Steelers Rally To Defeat Ravens 31-24, Advance In Playoffs

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – After a week’s worth of build up and hype, the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens faced off over at Heinz Field in a highly-anticipated playoff showdown Saturday.

It took a second half comeback, but the Steelers managed a 31-24 victory over the rival Ravens to advance to their fifth AFC championship game in 10 seasons next Sunday.

Trailing 21-7 at halftime after turnovers created two touchdowns by the Ravens; the Steelers turned things around, and came back with the help of three Baltimore turnovers in the third quarter.

Baltimore was outgained 263-126 and Joe Flacco was 16 of 30 for 125 yards as the Ravens became the eighth team in NFL playoff history to fail to gain at least 100 yards in the first three quarters. All eight teams lost.

Ben Roethlisberger went 19 of 32 for 226 yards as he beat the Ravens for the seventh successive time in a rivalry in which both teams had won twice by three-point margins during the last two seasons. The asterisk: Roethlisberger didn’t play in either Steelers loss.

During a penalty-filled first quarter, each team took advantage of a long pass interference penalty to score.

Josh Wilson’s 37-yard penalty for yanking on Mike Wallace led to Mendenhall’s 1-yard touchdown run on the Steelers’ first possession.

On a third-and-15 play, Steelers backup Anthony Madison’s 33-yard pass interference penalty set up Ray Rice’s 14-yard touchdown run up the middle to tie the score.

Then, things really got interesting.

After Roethlisberger threw incomplete on the Steelers’ first play following the kickoff, Terrell Suggs knocked the ball loose from the quarterback as he tried to get off a pass. Roethlisberger pump faked but, before he could bring his right arm forward, the ball came out.

As Suggs celebrated the apparent incompletion, the ball lay on the turf. Haloti Ngata was closest to it but no one touched it until an alert Cory Redding – realizing the whistle hadn’t blown – picked it up and ran it into the end zone from the 13.

Ryan Clark & Todd Heap

(Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Mendenhall fumbled on the Steelers’ subsequent possession, Ed Reed recovered and Flacco threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap. The Ravens were making it look easy in a rivalry in which no game is won easily. They should have known better.

With the Ravens up 21-7 at the start of the third quarter, Ryan Clark forced a rare fumble by Rice on a screen pass, and LaMarr Woodley recovered at the 23.

The play re-energized not just the Steelers, but the crowd of 64,879 black and gold faithful who had grown silent as Baltimore opened its two-touchdown lead in the first half.

Mendenhall ran for 14 yards before Roethlisberger’s nine-yard scoring pass to Heath Miller, who missed two games after sustaining a concussion on a hit by Jameel McClain during the Steelers’ 13-10 win in Baltimore last month.

Rashard Mendenhall

(Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Later in the quarter, Flacco overthrew tight end Heap, and Clark returned the interception 17 yards to the 25. Three plays later, Roethlisberger found Hines Ward for an eight-yard touchdown pass and it was tied at 21.

The Steelers rallied despite losing both starting tackles, Flozell Adams (illness) and Jonathan Scott (leg), forcing even more patching of an offensive line that lost its projected two tackle starters to injuries months ago.

Baltimore turned it over for the third time in nine minutes as center Matt Birk snapped the ball early to Flacco, who never got his hands on it. Defensive end Brett Keisel then recovered at the 23.

The drive stalled, but Shaun Suisham, who had missed earlier, converted a 35-yard field goal with 12:15 remaining to give the Steelers their first lead since their opening drive at 24-21.

An apparent Lardarius Webb punt return touchdown was negated by a holding penalty on Marcus Smith, but the Ravens – with only 36 yards of offense in the half to that point – tied it at 24 on Billy Cundiff’s 24-yard field goal with 3:54 remaining.

That was enough time for Roethlisberger though, who is known for excelling in fourth quarter comebacks.

The Steelers quarterback hit rookie Antonio Brown on a 58-yard pass play on third-and-19, and Mendenhall scored the game-winning touchdown from the 2 with 1:33 remaining.

The Ravens’ last chance to beat the Steelers ended when T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped Flacco’s fourth-down pass at the Steelers’ 38 with 1:03 remaining.

The AFC championship game will be played next Sunday – at New England if the Patriots beat the New York Jets, in Pittsburgh if the Jets win. The Steelers will be playing to reach the Super Bowl for third time in six seasons.

Stay with KDKA for more all the latest on the Steelers!

  • Steelers Fan

    Wake up STEELERS/ You had 2 weeks to rest

    • Al

      That’s the benefit of a bye week and it’s 1 week not 2. If Balti-morons would of been a better team they could of had a week to rest also.

    • Marilyn Troklus

      This should be called flag football, it is a joke, almost every play they throw a flag, let he guys play football

  • Marc

    Come on steelers!!!! We got this Pittsburgh

  • Steelers Fan

    Half time-Need a miracle !!

