, Ravens 24
Record in Pittsburgh: Steelers 19-11, Ravens 11-19
Points in Pittsburgh: Steelers 687, Ravens 576
Record in Baltimore: Steelers 13-13, Ravens 13-13
Points in Baltimore: Steelers 458, Ravens 529
Shutouts: 3 (Ravens lead 2-1) Steelers 37, Ravens 0, (11/9/97), Ravens 16, Steelers 0 (9/3/2000), Ravens 27, Steelers 0 (11/26/06)
Biggest Win Margin: 11/9/1997 - Steelers 37, Steelers 0
Closest Game: Steelers 39, Ravens 38 (12/10/2017), Steelers 20, Ravens 19 (12/5/2021)
Overtime Games: 7 - Steelers 2-5, Ravens 5-2
Postseason Record: Steelers 3, Ravens 1
December 29, 2002 - Steelers 34, Ravens 31
The Steelers had already clinched the first-ever AFC North title, but momentum going into the playoffs is a crucial thing, especially when facing a bitter rival hellbent on knocking you down. The Ravens were 7-8 and eliminated from entrance in the AFC tournament, while the Steelers were tuning up for the dance. But the Steelers had a penchant for turning the ball over and squandering big leads in 2002. That was something that Bill Cowher’s team was trying to avoid going into the game, without ground control from the injured Jerome Bettis.
The Steelers would get a semi-comfortable advantage in the game, but it was Brian Billick’s team that was threatening first. With a 3rd and Goal at the 14, Deshea Townsend intercepted Jeff Blake in the end zone to put a stop to the drive. Tommy Maddox countered with a long drive of his own that almost ended in disaster when Gary Baxter’s pick-six was called back due to a roughing the passer penalty on B-More’s Anthony Weaver. With new life, the drive culminated in a 23-yard scoring strike to Hines Ward for the game’s first points. Baltimore evened things up on a drive that featured a 43-yard pass to big Randy Hymes and a Jamal Lewis fumble that teammate Allen Rickard advanced into the end zone. To follow, a Jeff Reed field goal from 23-out and Amos Zeroue’s 1-yard plunge with 6:48 to go in the half made the score 17-7. After the Steelers surrendered Rickard’s second score of the day, the Ratbirds were in Steeler territory again, when Blake was strip-sacked by Jason Gildon and the ball was recovered by Brett Keisel with :09 seconds until the half. A quick, 21-yard strike to Plaxico Burress gave Jeff Reed enough room to successfully convert the turnover into points from 46-yards away and a 20-14 lead.
After the break, the Ravens emerged from the visiting locker room energized, scoring 17-straight points. First, after stopping the Steelers on 4th and 1 on the 37, Matt Stover’s 43-yarder gave the Ravens three more points. Then, the visitors took advantage of a carom out of the hands of Dan Kreider into those of James Trapp with a 31-yard Blake to Todd Heap scoring connection. Maddox would throw another pick on the next drive that was expropriated by Anthony Mitchell and returned 30 yards to set the stage for a 20-yard touchdown toss to Chester Taylor. With 13:04 remaining in the game, the Steelers now trailed 31-20.
Steadfast and with a clear head, Maddox engineered a 10-play drive of 67 yards that culminated in an Amos Zeroue touchdown run from the five, but his attempt at a two-point conversion failed. Trailing the Ravens now by the score of 31-26 with 7:51 left in the game, a huge break came the Steelers Way when Lamont Brightful fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Larry Foote recovered. One of the players most vociferously signaling the black-and-gold recovery was a rookie wearing No. 93 by the name of James Harrison. With the opportunity, the veteran Maddox full-on seized it by knocking on Antwan Randle-El’s door with a scoring delivery of 8 yards, capped off with a two-point conversion success from Tommy to Plaxico. On the play, the Steelers QB had Peter Boulware wrapped around his ankles, but persevered to throw the go-ahead score. But with a 34-31 lead and 2:21 ticks on the clock, Blake got to work. Thanks to a dandy catch-and-run by Hymes and a roughing the passer penalty on works the Ravens into chip-shot FG range at the Steeler 10 with 21 seconds left. drove all the way down to the Steelers 11 on the verge of stealing a win with :27 left, but his pass to Hume’s
Peter Boulware clutching his ankles but hangs in to find Antwaan Randle El for the TD, then hits Burress for the 2-point conversion with 2:29 to go. Jeff Blake, aided by a nifty Todd Heap catch-and-run and a roughing the passer penalty on Joey Porter, Billick goes for it all instead of settling for a field goal and overtime. It didn’t work as Blake forces an ill-advised pass to Hymes, who was double covered by Lethon Flowers and Dewayne Washington. It was Washington who came down with the ball and the Steelers securing the win against a heated-foe and the AFC’s third seed in the playoffs.
