Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Torrey Smith went from goat to hero in a
matter of seconds.
Smith, a rookie wide receiver from Maryland, caught Joe Flacco's 26-yard
touchdown pass with eight seconds left in regulation to give the Ravens a
thrilling 23-20 victory over the rival Steelers in a classic AFC North tilt.
Flacco engineered a game-winning 92-yard drive despite several drops from his
receivers. Smith short-armed a sure touchdown with 35 seconds left and Anquan
Boldin let one slip through his hands at the 10-yard line a little later.
On the play after Boldin's drop though, Smith beat William Gay down the right
sideline and corralled Flacco's floater, sealing Baltimore's season sweep. The
pass was one of 14 third-down conversions by the Ravens (6-2) in 21 chances.
Flacco ended with 300 yards to essentially match Ben Roethlisberger's 330-yard
effort for Pittsburgh (6-3), which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
"No one shined brighter than Joe Flacco in this game," an energized John
Harbaugh said of his starting quarterback.
James Harrison, who missed the previous four games because of a broken orbital
bone, caused a Flacco fumble at the Pittsburgh 42-yard line with the Steelers
trailing 16-13 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Steelers turned the turnover into seven points, as Roethlisberger bought
time with his legs and found Mike Wallace streaking along the goal line for a
25-yard score with five minutes to play.
Pittsburgh had a chance to tack on before the two-minute warning, but a
penalty on fourth down moved the hosts out of field goal range.
Boldin moved the chains on fourth down early in the winning march with 10-yard
catch and added an 11-yard reception on 3rd-and-8 to extend the drive.
"That's a tough defeat for us," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "We tip
our cap to Baltimore. They finished better than we did."
Both teams' starting running backs were held in check throughout, as
Baltimore's Ray Rice was limited to 43 yards on 18 carries, while Rashard
Mendenhall gained 52 yards on 13 totes. Rice did have a 76-yard TD run on the
opening play from scrimmage wiped out by a holding call against Smith.
The classic, hard-hitting AFC North tilt took on added significance after the
Ravens pounded their rival, 35-7, to open the season.
Field goals were the story in the first half, as Billy Cundiff made kicks of
18, 43 and 51 yards for Baltimore and Shaun Suisham booted a 36- and 30-yarder
for Pittsburgh. Cundiff also missed a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Terrell Suggs anticipated a screen pass to Wallace early in the third and
returned the interception nine yards to the Baltimore 29.
Rice capped the ensuing 12-play march with a four-yard touchdown that lasted
over six minutes. Ike Taylor was whistled for a 23-yard pass interference
penalty two plays before the touchdown.
Mendenhall's one-yard plunge ended an 11-play, 80-yard drive 1:28 into the
fourth to cut Pittsburgh's deficit to three.
Cundiff had missed seven straight attempts of 50-plus yards since hitting a
56-yarder against the Lions on November 20, 2005...Boldin ended with 88 yards
on seven catches, while Antonio Brown led the Steelers with 109 yards on five
grabs...Pittsburgh was also effective on third down, converting 7-of-12
chances...Harrison recorded three sacks.
11/07 02:07:29 ET
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