The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens need no formal introduction. The history which has been set for years with names like Ray Lewis, Hines Ward, Terrell Suggs and Troy Polamalu speaks for itself. However with those players gone and new names and faces in the mix, the rivalry remains as heated as ever with the Ravens invading Acrisure Stadium in Week 14.
With the Steelers winning the coin toss, they elected to defer their possession to the start of the second half. This put backup quarterback Tyler Huntley and the Ravens’ offense on the field to start the game. The drive lasted just three plays before Baltimore’s punt team was sent on the field for the first time.
Kenny Pickett and the Steelers’ offense took the field, and while Pittsburgh was able to move the ball via Pickett scrambles, their opening drive stalled and Pressley Harvin III was called on to send the ball back to Baltimore.
Huntley’s next drive was much better than their first, as he used his arm to move the ball quickly into Pittsburgh territory for the first time in the quarter. When they crossed the 40-yard line, the drive stalled and resulted in a Justin Tucker field goal. The 42-yard attempt was good, making the score 3-0 with 4:46 left in the quarter.
After a Steelers three-and-out, and 17-yard Harvin punt, the Ravens started in Pittsburgh territory. The first play on this drive was a 44-yard run by J.K. Dobbins down to the 4-yard line. From there, Dobbins did the rest, plunging into the end-zone for the first touchdown of the game. The extra point was good, making the score 10-0 with 2:31 left in the opening frame.
Needing an answer, the Steelers would have to do it without their starting quarterback. As Pickett headed to the locker room to be evaluated for an unknown injury, Mitch Trubisky came in and moved the ball. Following a Steven Sims return to the 40, Trubisky hit George Pickens on a big gain down the sideline to set up a first and goal situation. From there, a defensive pass interference in the end-zone put the ball at the one-yard line, and Najee Harris did the rest.
Chris Boswell was good, making the score 10-7 with 13 seconds left in the opening quarter.
The Ravens were moving the football to start the second quarter, and when they got into Tucker’s field goal range, they faced a critical decision. Put Tucker on for a lengthy field goal try, or go for it on 4th and short. John Harbaugh elected to go for it, and a fumbled snap botched the play and it was a turnover on downs.
A good mix of run and pass on the ensuing drive set up a 3rd and 1 which resulted in a pass to Harris to put the Steelers offense in Baltimore territory. In Boswell’s field goal range, the question was if the Pittsburgh offense would be able to score another touchdown. Instead, Mitch Trubisky’s pass intended for Pat Freiermuth was intercepted by Roquan Smith. It was the first turnover by Pittsburgh since the bye week.
Baltimore’s offense turned the turnover into another great possession. Moving the ball via a 21-yard pass to Desean Jackson on third down, the Ravens were in the red-zone at the two-minute warning. Pittsburgh’s defense did their best bend-don’t-break impression, holding the Ravens to another Tucker field goal to make the score 13-7 with 1:03 left in the half.
With all three timeouts remaining, the Steelers took just two plays, one to Diontae Johnson and the other to George Pickens, to move the ball to the Baltimore 39-yard line. With 26 seconds left, and a timeout remaining, Trubisky was picked off for the second time, ending the half with the 13-7 score.
After the Steelers were unable to add to their point total to start the third quarter, the Ravens threatened, crossing midfield, before punting the ball back to the Steelers.
Starting deep in their own end, the Steelers were able to move the ball out of their own end with passes to Steven Sims and Diontae Johnson to reach Baltimore territory. With the driving clicking on all cylinders, Trubisky to a deep shot to Johnson, and was intercepted for the third time.
The interception, which happened near the end-zone, which looked to give the Ravens the ball at the 20-yard line, was placed at the one-yard line. But it wasn’t Tyler Huntley at quarterback. Huntley was being evaluated for a concussion, which meant Anthony Brown took over as the Ravens’ quarterback. Brown’s first drive as the Ravens signal caller lasted just one series before they punted the ball to the Steelers.
Pittsburgh’s ensuing drive was one which saw them utilize a variety of players to move the ball into Pittsburgh territory. Following a Jaylen Warren run, Ravens’ cornerback Marcus Peters was flagged for unnecessary roughness, moving the ball to the 20-yard line. However, facing a 3rd and long, the pass intended for Diontae Johnson in the end-zone fell incomplete. Chris Boswell was called on for a 40-yard field goal, and the kick was blocked.
Taking over at the 30-yard line, everyone in Acrisure Stadium knew what was coming, and the Steelers couldn’t stop it. Baltimore ran the ball down the Steelers’ throats all the way into the red-zone, and the time continued to tick off the clock as Justin Tucker came on to make this a two-score game. Tucker’s kick was good, making the score 16-7 with 3:19 left in regulation.
The first play on the Steelers’ next possession had Trubisky hit Diontae Johnson down the sideline for a 37-yard gain. The Ravens were flagged for roughing the passer, tacking on 15 extra yards to the play. A quick pass to Connor Heyward moved the ball in a first and goal situation. The drive ended with Trubisky hitting Pat Freiermuth in the end-zone for the touchdown.
Boswell’s extra point was good, making the score 16-14 with 2:30 left in the 4th quarter.
Needing the ball back, the Steelers elected to kick the ball deep. Using both timeouts before the two-minute warning, the Steelers gave up the third down conversion to Gus Edwards, putting them behind the 8-ball when it comes to getting the ball back. With no timeouts left, the Ravens went into victory formation on the way to victory.
The loss moves the Steelers record to 5-8, and makes their playoff hopes all but null and void heading into a Week 15 game vs. the Carolina Panthers. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the team as they press on throughout the regular season.