October 31, 2005 - Steelers 20, Ravens 19
The Ravens and Steelers always have a potential to get scary whenever the two AFC North enemies lock horns, but a Halloween Night scrum on Monday Night Football ups the ante a bit. Baltimore came in at 2-5 to challenge 5-2 Pittsburgh, but records don’t typically matter in this fierce rivalry, even with Ben Roethlisberger gimpy and playing despite still nursing a knee injury and the visiting ratbirds sans the last two NFL Defensive Players of the Year in Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.
Roethlisberger started the scoring on the opening series after his 4th and 1 sneak from the Baltimore 23 extended the drive to allow a 4-yard touchdown connection with Heath Miller. Former Steeler quarterback Anthony Wright was able to match after his drive was extended on 3rd and 4 when Deshea Townsend was called for defensive holding at the Pittsburgh 15. Wright then hooked up with Chester Taylor for a 13 yard scoring play and the stadium scoreboard showcased 7–7. The Steelers were driving again late in the quarter, but Kelly Gregg sacked Ben on a 3rd and two and Seven reach into his bag of tricks and pooch punted as the quarter ended. But Jamal Lewis fumbled on the very next play, after a Townsend hit allowed Ike Taylor to recover the football. Hopes were dashed though when Peter Boulware and Terrell Suggs’ sack of the black-and-gold QB1 forced the home team to settle for a 42-yard Jeff Reed field goal with 13:26 to go in the half.
The Steelers were sloppy, though, on this particular October evening, as they started dropping balls like it was a turd stuffed in a Baby Ruth wrapper. Ben threw a pick to Adalius Thomas, and Baltimore advanced the chains to the 4 before settling for a 22-yard Matt Stover kick. The Ravens had an opportunity to get up on Pittsburgh when Ricardo Colclough fumbled away the ensuing kickoff. Luckily the Steelers held B-More to a three-and-out and Stover missed from 30-yards away. Baltimore was driving late in the half though, but Ike Taylor scarfed-up Wright’s heave from the 42 to end the half tied at 10.
In the second thirty minutes, Wright tried some trickery with a flea-flicker, but Chris Hope was not fooled and intercepted the deep pass in centerfield. That allowed Roethlisberger to go back to Heath Miller for their second scoring connection from the 8, and a 17-10 lead. Baltimore goes on a nearly nine-minute drive that extended into the fourth quarter, but only netted a 40-yarder from Stover and then a three-and-out from Pittsburgh put the visitors in position to get a 49-yard field goal from the leg of Stover. The score was now 17-16 with the Steelers hanging on with a one-point advantage. The defenses from both teams were stout down the stretch, but the home team offense was going nowhere. Then a botched punt attempt, in which the rookie Greg Warren’s snap to Chris Gardocki deflected off Sean Morey, resulted in Chris Gardocki trying to salvage something but throwing an incomplete pass. While the Steelers were sputtering, the Baltimorons were putting up field goals, adding a 47-yarder from Stover with 3:27 left on the clock to take a 19-17 lead.
Trailing for the first time, Ben Roethlisberger was poised but unpredictable. Instead of utilizing Ward and Miller, it was Antwaan Randle-El and Quincy Morgan catching balls on the final drive, while Jerome Bettis carved up the Ravens defensive unite on the ground. When the Steelers were stopped on 4th and 3 at the Baltimore 19, Jeff Reed gave his team the lead with a 38-yard field goal late. But with 1:40 left on the clock, Anthony Wright returned with intentions of securing a last gasp win for the white, black, and purple. Dick Lebeau’s defense wasn’t having any of that talk and shut that dream down as Pittsburgh advanced to 5-2 and ended a two-game home losing streak. The final score of 20-19 completed an All Hallows Eve of no tricks, just treats, and plenty of suspense.
