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!

Comments

One Comment

  1. Steelers Fan says:

    Wake up STEELERS/ You had 2 weeks to rest

    1. Al says:

      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.

    2. Marilyn Troklus says:

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

  2. Marc says:

    Come on steelers!!!! We got this Pittsburgh

  3. Steelers Fan says:

    Half time-Need a miracle !!

  4. WayToGoPens09 says:

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

  5. Anvil says:

    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.

  6. Steelers Fan says:

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

  7. Steelers Fan says:

    Fumble- get moving Steelers – it is your turn now

  8. Steelers Fan says:

    Yes !!! TD

  9. Steelers Fan says:

    GO STEELERS – YOU FINALLY WOKE UP !!!
    KEEP IT GOING !!!

  10. Suzy McGrew Bailey says:

    let”s go steelers

  11. Papap says:

    Steelers kick BUTT

  12. WayToGoPens09 says:

    Whew . . . . !!!

  13. hc says:

    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.

  14. Marty's Morons says:

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

  15. luis says:

    steelers suck……they got lucky is all

    1. snoopdog says:

      and their quarterback is a rapist!

      1. suzi says:

        Ray Lewis is a MURDERER!!!!!!

      2. Mark says:

        And your an idiot cause without charges nothing sticks

  16. Bryan says:

    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.

  17. The Wolf says:

    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

  18. Jeremy says:

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. ds says:

    The Patsy’s will stomp you guys LOL

    1. Eileen says:

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

  20. expittsburgh says:

    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!

  21. Denny says:

    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.

  22. Connie says:

    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.

  23. fafafooey1 says:

    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

    1. Al says:

      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.

  24. Snoopdog says:

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

  25. Coolio says:

    Poopdog

    stfu and kthanxbye

  26. mark says:

    some great D!!!! #92

  27. super NIG says:

    ALL u hillbilly burgh honkeys that watch the blackman win football games.Yuaall are so indesrimitive.I hate living here its racist and i the whites here hate me and my peoples.Even when shopping at giant eagles i get dirty looks,so im saying if you love the black man wearing black on the feild , love the blackman on the streets…its very hurt ful…..ty

    1. SuperSteelerFanFromFlorida says:

      Oh God, then PLEASE do us all a favor and go live somewhere else!!!!!!!!

  28. liveinbaltimorehatetheravens says:

    First of all – congratulations Steelers – it was an awesome game. If you want to see what an idiot Ravens coach Harbaugh is, there is a daily free newspaper called b free daily in baltimore. Web site bthesitedotcom. In the weekend edition dated 01 14 11, on page 12, Harbaugh is quoted as saying “I was glad we broke his nose” (meaning Roethlisberger’s nose).

    1. B.W. says:

      the steelers are LOSERS and will always be the catholic charties are hypocrits of the 3rd degree because god told them to bet wich they preach gambling and betting is a sin then they are big sinners and yes Ben needs to go away and rape another girl that seems like thats the only thing he can do

  29. Roman says:

    I got news for you haters, Ben is a changed man. Thats because he has repented, like so many of you haters need to do. He who judges will be Judged. The same is said for the women who throw themselves at Ben in the past. All were guilty, including Ben. But, Ben through his Faith, became a changed man. And, I am well pleased.

    1. B.W. says:

      Repent all he wants that doesn’t chane my mind once a rapists always a rapist it’s in his genes

  30. Francine BURD says:

    Francine ,thank-you Steelers for winning on my 60th birthday love u all very much.HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE GREAST FOOTBALL TEAM GBU ALL

  31. WayToGoPens09 says:

    Exciting game. Why did the network not show the military jets flyover???? Too many commercials that’s why. Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers!!!! Bye Bye Ravens . . . . .!!!

  32. Honeylmalik says:

    Way to Go Steelers & the byre week did help & everyone got healthy & rested & little scared in the first half . But we knew they would put it off & steelers football. God Bless !

  33. willie says:

    The world is going to hell and everyone gets excited about a football game. Economy sucks,unemployment,food prices going up, gas prices skyrocketing,Why care about a bunch of millionaires playing a game. Spend time with your kids, read a book, volunteer at a hospital, take a walk you fat people….2012 come on

    1. Tirade says:

      Butthurt Ravens fan spotted.

    2. Karen says:

      Well said Willie!

  34. Susan says:

    Troy was missing his MOJO!

  35. Eddie Yount says:

    willie u got issues

  36. Sofa King says:

    Willie, go cry in a corner somewhere and leave your stupid comments to yourself. No one cares, you ass.

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