After quickly falling into a 14-0 hole, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to climb back out to tie the game by halftime, resetting the board. They also open the half with the ball. Ben Roethlisberger connected on a deep score to Antonio Brown, and Chris Boswell is also 2-for-2 on field goals. The Baltimore Ravens’ second score was set up by a strip of Vance McDonald around the Steelers’ 30-yard line. Sean Davis forced a fumble at the goal line against the Ravens, which saved them at least three points.
Ryan Switzer, who had several short catches in the first half, returned the opening kickoff nearly to the 35. Roethlisberger started the half handing off to James Conner, who got about four yards off left end. On second and six, he added another four the other way. On third and short, showing a bunch formation to the left, it was an ugly screen pass to Switzer, who fielded the pass going to the ground for a loss. Terrell Suggs got in the lane to perhaps influence the pass. Jordan Berry punted to about the 21, the return going for five yards.
A couple of big gains from John Brown and Mark Andrews put the Ravens across midfield on their first possession of the half. Following a five-yard gain from Alex Collins, Flacco could not connect with Brown on a deep ball into the end zone, Joe Haden in coverage. Following a false start, he was incomplete again to Brown to the left side with Coty Sensabaugh in coverage. Brown slipped behind the cornerback. Sam Koch’s punt went for a rare touchback.
The Steelers’ second drive of the half began with a seven-yard pickup to JuJu Smith-Schuster. A quick hitter to Switzer picked up the three yards for a first down, hit immediately by Eric Weddle. This time he got the ball in some space for about 13 yards in an inside screen. He has seven receptions for 32 yards, an indication of the types of throws he sees.
Following a short gain from Brown for five, Switzer lined up next to Roethlisberger and got the carry, just for a yard. Roethlisberger whiffed on the third-down throw, however, to force another punt. Berry’s punt reached the 20-yard line, where it was fair caught. It was a 33-yard punt.
Michael Crabtree broke through a Haden tackle attempt for a 13-yard gain, Collins adding seven on the ground the following play. Crabtree dropped the ball on second down, his second of the day. Now third and three, Lamar Jackson came in under center, keeping the ball, and just getting the first. After a first-down throw to Mark Andrews, Haden broke up a would-be touchdown to Brown. Flacco was forced to throw it away on second down. Now third and 10, he had to throw quick but got it out to Tim White for the first down, a nice throw just outside the 30.
The drive stalled at that point, however, after a four-yard gain on the ground. A flat pass to Nick Boyle went incomplete, and Flacco was under pressure on an incompletion on third down. Justin Tucker connected from 47 yards out , giving the Ravens a 17-14 lead, the first points of the second half.
The Steelers followed up with a three-and-out, first a two-yard loss by Conner, then Roethlisberger losing the ball on a pump fake. He threw behind Brown over the middle. Berry’s punt was caught at the 31.
Marshal Yanda was flagged for a hold, but the Ravens ended up converting on third and 11, Snead getting ahead of Haden over the middle. Jackson got a couple of carries on the drive, coming up short on third and three. On fourth and a long yard, Moore took the handoff on a sweep that he cut inside for about three yards.
Williams was good for five yards. Flacco was sacked by Javon Hargrave on second down for a loss of two as he tried to scramble. Now third and from the 37, Snead was stopped short but into field goal range. Tucker connected to make it 20-14 from 49 yards out.
Following a touchback, Conner got out in some space for the first time tonight with a 13-yard reception. Roethlisberger missed him to the right on the subsequent play. Smith-Schuster went for five yards on second down. Now third and five, the offense showed five wide out of 11 personnel. Roethlisberger’s pass was broken up, off the mark, to force yet another punt, the third of the half..maybe the fourth? At least this punt pinned the Ravens inside the 10.
Following a Ravens edition of Renegade, Collins was stopped for a short gain on first down, but Stephon Tuitt was flagged for illegal hands to the face, putting the Ravens at the 14. Flacco juggled the snap but still got the pass off to Boyle for seven yards. Collins was lucky to pick up two yards to make it third and one. Williams was open over the middle for a nice gain and yards after the catch to convert.
At the 45, Allen got the ball for five yards, but the play was wiped out by a hold on Andrews. Back to the 37 on first and 18, a checkdown to Collins was able to add some good yardage to make it second and seven. Play action led to a pass to Boyle for 18 yards down to the Steelers’ 34, into field goal range. Collins was tackled hard following a four-yard gain as the clock ticked below six minutes. Vince Williams was injured on the play.
L.J. Fort replaced Williams. Allen picked up six yards for a new set of downs as the Ravens look to make it a two-possession game with under five minutes to play. Snead added another 10 yards over the middle against Haden, who got a couple fingers on it. Three plays later, on third and six, Flacco threw the ball out of the back of the end zone. Tucker made it a 23-14 game with 3:37 left on the clock, the Steelers with only two timeouts.
Following two incompletions, Roethlisberger tossed an interception to Anthony Levine, a player who is ordinarily a special teamer. The Ravens took over at the 27. Buck Allen pushed the pile for 12 yards, the vast majority of which was after contact. Terrell Edmunds was blown out of the gap. After a stop, the Steelers used their second timeout with 2:24 to play. After the two-minute warning, Tucker made it 26-14, the Steelers needing two touchdowns now with an onside kick recovery to boot.
Switzer took the ball out of the end zone on the kickoff and was stopped a the 16. From there, Roethlisberger went over the middle to Conner, who got out of bounds for nine yards. Tim Williams recorded a big sack on the following play. With 1:14 to play, he lost the ball trying to pump fake it once again. Now fourth and 10, his pass was tipped by Levine, ending the game with 1:03 remaining, two knees all that’s necessary to send the Steelers to 1-2-1.