September 29, 2008 - Steelers 23, Ravens 20 (OT)
The Steelers at 2-1, coming off of an embarrassing loss in Philly, were hosting the Ravens on Monday Night Football to complete Week 4. The Ravens were 2-0 and storming into Heinz Field with a new coach (John Harbaugh) and quarterback (Joe Flacco) at the helm and Rex Ryan’s defense featuring Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Bart Scott and Haloti Ngata were a dangerous bunch. How criminally dangerous we didn’t know until later on MNF.
The Steelers’ defense was without Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel against a run-first team. But the defense shut down Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain on the first few drives. The Steelers were moving well on their first drive, but a Corey Ivy sack of Ben Roethlisberger forced the series to end on with a Jeff Reed 49-yarder. On 3rd-and-long during the next drive, LT Adam Terry saw James Harrison blow by him and plant Flacco into the turf to force a punt. After the punt, Roethlisberger looked to go deep but threw a five-foot pass right into the gut of Ngata for the INT. That led to a Matt Stover 33-yard boot to tie the game with only :22 left in the quarter, followed by a stop and a Stover chip-shot for a 6-3 lead. With less then four minutes in the half, the boo-birds came out at Heinz Field as Roethlisberger was sacked twice. To make things worse, Kendall Simmons had to be helped off of the field after the second sack and third of the game. The Steelers’ offense was in the midst of an 8-quarter TD drought and the OL’s poor, 8-sack performance against Philadelphia the week before looked less like an anomaly and more like a persistent problem. Aided by good field position, Flacco again looking like an accomplished veteran threw his first NFL TD pass, an 8-yard score to TE Daniel Wilcox made the score 13-3, as a stunned home crowd sat through halftime in disbelief.
The second half didn’t start any better, as Rashad Mendenhall got absolutely walloped by Ray Lewis and walked off with his shoulder hanging low. This play was quite significant as it launched the rivalry into an even nastier stratosphere. Instead of calling for help, Lewis boasted, “You’re done,” to the fallen first-rounder. Suggs later bragged on radio that a bounty was out on Mendenhall and Hines Ward. “The bounty was out on him and the bounty was out on (Ward). We just didn’t get him between the whistles”, later said Suggs on ESPN’s Mike and Mike.
As bleak as everything looked, fortunes finally shifted towards the end of the third quarter. Jarrett Johnson, who never was penalized for 15 yards in his career of six years, got nailed for hitting Hines Ward out of bounds. Ward was instigating, as he did so well. With 4:12 left in the third, Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes across the middle and he sprinted all the way into the end zone for a 38-yard score. The very next play after the kickoff, James Harrison burst through a helpless line and pummeled Joe Flacco, causing the ball to spurt from the rookie’s grasp and LaMarr Woodley hustled to fall on the ball. But realizing that he was in the clear, he rolled over and sprang to his feet to dash to glory. No. 56 leapt into the stands and celebrated with a throng of fans. Just like that, the Steelers were up 17-13 and the Heinz Field crowd became its boisterous self again. With 12:30 left in the game, the Steelers tried to put the nail in Baltimore’s coffin. Roethlisberger ducked Bart Scott on a blitz and found a wide-open Hines Ward who rumbled all the way down to the Raven 10-yard line for 49 yards on the play. However, the Steelers had to settle for a Jeff Reed field goal from 18 yards when the drive stalled at the one. The score was now 20-13, home team. Harrison and Woodley continued to run wild with an elapsing clock in the fourth quarter, however Flacco completed a 35-yard pass to Mason from the Steelers 40. With 2nd and goal to go, McClain’s dominance continued when he ran over Lawrence Timmons for a 5-yard touchdown. With 4:02 left on the clock, it was a 20-20 tie. With running backs going down for both teams, The Steelers and the Ravens resorted to trying their luck in overtime.
The Ravens won the coin toss and Ray Lewis, like he did everything, obnoxiously yelled, “We wanna receive! We wanna receive! We wanna receive! We wanna receive!”, which they did. With an accurate kicker in Stover and sudden-death rules, nerves were tight in the Steel City. But Yamon Figurs great return past the 50 was negated by four flags and the drive began at the Baltimore 15. Great coverage by Bryant McFadden on Mason and a third down sack by Timmons of Flacco, gave the Steelers a shot at the win. On third down, Mewelde Moore took a short pass and rambled for 24 and the Steelers were in range for Reed. A few plays later, No. 3 came in and nailed a 46-yarder for the OT win. There was much rejoicing as the Steelers vanquished their rival for the first of three times in that magical season.
