Steelers Use Furious Comeback To Become AFC North Champs, Beat Ravens 39-38

When one soldier falls in battle, the others will rally around him. That’s exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers planned to do Sunday night as they were without their linebacking leader in Ryan Shazier. The battle was one that went down to the wire, but ultimately it was the play of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown that gave the Steelers a 39-38 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Just like the AFC Divisional matchup six years ago, Roethlisberger and Brown connected on a deep pass down the sideline to put the Steelers in range for the go ahead score. Brown finished with 11 receptions for 213 receiving yards and Roethlisberger threw for over 500 yards passing.

Just like the finish, this contest was a back and forth high scoring affair, a surprising and unusual result for typical Steelers and Ravens matchups.

The Steelers jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, with Roethlisberger emerging strong out of the gate. Roethlisberger had 220 passing yards and one touchdown at halftime. Running back Le’Veon Bell chipped in on both touchdowns, catching the first and punching in the second from the goal line to give the Steelers’ their early lead.

The Steelers were in for a scare when Bell exited with a knee injury early in the first half, though the running back returned shortly later.

The absence of Shazier showed to be a real scare though as the Steelers defense was unable to contain the Ravens’ offense. The Steelers’ defense showed their inability to contain the big play. Joe Flacco connected with Chris Moore on a 30-yard touchdown pass for the Ravens’ first score. Moore got behind the Steelers’ secondary as Flacco threw a perfectly arched touchdown pass for the score. The Ravens’ second score came via the running game as Alex Collins scampered 18 yards into the end zone.

After going up 14-0, the Steelers were outscored 31-6, as the Ravens found themselves ahead 31-20 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger and the Steelers found themselves in a similar position as last week when they trailed the Cincinnati Bengals by 10 entering the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter would prove to be an eventful one as the Steelers pushed their way back into the game. Bell’s third touchdown of the game would put the Steelers down two with just over three minutes remaining. Roethlisberger and Brown would do the rest, putting the Steelers ahead though the Ravens would have one last chance to retake the lead. T.J. Watt would put the finishing sack on Flacco to secure the victory for the Steelers.

Though the Steelers secured the victory and kept pace as the AFC’s number one seed, tonight’s contest showed a few concerns with the Pittsburgh defense. Without Shazier, the Steelers allowed over 400 yards of offense and over 100 yards rushing. Flacco threw for 269 yards and Collins averaged almost seven yards per rush on the Shazier-less defense.

The Steelers will now prepare for the biggest game of their season next week, as they host the New England Patriots next Sunday at 4:25 for what is likely to be home field advantage in the AFC.

About the Author

Daniel Valente
Steelers fan from birth, spending majority of my free time looking up statistics. Had the honor of meeting Mike Vanderjagt shortly after his infamous missed field goal in the 2005 Divisional Round. Currently pursuing a Journalism degree. Follow me on Twitter @StatsGuyDaniel
  • John Noh

    I’m still shaking. Thank you Killer Bs!!!

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    I love this f***ing team so much.

  • Spencer Krick

    What a game!! AFC North CHAMPS!

  • razaard2

    Boy what a game! How am I supposed to sleep now?? Gotta thank Harbaugh for not giving the ball to Collins with the game on the line lol
    Now it’s officially Patriots week for the AFC crown and a 12-2 record Here we Go!

  • Chris92021

    My goodness. I was wrong about the mental fortitude of this team. That took guts. Shorthanded on defense but we played 60 minutes.

    BTW not our fault that the league has the 10 second run off rule. Sorry, Ravens. Actually no I am not!!! AFC North champions for consecutive seasons!

  • Jason Vancil

    19-2 last 21 Reg. season games.

  • CP72

    Anyone notice the strip sack…TJ on one side Deebo on the other?

  • CountryClub

    Huge win. If they lost tonight and again next week, they not only would have lost the 1 seed, but they most likely would have dropped down to the 3 seed. Jax has the tie breaker and took back their division lead today. Anyway, they won, so it’s moot!!

  • CP72

    My cardiologist sure doesn’t.

  • CountryClub

    Only QB in history with three 500 yd games.

  • Stevie D

    AFC North Champs means nothing if don’t beat Patriots and by the looks of this defensive that not going to happen less Big Ben can put up 50 points.

