Home Pittsburgh Sports Steelers Steelers storm back to beat Ravens on last second field goal

Steelers storm back to beat Ravens on last second field goal

Charlie Batch outdueled Joe Flacco and Shaun Suisham kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Steelers over the Ravens 23-20 in a classic battle between the AFC North rivals.

If ever a deck was stacked against the Pittsburgh Steelers in any game, it very well may have been Sunday’s contest against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. But an offense under the direction of Charlie Batch—just one week removed from an eight-turnover performance—drove 61 yards on the final possession of the game to the Baltimore 25, consuming the final 6:14 on the clock, and Shaun Suisham nailed a 42-yard field goal to give the underdog Steelers a 23-20 victory, pulling their record up to 7-5.

Batch finished the day with 276 yards passing on 25 completions in 36 attempts, with one interception and one touchdown on a pass to Heath Miller. 

But the story of the day was the defensive performance delivered against a now 9-3 Ravens team that previously dominated teams at home, averaging over 36 points per game in five home games, all wins.

Pittsburgh held Baltimore’s offense to only 288 yards, with Joe Flacco posting 188 passing yards on 16-34 from the pocket with a touchdown and a pick. The Steelers D’s efforts in the passing game resulted in a quarterback rating of 61.9, even with Ike Taylor going down with an injury in the first quarter.

The true success of the defense was keeping the ball out of Ray Rice’s hands. Rice ran only 12 times, albeit for 78 yards and a touchdown. Rice caught just one pass out of the backfield for five yards—an area where he does the majority of his damage, as the nation saw when Rice converted a 4th and 29 for Baltimore last week against the Chargers on a checkdown pass.

For the second time this season, Pittsburgh’s secondary also neutralized Baltimore’s lone deep threat, holding Torrey Smith to only 33 yards on three receptions. Smith was targeted eight times by Flacco, and his longest reception was only 13 yards.

Shaun Suisham continued to have a strong season, and his successful field goal try from 42-yards out as time expired capped another solid performance from the kicker. Suisham connected on all three of his attempts Sunday from 41, 42, and 46 yards out with each attempt splitting the uprights nearly perfectly.

Offensively, the Steelers turned the ball over three times—an improvement over the eight last week at Cleveland, but still too high a number—and the Ravens capitalized, scoring touchdowns off the two interceptions thrown by Pittsburgh.

The running game proved to be ineffective yet again this game, despite Jonathan Dwyer taking over as the Steelers starting running back. Pittsburgh ran for 96 yards on 26 attempts as a unit with Dwyer carrying 16 times for 49 yards and a touchdown. The only effective player out of the backfield turned out to be Isaac Redman, who rushed for 43 yards on nine attempts.

Pittsburgh started the game strongly, shutting down the Ravens on their first drive and then driving 48 yards on 11 plays for a field goal by Suisham. After that, however, Pittsburgh became sloppy and the Ravens scored 13 unanswered points to hold a 13-3 lead. 

The Steelers finally scored again with 37 seconds remaining in the first half, cutting the deficit to seven points heading into the locker room. On their first drive, Pittsburgh covered 78 yards in just seven plays and Dwyer capped the drive off with a 16-yard touchdown run to even the score at 13.

Pittsburgh seemed to be destined to score again later in the quarter, on the legs of Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders caught a pass from Batch over the middle of the field and had no one standing in his way to the end zone.

Sanders then lost control of the ball, fumbling what seemed a sure bet to put Pittsburgh on top. From there Baltimore went 63 yards, scoring on a 34-yard rush from Rice to go up 20-13/

But from there, the Ravens were held off the scoreboard and blew their first double-digit lead of the season. After the touchdown, Pittsburgh forced a fumble and two punts from the Ravens as Pittsburgh scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

With the ball on the Baltimore 32-yard line, James Harrison sacked Joe Flacco and forced a fumble which was recovered by defensive lineman Ziggy Hood, giving Pittsburgh the ball on the Baltimore 27 with 9:41 on the clock.

Batch completed two passes to Antonio Brown and Sanders, putting the Steelers on the seven-yard line. After Dwyer ran for no gain, Batch rolled to his right and hit Heath Miller—who finished with five catches for 97 yards—and Miller dove to knock the ball into the pylon for the touchdown, tying the game at 20.

Pittsburgh then forced a punt to regain possession with 6:14 to play, driving down the field to set up Suisham’s game-winning boot.

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