January 18, 2009 - Steelers 23, Ravens 14 (2008 AFC Championship Game)
Going into the game, there was concern surrounding the NFL’s top-ranked defense, as Troy Polamalu’s right calf injury forced the Steeler star safety to miss most of the week of practice and was walking very gingerly in warm-ups. DC Dick LeBeau stated that an absent Troy would hamper their defense and disallow them to employ a number of schemes they typically ran.
On the opening drive, Mike Tomlin’s team started from their own 34. On third and 13, Roethlisberger threw a bullet over the middle to Hines Ward right between ball hawking safeties Jim Leonhard and Ed Reed a 45-yard gain. The Ravens buckled down enough to stall the drive, but Jeff Reed came in to deliver a 32-yard field goal. 3-0 Steelers.
Later on in the quarter, veteran CB Deshea Townsend stepped in front of Joe Flacco’s offering to Derrick Mason for an interception at the Baltimore 35. It was the first interception thrown by the Delaware rookie in his third playoff game. Following the interception, Hines Ward would pick up a first down in front of Frank Walker, but Ward emerged with a twisted knee and had to limp to the sideline to get medical attention. Ward tried to re-enter twice, but the knee wouldn’t allow it. Ben would turn his attention and throw a long pass to Santonio Holmes who seemingly caught it at the one and tried to crawl into the end zone for a score. Tomlin would grab his red flag to challenge, but Raven HC John Harbaugh beat him to it as he saw it as a non-catch. Harbaugh was correct and the call was overturned. The Steelers settled for another field goal from the suddenly bleach blonde that was Jeff Reed. 6-0 Steelers.
On the next drive, the Ravens lived up to their turnover ranking as Ray Lewis punched the ball out of Willie Parker’s (usually secure) mitts and Leonhard recovered. Meanwhile Big Ben was seen near the tunnel grimacing and holding his back. Injuries were threatening to thwart Super Bowl hopes. The threat of losing Ben was merely just worry, as Roethlisberger returned to the field on the next series. No. 7 would lace a short pass to an open Santonio Holmes, who snagged the ball and raced 65-yards to extend the score to 13-0.
With 3:37 remaining in the half, Jim Leonhard’s 45-yard return started Baltimore off at the Steeler 17. Leonhard had a clear path to the end zone, but punter Mitch Berger caught him to save the score. On third and 3, the Ravens picked up the blitz and Flacco fired a strike to Mason that was broken up by Bryant McFadden. However, McFadden was called for a PI. With first down at the three and Haoli Ngata in as a blocker, Willis McGahee walked into the end zone. It was now 13-7 with only 2:35 left in the half.
After a great return by Santonio Holmes to the 50, Big Ben threw a perfect bomb to the 6’4” rookie Limas Sweed who dropped it like it was a real bomb and laid on the turf feigning injury. The drive stalled. But on the punt, Mitch Berger’s Oscar-winning fall drew a roughing penalty on Edgar Jones, to set the Steelers up at the 35. But Sweed’s fakery cost Pittsburgh a timeout and poor clock management cost a field goal, as Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t get the spike off in time as the clock struck triple zero. The Steelers squandered a valuable three points. It was 13-7 at the half.
The third quarter featured stout defense from both teams, and only a field goal from Reed occurred offensively. It was 16-7 at the end of three. With 12:41 remaining, Berger shanked a punt and Baltimore had great field position and drove the remaining length of the field. The Heinz Field faithful became nervous as Flacco completed four straight passes and drew a PI call on Ike Taylor. Willis McGahee converted from the one. With 9:29 left, the Steeler lead was a mere two at 16-14. When the Steelers’ next drive failed after Terrell Suggs sacked Ben after the Steelers started at their own 40, the Ravens took to the turf with a chance to take the lead with 6:50 remaining on the clock. What seemed to be a starting point at the 40, Darren Stone whipped Anthony Madison down miles out of bounds by the B-More bench. Instead of starting off only 60-yards away, Flacco and the offense started way back at their own 14.
The Ravens were trying to move the ball, but the Steeler defense came up big on back-to-back plays. On second down, James Farrior forced Flacco into LaMarr Woddley and No. 56 got his second sack. But fortunes really changed when Flacco threw a pass to Derrick Mason on third and 13 with hopes to move the chains. Troy Polamalu, who had been dominant all game, undercut the route and thieved the ball. No. 43 zigged and zagged and ran from sideline to sideline before he made a beeline to the end zone. In what was one of the most majestic plays in Steeler lore from a player with a wrapped calf, the pick-six basically iced the game for Pittsburgh.
