On a cool night in Pittsburgh, PA, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens went head-to-head on Thursday Night Football. One of the NFL's fiercest rivalries started for the first time in the 2015 regular season, and there were some familiar faces missing from the lineup. No Ben Roethlisberger. No Terrell Suggs.
Despite the marquee names missing from the game, the Ravens won the toss and chose to defer to the second half. The first drive for Michael Vick and the Steelers was forgettable, as they went three-and-out and had to punt the ball away to the Ravens. The Ravens had tremendous field position on their first drive, but were unable to gain a first down as Stephon Tuitt sacked Joe Flacco on third and 10 to force Baltimore to punt the football back to Pittsburgh with 12:49 left in the first quarter.
The Steelers turned to the running game on their second possession with a combination of Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams which moved the Steelers well into Baltimore territory. Despite the successful drive, it would stall at the Baltimore 28-yard line which would result in a 45-yard field goal by Josh Scobee, giving the Steelers a 3-0 lead with 7:41 left in the opening frame.
The Ravens' next possession started on their 25-yard line, and Joe Flacco and company marched the football 75-yards for a touchdown by wide receiver Michael Campanaro on a reverse to give the Ravens a 6-3 lead. A Justin Tucker extra point made the score 7-3 with 25 second left in the first quarter.
Pittsburgh's next possession started on their 20-yard line, and wouldn't be able to gain a first down before another Jordan Berry punt, this time only a 37-yard punt. The Ravens took over with great field position, and drove well into Pittsburgh territory before cornerback Ross Cockrell picked off a Joe Flacco pass and returned it 37-yards to the Baltimore 36-yard line. However, the Steelers offense was unable to move the ball, and a Ravens sack on Michael Vick would move Pittsburgh out of field goal range.
Baltimore wouldn't be able to do anthing with their next drive, giving the ball back to Pittsburgh on their 33-yard line with 4:46 left in the first half. After Vick produced three first downs, the Steelers were nearing field goal range with 2:00 left in the half. After a nice reception by Darrius Heyward-Bey on the sideline, Le'Veon Bell reversed his field and followed Vick into the end-zone for a Steelers touchdown. A Josh Scobee point after would make the score 10-7 Steelers with 1:37 left in the 2nd quarter.
Pittsburgh would force a quick three-and-out on the Ravens' next drive, and aided by a personal foul against Baltimore on the punt would get the ball at their own 45-yard line with two timeouts and 38-second remaining in the half. Vick was able to engineer a drive with several scrambles for first downs, and a big pass to Antonio Brown would give Josh Scobee a chip shot to end the quarter giving the Steelers a 13-7 heading into halftime.
When the Ravens opened the second half with the football, it was a fumble caused by Cameron Heyward on Joe Flacco which saw Ross Cockrell recover, which gave the Steelers possession of the ball on the Ravens 26-yard line. The Steelers took the field position, were able to put together a couple first downs which resulted in a key third and 5 from the Ravens' 9-yard line. The next play was a bullet pass from Vick to Darrius Heyward-Bey for a touchdown. Scobee's 33-yard extra point would give the home team a 20-7 lead with 10:41 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The Ravens wouldn't go away without a fight, and with their next possession ran the ball down the field with Justin Forsett on several big runs which would eventually lead to a Flacco touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken. Another Justin Tucker extra point had Baltimore cut the Steelers lead to just 6-points, as they only trailed 20-14 with 7:27 left in the third quarter.
The Steelers' response was less than spectacular, as the team went three-and-out with Michael Vick being sacked twice on back-to-back plays which caused Jordan Berry to punt the football from deep inside their own territory. Baltimore would start with phenomenal field position, well inside Pittsburgh territory.
Down by six points, Flacco and company took the ball at the Steelers' 28-yard line after a penalty on the punt. Pittsburgh's defense would hold the Ravens to a 4th and 2 situation, and it looked as if Baltimore was going to go for the field goal to make cut the lead to 3 points; however, John Harbaugh decided to go for the fake field goal, and the play was stopped by Pittsburgh's defense and creating a turnover on downs.
Pittsburgh's stagnant offense continued to struggle, and watched Vick get sacked again to cause the team to punt the ball back to the Ravens. The Ravens again were unable to do anything with the football and failed to convert on a 3rd and 2. However, rather than punting the ball back to Pittsburgh, the Ravens would go for it on 4th and 1 and convert to keep their drive alive as the 3rd quarter came to an end.
The Ravens continued the ground game to start the 4th quarter, and with success, as the Steelers were giving Forsett huge holes to run through, but a misplayed snap by Flacco resulted in a 3rd and 23. After failing to convert, Justin Tucker would hit from 40-yards to narrow the lead to 3 points as Pittsburgh got the ball back with a 20-17 lead and 10:14 remaining in the game.
The Steelers offense seemingly remained in the locker room, and only one first down resulted from the team's next possession before punting the ball back to Baltimore. Again, the Ravens gashed the Steelers defense on the ground, but on a 4th and inches the defense was able to rise up and stop Flacco's quarterback sneak to cause a turnover on downs with 4:09 left in the game.
The next play from scrimmage would result in a Le'Veon Bell 21-yard run to the Baltimore 38-yard line and putting Pittsburgh on the cusp of field goal range. On 3rd and 5 the Steelers would fail to convert and Scobee missed from 39-yards to give the Ravens the football at the 39-yard line and needing just a field goal to tie the football game.
After three consecutive incomplete passes, a pair of Steeler defenders sacked Flacco on 4th and 10 to cause their third turnover on downs in the football game. The Steelers took the ball on the 29-yard line with 2 minutes left in the game. The Steelers ran the ball three straight plays, and Scobee missed another field goal to give the ball back to Baltimore with only a field goal needed to tie the game.
After a first down pass to start their final drive of the game, Flacco would connect with Kamar Aiken for a huge gain ad put the Ravens in field goal range. With 7 seconds left in the game Justin Tucker would make a 42-yard field goal to send the game to overtime.
Pittsburgh won the coin toss and elected to take the football to start the extra quarter of play. Dri Archer would get his first return of the game and took the football to the 31-yard line for the Steelers to start their first overtime drive. A 22-yard Le'Veon Bell would move the Steelers into Baltimore territory. The drive stalled at the Baltimore 39-yard line and the Steelers chose to go for it on 4th and 2, only for Vick to be stopped well short of the first down.
The Ravens would get the football back, but fail to do anything with the possession, punting the ball back to Pittsburgh. Antonio Brown provided a nifty punt return to give the Steelers good field position to start their second overtime possession. Vick looked Antonio Brown's way for a big gain and a first down. Pittsburgh was able to advance the football to the 31-yard line, only to go for it on 4th and 1 and fail to gain a yard.
Baltimore took the football and advanced into Pittsburgh territory after two straight first downs. Baltimore continued to use the ground game to move into Justin Tucker field goal range, and on 4th and 1 Baltimore would send Tucker onto the field to kick a 52-yard field goal for the victory. Tucker made the kick and gave the Ravens their first victory of the season. The loss moves the Steelers record to 2-2 as they now have an extended break until facing the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football in Week 5.