Kicker Chris Boswell hit a 38-yard field goal in overtime to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 16–13 win over Baltimore, ending the Ravens’ season and potentially sending quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into the playoffs, his final. Season is expected.
In a crucial fourth and eighth game with less than three minutes in overtime, Roethlisberger found wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud open in the middle to complete a 10-yard run. A 15-yard run by the rookie, trailing two plays by Nazi Harris, later set up the Steelers for Boswell’s game-winning kick and captured the 11th game-winning drive of Roethlisberger’s career. He completed 30-for-44 for 244 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The loss was the Ravens’ sixth straight and ruined their somewhat strengthened playoff hopes. With the Indianapolis Colts’ surprise defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Ravens only needed to win and get two more results in the games after Sunday – a New England Patriots win over the Miami Dolphins and a Las Vegas Raiders win over the Los Angeles Chargers. But won. Time – to beat his short playoff odds and earn the AFC’s No. 7 seed.
After quarterback Lamar Jackson was sidelined with an ankle injury, the Ravens (8–9) had a chance to win. But early in his fourth career, quarterback Tyler Huntley finished 16-for-31 for 141 yards and two interceptions, his worst performance of the season. On his final pass, the Ravens’ first and overtime’s drive, he missed tight end Mark Andrews (eight catches for 85 yards) on the third-down pass, which took the Ravens to field-goal range.
Roethlisberger’s drive cemented the Ravens’ downfall that began in Week 13, when the team entered Pittsburgh (9-7-1) with an 8-3 record and the AFC’s top seed. Five weeks later, their season fell short of the playoffs for the first time since 2017 and finished at the bottom of AFC North for the first time under coach John Harbaugh.
With Terrell Suggs on hand, the Ravens defended the kind the legendary outside linebacker was used to presiding, placing Pittsburgh in regulation at 249 yards and 4.1 yards per game.
But they couldn’t be tough on Pittsburgh’s game-winning drive in overtime, or late in regulation. On the slog of a 10-play, 50-yard possession late in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh converted third and 9 and third and -6 – there were only two other third-down conversions in regulation – and moved to the Reds. All games in the zone for the first time. On the second of 6 and on goal, Roethlisberger found wide receiver Chase Claypool on a quick hitter in the middle for a catch-and-run score. The Steelers led 13-10, and terrifying towels waved across every part of M&T Bank Stadium.
Ravana was not done. Huntley’s 21-yard scramble pushed the offense into field-goal range, and the Ravens had a chance to keep the pressure up with third and 2. But Huntley’s designed quarterback was short of the line to score the run, and kicker Justin Tucker’s 46-yard field goal tied the game.
Again not threatened with any offense in the regulation. The Steelers, approaching midfield for their next possession, pent on fourth and -1 with 44 seconds to spare. The Ravens took the first wicket just once after taking over. The Steelers took a knee and sent the game to overtime.
In a game lacking big gainers, the Ravens are trailing Latvius Murray (16 runs from 150 yards). He was not touched in the third quarter at the start of the middle on a 46-yard touchdown sprint. The Ravens’ longest carry this season was also their first offensive touchdown in six quarters and gave them a 10-3 lead.
The Steelers quickly responded with a field goal, but Murray kept running as he was determined to take the Ravens to the playoffs. He had runs for 27, 22 and 6 yards when the Ravens reached Pittsburgh’s 15. But in the first game of the fourth quarter, more red-zone trouble awaited them.
In second and 7 from Pittsburgh’s 12, Huntley looked for Andrews, who settled in an opening in the middle of the end zone. It took them a long time to get there; Cornerback Cameron Sutton goes on the throw for an interception. It was Huntley’s first career game with more than two picks.
After ruining a red-zone appearance in a crucial Week 17 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams, the Ravens began Sunday’s game unable to move the ball — or at least not give it away.
On his first drive, center Bradley Bozeman appeared to deliver a shotgun snap from his back, sending the ball tumbling to Huntley, who picked it up, then lost it again after a diving tackle by outside linebacker TJ Watts. Defensive end Henri Mondaux fell on a loose ball on the Ravens’ 39-yard line amid a wild scuffle, and the Steelers converted short field into a 28-yard field goal by Boswell.
On the Ravens’ next drive, trouble followed Snape. Huntley swam a pass in the middle of Andrews, but it went hand in hand with too much overhead and waiting for safety Terrell Edmonds.
On the Ravens’ third drive, special teams also joined in on the audacity. Instead of taking offense on fourth and 2 in Pittsburgh’s 45, the Ravens sent their punt team out. But instead of trying to pin the Steelers deep, Sam Koch converted a punt into a fake punt. His pass to wide receiver Tylon Wallace, a gunner, remained unfinished, the coach’s first lap in eight career attempts.
The Ravens didn’t come into field-goal range until their last possession in the first half, but that drive also ended in disappointment. Before Pittsburgh’s 3 and facing goal, Huntley was brought down by Watts, who tied the NFL single-season record with his 22 1/2 sacks, Then a supposed touchdown pass rang through the hands of wide receiver Marquis “Hollywood” Brown, then had his third-down throw for Eric Tomlinson to be interrupted by Watt.
Tucker’s 24-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining effectively ended the first half in which teams combined for three turnovers, two third-down conversions and an average of 3.8 yards per game.