The following four minutes and change were basically a celebration for Pittsburgh and their fans and a futile attempt for Baltimore to rebound from the death blow that was Troy taking it to the house. However, the celebration turned dark and worrisome when Ryan Clark rocked Willis McGahee with a hit that would rleave both players laying on the grass for minutes. Clark was helped off, while McGahee was carted off, but showing movement. The hit was deemed a clean and legal hit as Clark led with his shoulders. The collision caused a fumble in which Pittsburgh recovered. The Ravens had one last gasp, but a tipped pass landed in the hands of Tyrone Carter, officially earning the Lamar Hunt trophy for the Steel City and the Rooney Family and further proving the Baltimore/Pittsburgh rivalry as not one of the best in the NFL, but all of sports.
December 25, 2016 - Steelers 31, Ravens 27
Primetime, Color Rush jerseys, Christmas in Steeltown, and the postseason on the line. This game had the makings for a classic before the kickoff. Th game was crucial as Mike Tomlin’s team would win the AFC North and secure the No, 3 seed, will John Harbaugh’s guys would control their own destiny the following week against Cincy. The Steelers were not kidding around, forcing the Ravens to punt on the opening drive, and driving 87 yards while draining over 8 minutes off of the clock, for Ben Roethlisberger to hit Xavier Grimble in the end zone and an early 7-0 lead. The Ravens answered with two Justin Tucker field goals, the second coming with with 18 seconds left in the half to make the score 7-6 in favor of “the Stillers’ n’at.
In the first half, Roethlisberger attempted just 9 passes, and the Ravens had a muffed hold on a field goal, taking a potential three points off the board. Nonetheless, the Steelers received the football to start the third quarter, and Roethlisberger threw an interception to Zach Orr on the first play from scrimmage. A few plays later Joe Flacco hits Steve Smith Sr. for a touchdown and again with a two-point conversion to give the Ravens a 14-7 advantage. On Pittsburgh’s next possession, Roethlisberger passed for a big gain to Eli Rogers to put the offense on the verge of scoring but only a 36-yard Chris Boswell field goal was all that could be mustered to cut into the lead 14-10. However, Flacco was able to answer by engineering a drive ending in another Tucker field goal (46 yards) to get the advantage back to seven. Another Big Ben interception, his second of the game this time by C.J. Mosely. set the Ravens up at the Steelers 11 with a chance to possibly put it out of reach. Luckily though, Pittsburgh’s defense was able to hold B-More to yet another Tucker field goal, keeping the score 20-10 with 14 minutes left in the fourth.
Despite being down ten against the stingy defense of the visiting Ravens being a mighty task, No. 7 located Jesse James for a big play of 21 yards, and then took a shot down the field to rookie Demarcus Ayers drawing a pass interference call on Tavon Young, moving the Men of Steel into the Baltimore red-zone at the 15. Two plays later Le’Veon Bell’s touchdown made it a field goal game with 11:41 left in regulation. After the Steelers defense forced a three-and-out, the offense stormed down the field and took the lead a Bell reached the touchdown zone on a pass from BB7, and the lead 24-20. With 7:10 left in the fourth quarter, Joe Flacco moved the ball into the Pittsburgh red-zone with several key third down conversions leading to a what seemed to be a game-winning Kyle Juszczyk touchdown rumble with 1:18 left in the game.
But Mike Tomlin’s team had a Christmas miracle in them. With two timeouts remaining, Ben methodically moved them down the field and hit Antonio Brown for a go-ahead touchdown with just 9-seconds remaining in the game. The play that went down in Steelers lore as the Immaculate Extension was made possible after AB, in the midst of a gang-tackle, fought to reach the ball over the plane of the goal line for Pittsburgh’s 6th victory in a row. A holiday celebration ensued as the Steelers not only vanquished their bitter rivals, but earned them the AFC North division title, and the No. 3 seed in the AFC Playoffs.
It wasn’t quite Miracle on 34th Street, but more like Miracle on 3400 South Water Street. A holiday classic indeed.