  • Steeldog22

    Yes!!! It can be done!!!!

  • ThatGuy

    Let’s enjoy this yes, but we can stop the talk about looking ahead….that time is NOW. HERE. WE. GO. #SHALIEVE

  • CP72

    Go away…..AFC North Champions!!

  • Steeldog22

    Can you savor it just for a moment?

  • hdogg48

    Dupree is a sorry excuse for an OLB.

    Can’t rush the passer, and can’t seal the edge.
    I’m glad Deebo is fresh….we’re going to need him.

  • BRB4ever

    First off, huge win! Congrats to our team for locking up the division and keeping the #1 seed! Let’s get back in the lab and try to adjust our D for the next game. Great teamwork!

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    First week without Shazier, got hurt badly in the run game. They have a weeks worth of footage to learn from and adjust for that. They’re also getting Joe Haden back, which should help with the organization of the secondary, if nothing else, and JuJu too! I’m not saying the Steelers should be favored, but don’t write them off yet. This team has heart, and I think they just may persevere.

  • DoctorNoah

    Spence was on the team what, 4 days? Didn’t do too badly. With Haden back in the fold I think we’ve got a shot st the Pats

  • CP72

    At this point I will believe anything.

  • Junaid

    We should have started the game with Sutton. Played some good ball. Coty is NOT a starter. We need more practice at the mack ilb. Dissapointed in davis, he needs to clean it up.

  • Jay Clam

    Even though he’s up there in sacks on the team lol. Never mind that.

  • Iulo

    well yeah agree… but looked also very slow… out of shape… hard way to go… these next 3 games must be used

  • StolenUpVotes

    On a roll

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Deebo and was dying to see what he could do… he looked like he needed a walker out there. So slow. Strong, but slow.

  • CP72

    Yep….until Haden is back Sutton should start.

  • Stevie D

    I agree to point, but Steelers just don’t have that type of Linebacker on the roster now

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Sutton had 3 whiffs back to back to back in first half. He needs more reps.

  • Chris92021

    Glad I am off on Mondays so I don’t have to worry about this lol I am so pumped I can’t sleep either!!

  • StolenUpVotes

    TThis team is a mentally tough bunch

  • Junaid

    Much better than coty. He needs to get first team reps.

  • Kevin Reich

    I think you have to give Fort a shot after that poor performance at mlb.

  • Junaid

    Agree.

  • CP72

    AB is the league MVP. He won’t win it, but he should.

  • Biophys

    This game gave me acid reflux.

  • GravityWon

    Fort made a nice play near the end of game.

  • The Tony

    Well Wentz is down

  • Iulo

    specially because Moat looked bad… was expecting more of him

  • NCSteel

    My heart can’t take much more of this season.
    Geez, this was the capper too.
    This is the most never say die version of the Pittsburgh Steelers I think I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching them for 44 years now.
    Week after week, you say to yourself, well, it’s been a nice run but it looks like this is the week and then bang, bang, here they go again.

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    For sure, the slack will have to be made up elsewhere. At MLB, it’ll be an exercise in stopping the bleeding more than replacing Shazier.

  • Junaid

    They called a bogus penalty on Artie. Back to back weeks he played great.

  • PittShawnC

    Plenty of time to discuss other things. For now, congrats to that lockerrom.

    Kings of the North, B2B

  • hdogg48

    With JuJu coming back next week I see no
    reason why we can’t hang at least 35 on the Pats next week.

    We have faced the top 3 defenses in the league in Minnesota,
    Jacksonville and the Ratbirds.

    Why worry about stopping Brady and Gronk?

    I think the Hoodie and Patricia need to worry about
    stopping our Killer Bs.

    I say we put in a TON of work on stopping in the
    Red Zone and scoring in the Red Zone.

    They gave up way too many there tonight.
    This is where next Sunday’s game will be won or lost.

  • Junaid

    same

  • The Tony

    Davis had a nice stat sheet. 12 tackles, interception, two tackles for loss. Pass defended. Other than that I wanted him benched so bad tonight.

  • Junaid

    needs to fix the small things

  • CP72

    Next week is a big game, but I think we can beat any team anywhere. Like a first round bye for bumps and bruises, but after that let the chips fall where they may.

  • Stevie D

    Looks like it’s not just the Linebackers looks like the D-Line getting push around

  • Jason Vancil

    Yep. He is still raw. Need another young talented guy to pair with him.

