(Sunday, November 6th)
Final Score: Baltimore 23, Pittsburgh 20
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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