December 10, 2017 Steelers 39, Ravens 38
Six days of raw emotion after losing star defender Ryan Shazier to a then-paralyzing hit in Cincinnati, the Steelers hosted the Baltimore Ravens in a prime time affair that featured #Shalieve and the No. 50 everywhere in the stadium that night. The Steelers were 10-2 and in position to wrap up the division, but winning for their fallen teammate who was lying in a Cincinnati hospital was heavily on their agenda.
The Steelers looked flat to start as Joe Flacco was knifing into the belly of the defense and into scoring position, when his long pass to Jeremy Maclin was thieved by Sean Davis at the 6 and returned to the Steelers 41. Ben Roethlisberger took advantage of the turnover and two huge completions by Jesse James, and executed a picturesque catch and run by Le’Veon Bell to set the opening bid at 7-0 midway through the first quarter. The best possession ended in a Lev Bell score as well, as No. 26 scored on a run from a yard out after a Maurice Canaday pass interference call on Steelers WR Martavis Bryant. After Flacco’s counter and a 30-yard touchdown pass to Chris Moore cut the lead in half and B-more’s defense stiffening, Chris Boswell nailed a 52-yarder giving the Steelers a 17-7 lead with 4:14 to play before intermission. However, the Steelers defense not tackling well and weakened by the absence of Shazier, gave up 55 yards to Alex Collins on the next drive, including an 18-yard scoring jaunt to make the score 17-14. However, an undeterred Big Ben, with just over a minute left and two timeouts, worked the ball into Boswell’s range, and the half came with the Steelers clinging to a 20-14 advantage.
On the new half’s first possession, the Steelers punted for the first time in the game and that turned into another Tucker three set up by former Steeler Mike Wallace’s 40-yard reception. The hot Steelers’ offense must have stayed in the locker room because it immediately grew cold as Jim Harbaugh’s scorers were heating up. Flacco was making quality throws, and Alex Collins was a machine. The duo’s prowess led to Javorious “Buck” Allen plunging in for a one yard touchdown, and Patrick Richard hauling-in a pass from six yards away on the next drive to not only give Baltimore their first lead, but to extend it by the tune of 31-20 lead with 2:43 left in the third quarter. With the game slipping away and dangerously close to the category of out-of-hand, the Steelers put some points up with another Boswell field goal to lessen the lead to 31-23 with just over 10-minutes left in the game. After a three-and-out by Baltimore, Seven’s short pass to Antonio Brown turned into a 57-yard race to the 10. After another PI by the Ravens put the ball on the doorstep again, Roosevelt Nix found himself going over a defender to pull in a touchdown pass from Roethlisberger. With Bell’s two-point conversion run failing, the Steelers trailed 31-29 with 9:15 to go. But the Charm City offense still had one more left in them when Artie Burns was penalized for pass interference, and Buck Allen plowed ahead nine for his second score of the evening with 6:44 remaining in this festival of scoring, 38-29 Ravens.
The game was not over though as Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger hurried the Steelers back on an 8 play, 68-yard drive that culminated in an 11-yard dash by Bell on a 3rd and 1 for his second score of the game. With Boz’ point after, the Steelers trailed 38-26, but with not a lot of time on the clock. They would need help from their defense, and they got just that when a swarming Steelers’ defense held the Ravens to seven yards and a punt in merely 1:04 of play. With 2:25 left, Pittsburgh’s prospects looked bleak when BTR was sacked on the first play, but three passes over the middle to Jesse James, and a long-ball of 34 to AB got the Steelers in position for their No. 9 to kick the go-ahead points through from 46-yards away. But the Ravens had an automatic No. 9 of their own and it wouldn’t take too much to get in Justin Tucker’s range with :42 seconds remaining. But facing third down, the Ravens couldn’t handle the edge rush of T.J. Watt, who walloped Flacco for the Steelers first sack of the night. The ball squirted out of bounds and the game was deemed over by the officials. The Steelers victory pushed their record to 11-2, but more importantly Coach Mike Tomlin’s team dramatically won one for No. 50 and never stopped Shalievin’.
October 6, 2019 - Ravens 26, Steelers 23 (OT)
For the first time in over a decade, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens played a game in which neither Ben Roethlisberger or Joe Flacco was under center or in the shotgun. Nonetheless, it was a crucial division game in the AFC North very early in the season, especially for the 1-3 Steelers with an unproven Mason Rudolph at quarterback and the 3-2 Ravens coming in as losers of two-straight.