  • The Tony

    Yea like knowing where the ball is. Wallace beat him and he turned to look for the ball after it was caught. Obviously the roughing penalty too.

  • GravityWon

    The out of bounds hit was dumb. The tackle probably shouldn’t have resulted in a penalty.

  • Junaid

    pulled a coty on that one. HAHA

  • Carl Mendelius

    Talk about clock mismanagement. Tomlin almost lost the game by allowing two passes just before the final FG. He gave the Ravens their last series. Unbelievably dumb, dumb, dumb…… Other than that amazing win.

  • CP72

    If we had the defense from the first 6 weeks and the offense of the last four weeks we may have something.

  • Junaid

    yea was surprised we were throwing. especially the throw to grimble.

  • Iulo

    indeed… slow and rusty (due to the less activity)

  • DirtDawg1964

    Weird game for him. Some big moments. Big good. Big bad. He sure had a rough night at times but then looked like an All Pro at others.

  • CP72

    Is it time to move TJ Watt around to find him favorable match ups?

  • The Tony

    Back to back weeks the defensive line looked terrible. Cam and Tuitt really need to start getting home again. When they get consistent pressure, the whole defense plays better.

  • Jason Vancil

    It remains his weakness. I have given up on it improving.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Incredible!!

  • Junaid

    needs to play gronk next week

  • Mark

    Bud Houdini is very concerning!!

  • Junaid

    Heyward got this defense to rally

  • DirtDawg1964

    That was a bit of a surprise, but a 46 yard FG is no gimme. I don’t fault him for trying to get the first down. But the deep throw on second down was a bit of a mystery.

  • CP72

    Alright I some how have to find a way to go to bed.

  • GravityWon

    I like the idea of passing on 2nd down except Ben made a poor.choice with that lob pass.

    On 3rd i wanted them to run to take time off clock. Plus Ben almost got sacked.

  • Work Toward

    Who the lleh is tthis stevie D??

  • Iulo

    Cam is looking good…. but I agree, Tuitt is just playing below average
    it must be his worst year so far
    hargrave also didn’t look good

  • Ryan Alderman

    I saw that. Crazy!

  • Ryan Alderman

    That’s all you gotta say after a huge win like this!!?

  • nutty32

    Bud has been a huge disappointment. I thought he would break out and be at least as good as Worlids but he’s mostly a non-factor.

  • Mark

    Vance Glass McDonald concerns me but big ups to Jesse playing a very big game.

  • Ryan Alderman

    What else is wrong? Misery loves company, right?

  • Mark

    Yes we all love Deebo, but he no longer has the speed to get to the QB and cannot cover a snail. However, Bud has everything except he doesn’t have a heart!

  • Big Joe

    This defensive performance was awful. I hope our plan and energy is better next week. Brady and Gronk are going to eat up our ILBs and the slot if we don’t fix something. And Dupree playing inside of Tuitt still has me stumped; he loses edge containment every time then teams rip off long runs on us or the RB gets the edge on a swing pass. That particular scheme piece from Butler is awful.

  • AndyR34

    Negative Nancy!

  • Big Joe

    It’s Hargrave too. He was man-handled on so many plays by just one OL I was certain it was someone else wearing his jersey.

  • Mark

    His 2 personal foul penalties hurt the team and kept drives going for Ravens.

  • Hyped Up Hypocycloid

    It wasn’t the 10 second runoff rule that ended the game. That’s for an offensive penalty… You can’t make a timeout by having the ball go out of bounds. Once they reset the ball on the field, the clock starts immediately. Everyone forgot that and the clock ran out while the Ravens were huddling.

  • Stevie D

    So, you saying this is not the case with defensive. Maybe I watch different game.

    Sorry

  • Jason

    WATT OFF WIN

  • 2winz

    This game is over, and there’s plenty we could all say. I know people try to avoid the elephant in the room, but there are many like Stevie who don’t and to be honest, you and I both know that Stevie D is not wrong. We got lucky to have gotten the W here. If we lost, Jaguars would have had a real good shot at becoming the #2 seed. We had things turn out in our favor today. That’s not going to happen next week. We will really need Haden.

  • Jones

    Was okay with the first throw, but yelling at the second. I know they were going for the kill shot shot with the O since the D was suspect, but you’ve gotta make them burn that TO.