  • WayToGoPens09

    Come on Steelers. You are playing sloppy. Wake up!!!!

  • Anvil

    I think it goes without saying………….but the officiating has been horrible.

    Keep in mind, Jeff Tripplett and his crew are no strangers to controversial calls.

  • Steelers Fan

    3 rd quarter- Ben sacked again !!!!- I cannot believe this is our Steelers !

  • Steelers Fan

    Fumble- get moving Steelers – it is your turn now

  • Steelers Fan

    Yes !!! TD

  • Steelers Fan


  • Suzy McGrew Bailey

    let”s go steelers

  • Papap

    Steelers kick BUTT

  • WayToGoPens09

    Whew . . . . !!!

  • hc

    The two best football teams going at it. Great job Steelers. Baltimore, you are a great team as well and I would root for you if you won.

  • Marty's Morons

    Can we get a play from special teams without giving up big yards or a flag?

  • luis

    steelers suck……they got lucky is all

    • snoopdog

      and their quarterback is a rapist!

      • Mark

        And your an idiot cause without charges nothing sticks

      • suzi

        Ray Lewis is a MURDERER!!!!!!

  • Bryan

    Do you agree with the red flag challenge rules?? You get 2 challenges per game, but when you win one due to the referee’s mistake should you still lose a challenge? I feel the fair way to do this is: if you win a challenge due to a referee’s mistake, you should NOT lose one of your challenges.

  • The Wolf

    Baltimore has not learn from previous mistakes! You spread the Steeler Defense and you throw the ball, You brought in top veteran receivers and you don’t utilize your star players like Boldin who you specifically brought in to get you over the hump then you have them 3rd and 18th and don’t send in enough rushers to force a quick throw but instead you play prevent Defense which a backyard QB like Ben plays the game very well, in the midst of chaos he seems to shine…..remember he did the same thing to you last year, the year before. Any top QB in the league who has the weapons that Baltimore has would have won by double digits….Flacco is not the current answer, you need a QB and not a manager of a game, you can no longer rely on your aging defense

  • Jeremy

    HAHAHA I was just looking on Baltimore’s CBS site, and all it is is a gigantic argument between their fans, and I’m just chiiling here sipping a Pepsi reveling in the fact that we’re one game away from the Super Bowl!!! We can’t keep having first half’s like this game’s, but we slapped ourselves in the face and woke up! And Ward finally got a TD, it seems to have been awhile. I’m so pumped right now. GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ds

    The Patsy’s will stomp you guys LOL

    • Eileen

      ah, now what do you have to say????????????????????????

  • expittsburgh

    Loved watching the Raven fans take their own medicine. There were 5 of them in section 130 that were arrogant @sses the first half. But it was fun letting them know that they lost at the end of the game. Didn’t like the officiating, but it was a good game to be at!

  • Denny

    Would someone please tell Tunch to SHUT-UP. This guy goes on and on and on from the end of every play, to the begining of the next play non-stop!. Man is he annoying ! I understand your supposed to comment on things, BUT, come up for air once in a while ! Speak your mind, then shut up. He really takes all the fun out of -turning down the sound and turning up Hilgrove and Cope.

  • Connie

    What takes the fun out of the game is the horrible officiating. Statistics say it all. The Ravens had 100 yds in three quarters. Please if it weren’t for the bad calls, Ravens would have been shut out. I love the Steelers, they don’t hold 24/7, they don’t try and steal/strip balls, they just play the game. I loved the call on Heinz, the dude has him by the face mask and Heinz gets a personal foul. They don’t lose their minds because (the first half) of the bad calls and two TD’s, we came back and the Ravens lost their minds. That’s all the Ravens can do is talk trash. They have no class when it comes to playing the game of football, our Steelers are the greatest team on the field, win or lose, they play like the champions they are. Love Coach Tomlin at the end, he can definitely bust a move, he is too cool! Come on Jets, we want to play at home!! Kudos to the fans too, they rocked Heinz field today.

  • fafafooey1

    one more week till you bandwagoners jump back to the pens, not sure which team and or group of bandwagoners are more irritating. when they lose next week, will your monday morning drive be a lonely, hurtful one HAHAHAHAHA

    • Al

      Steeler fans are NOT bandwagon jumpers and NEVER will be. For all of you uninformed, uneducated idiots out there the Steelers have the biggest fan base out of all sports teams. Thru winning or losing seasons Steeler fans ALWAYS stick with the team. You must like the ravens or Patriots.

  • Snoopdog

    That’s it Pittsburgh, cheer for the rapist! That bum no matter how he plays should get kicked out of the NFL.

  • Coolio


    stfu and kthanxbye

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