The scoring started after Cameron Sutton broke up a Lamar Jackson pass intended for Marquise Brown, forcing a Justin Tucker field goal to make the score 3-0. Mark Ingram would then bull his way into the end zone to put the visitors up 10-0 with 4:48 left in the first quarter. The score was made possible when Jaylen Samuels lined up in the wildcat, and instead of running the ball, No. 38 tried to throw a pass to James Washington which was intercepted. The Steelers had been experimenting with the novel formation, but this was to little avail and the Ravens were ready for it. The Steelers would go up tempo and with weapons like James Conner and James Washington making plays, Rudolph was able to target JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 35-yard touchdown. With 2:41 left in the opening quarter, Pittsburgh only trailed by three. That would be short-lived though as the Steelers surrendered a 13 play, 75-yard scoring drive capped off by Jackson going Hollywood to Marquise Brown for the touchdown and a 17-7 scoreboard reflection with 11:21 left in the half.
Late in the half, the Ravens looked to reach glory again and extend their lead, but the newly-acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick was able to tip the ball into the air to be intercepted by Kam Kelly. A Chris Boswell 42-yard field goal was the result. Despite a huge kickoff return by Justice Hill, back-to-back sacks by T.J. Watt and Vince Williams forced their first punt of the game, but the Steelers offense stalled to give Baltimore time to extend their lead. It would be the home team in black and gold that would add points however, as Jackson was intercepted by Mike Hilton setting up a Boswell field goal to make the score 17-13 heading into halftime.
On the opening drive of the second half, rookie Devin Bush had an acrobatic interception to give the Steelers their third theft of Jackson on the day. But the Steelers would suffer a scary moment on the next possession. After escaping a fevered pass rush, Rudolph found James Washington down field for a big first down, but was hit in the head by Earl Thomas and laid unconscious on the field following the play. A flag flew, but the concern of the crowd was the well-being of Mason who was severely concussed after the vicious hit. Rudolph regained consciousness as trainers had to cut off his face mask. Teammates were called upon to help their young QB of of the field because the cart used to treat seriously hurt players stalled. ESPN reported then when asked about the cart issue, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin classicly responded, “Ask somebody that is in charge of that, I don’t drive carts and things of that nature.”
Enter Devlin “Duck” Hodges, a champion duck caller and a plater that went undrafted out of Samford and hooked on with the Steelers at their rookie minicamp tryout. Employing runs of all varieties to protect their inexperienced quarterback, the Steelers began moving the ball. A Hodges completion to Vance McDonald moved the ball to the one yard line, followed by a James Conner plunge into the end zone to move the score to 20-20 with 3:42 left in the third quarter. Baltimore’s offense continued to move the ball on the Keith Butler’s defense, but again they were forced to settle for a Justin Tucker chip shot to nod it at 20-20. Hodges moved the Steelers to midfield, but the drive was stopped cold. However, Jordan Berry’s precise punt pinned the Baltimore offense at their 1-yard line. After a three-and out and a near safety, Sam Koch came on to punt the ball to Ryan Switzer, who returned the kick into Baltimore territory. Despite a huge play in which Hodges ran for 21 yards with a 5-yard Marlon Humphrey penalty tacked on, the black-and-gold drive was halted at the visitor’s 15. That is what precipitated a Boswell 33-yard field goal to make the score 23-20 with 2:37 left in the game.
That was giving Lamar Jackson too much time though, and an egregious roughing the passer call on Steelers linebacker Ola Adeniyi gave Lamar Jackson room to drive the Ravens into Pittsburgh territory and set up Justin Tucker for a game-tying 48 yard kick sending the game to overtime.
The Steelers won the coin flip, but made the curious choice to give the Ravens the first possession. The reasoning behind it was if the Steelers stopped them a field goal would win the game. The defense forced a three and out and the gamble looked to pay off. But on the Steelers’ first possession of overtime, disaster struck when JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a ball for a first down from Hodges but was punched out by Marlon Humphrey at the Pittsburgh 34 while fighting for extra yards. A few plays later, Justin Tucker hit a 46-yard field goal to win the game at 26-23 for the Ravens and to squash what would have been a Hollywood fairytale ending for Steelers Nation.