  • 2winz

    you may be right. If anything, it’s a bit too soon, he should enjoy the win but at the same time.. truth hurts and lets be real.. he’s not wrong lol

  • Chad Sanborn

    are we sure Haden is back?

  • Jaybird

    I can’t frigging sleep , no way . I took off tomorrow though.

  • Iulo

    Isaw only one bad point for the ofense which was terrific today
    why the the insistence to run to the middle, that got me sick.. consequences, 3 times 3 and out… can’t see it again

  • I4giveSteelers

    Im with you on your take…ive been watching for 38 years

  • 2winz

    That’s the thing.. will Haden be back in time? I’m not exactly sure he will be able to, though I really hope so.

  • Chris92021

    Good call. Either way, we won so I am ecstatic. That sack replaces Deebo’s sack against Alex Smith as the defensive play of the season so far.

  • I4giveSteelers

    I dont understand why you pay a guy to be a back up ilb, and then play a guy off the street

  • 2winz

    lol recall 2008 season xD this was the norm

  • I4giveSteelers

    umm before tonight he had like 20 snaps and had a sack

  • Chris

    I think the deep pass was a throw away because Ben was pressured quickly and he didn’t see anyone open. Also, don’t mind passing on that down regardless. Went aggressive on both plays. If the get even one completion they’re good.

  • Chris

    Yeah, but those calls against him we’re iffy. Didn’t mind the hit on Collins. Would rather have that penalty than another Cincy hands off moment like he had earlier in the game.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    One thing that stuck out to me was how AWFUL our kick returns were tonight. It looked to me as if the Ravens K was PURPOSELY kicking it short of the end zone so Bryant would have to return it.
    And OMG what an ugly spectacle THAT was!!
    If nowhere else we definitely missed JuJu there tonight!!!
    Yecchhh

  • Michael Mosgrove

    ben was texting charlie batch just now on the snr post game show busting his chops. hilarious.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i’m exhausted but i cant find the energy to get off my nice warm recliner and get to my bed.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    annnnd about 6 missed tackles and gave up at least 2 touchdowns. not to mention him bodyslamming whats his face when he didnt have the ball in his area.

  • Matt Manzo

    What a game!!!! I’ve never seen a Steelers team with so much resiliency!
    Defense F’d up a lot tonight, but the also held them when we needed it!

  • Sdale

    No word yet on that.

  • mhurk

    Agree, got to get #48 off the field, He is just taking up space. Wish They’d give Chick a chance.

  • Ryan Alderman

    Heck, no, I’m not disagreeing with you. Defense looked rough. They clearly miss Shazier and could use a shot of Haden right about now, too. Thing that gets me is they won the game, clinched the division, are currently leading the AFC as the No. 1 seed, and all you can talk about is how bad the defense looked.

  • Ryan Alderman

    If I was born a girl, I’d wear a dress…

    Point is why dwell on the negative initially? Why not at least enjoy the ride a little? Is it more fun to point out the negative than the positive? Not for me it isn’t. I have eyes. I can see just like everyone else that the defense is having issues, and why wouldn’t they? They lost arguably the best player in the league at his position and a stabilizing force in the back end.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Yeah I think kickers are being coached to kick it just short of the goal line this season, with the new rule of touchbacks being brought to the 25. Coverage units pretty frequently are able to pin teams down short of the 20, let alone the 25, so it’s a smart move.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Absolutely! That put us in a hole two or three times!
    One thing about the Ratbirds – they always are solid in that 3rd phase due to Harbaugh’s personal experience (even though he is the biggest whiners in coaching history).

  • corduroyninja

    I was wondering what the deal was. Getting all prepared for a Hail Mary try and then the game was just over.

  • Woodsworld

    Bud is an athlete, not a football player. I can see why he dropped in the draft. The opponents running game goes right at him, because he’s so busy acting like he’s getting to the QB, he never sets the edge.

  • Woodsworld

    Dupree is worthless as a football player.

  • 2winz

    lol idk what you being born a girl has to do with the rest of your response but ok.. right on lol

    but yeah youre right. there should be a rule.. enjoy the win for at least the night. next day is a new day, people can start moving on but before that, enjoy the win

  • NCSteel

    Also the most drama filled version of this team EVER !