December 5, 2021 - Steelers 20, Ravens 19
The only thing predictable about rivalry games in the NFL in December is that they are unpredictable. Going into 2021’s Week 13, the Steelers hadn’t won a football game since Week 9, and the Ravens were No. 1 in the AFC and AFC North with a 8-3 record. With their postseason hopes on the verge of extinction, the Steelers were in desperate need of finding themselves on this cold December day in Heinz Field.
After winning the coin toss, the Steelers chose to defer and Lamar Jackson had an impressive drive going right away. That was until, on a 3rd and 6 from the 10, Jackson was pressured by T.J. Watt was intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick in the end zone. But the Steelers’ offensive struggles would continue and there were plenty of Pressley Harvin III sightings. However, the black-and-gold defense would hold up well until the second quarter. The Baltimore offense would find their pulse, and when pinned by Hardin III on their own on, the visitors reeled off an impressive 99-yard drive that ended with a Devonta Freeman touchdown run, and a 7-0 score with 8:37 left in the second. With the Pittsburgh offense impotent and frustrated, it seemed like that would be all that the Ravens would need. It looked like the Ratbirds would put this game away near the end of the half, especially with several questionable calls going their way. But the Pittsburgh defense was able to get the ball back to the offense courtesy of sacks by Former Raven Chris Wormley, and another by Cam Hayward. With 48 to go in the half, Ben Roethlisberger put together a nine-play drive that moved his team all the way from their own 11 to the Ravens 35. It looked like the Steelers would nod it up when Ben threw deep to Diontae Johnson, but No. 18 dropped a touchdown alone in the end zone. The Steelers did salvage points though, Chris Boswell’s 52-yarder, with time running down, gave his team some presence on the scoreboard, as they trailed 7-3 going into the locker room.
In the third, the Steelers offense continued to be stuck in second gear, as a beautiful catch by Ray-Ray McCloud was annulled. However, the Ravens continued their scoring ways with a Justin Tucker field goal of 28 yards with their first possession of the new half. After that, offensive stagnancy from both franchises prevailed until the fourth quarter. With the ball to start the 4th quarter, it took just two plays for the Steelers to strike. A pass to Chase Claypool put the Steelers in field goal range, and a beautiful throw to Diontae Johnson had the Steelers first touchdown of the game. However, Chris Boswell missed the point-after, making the score 10-9 with 13:55 left in regulation. Unable to put points on the board, the Steelers sent the ball right back to the Ravens, but the Pittsburgh defense continued to do their job and keep the team in the game.
With the ball to start the 4th quarter, it took just two plays for the Steelers to strike. A pass to Chase Claypool put the Steelers in field goal range, and a gorgeous throw to Diontae Johnson had the Steelers first touchdown of the game. However, Chris Boswell missed the point-after, making the score 10-9 with 13:55 left in regulation. Baltimore would answer, but it would happen in questionable fashion. An egregious pass interference call on Minkah Fitzpatrick resulted in a huge gain for the Ravens. Tucker emerged to make the score 13-9 with 11:51 left in the fourth. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense, thanks to a big RAC by Diontae Johnson and Najee Harris’ bursts through the defensive line, were able to counter with a 43-yard Boswell field goal to inch closer at 13-12 with 7:23 left in regulation.
T.J. Watt took over the next series, forcing an errant throw on first down and sacking Jackson next. The 3rd and 15 play was a deep pass to Mark Andrews which was broken up by Akhello Witherspoon, forcing another punt. Ben Roethlisberger and crew took over with a chance to take the lead and did just that when Ben connected with Diontae Johnson for his second score of the game from 5 yards away. Pat Freiermuth snagged the two-point conversion attempt to make the score 20-13 with 1:48 left in the final frame. But that’s a ton of time to give to Lamar Jackson, and he did what he always does, and that is bring the Ravens roaring back when needed the most. Huge conversions to Maurquise “Hollywood” Brown and Sammy Watkins set up a first and goal situation. On 3rd down, Jackson found Watkins for the touchdown. Here’s where it got crazy. Instead of kicking it and going for the tie, John Harbaugh decided to go for two. Watt put a heavy rush on Lamar, but he got it off to an all-alone Mark Andrews, but the disruption from T.J. was enough to give the Steelers the ginormous win.
The Steelers would fight and claw to make the postseason, including a win over B-More at M&T Bank Stadium in the regular season finale. But they would also break the back of their rival Ravens on this day, as Jim Harbaugh’s team would lose their final six games of the year.