The Pittsburgh Steelers withstood an ugly start to enter the second half trailing 17-13. Mason Rudolph has a 25-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, with two field goals by Chris Boswell. Lamar Jackson connected with Marquise Brown for one score, who was injured on the play, and Mark Ingram ran one in from four yards out. Jackson also threw interceptions to Kameron Kelly (off a deflection) and Mike Hilton), but despite those turnovers giving the offense good field position, they were only able to turn them into field goals. One of the Ravens’ touchdowns was set up by an interception thrown by…Jaylen Samuels.
The Ravens started first and five because of an offside. Mark Ingram got four on first down, and got two the next play. Later in the drive, Jackson flipped to Ingram for a big third-down conversion, but an illegal pick negated the play. On third and 13, he threw short to Andrews to force a punt. After an offside made it fourth and one, Jackson converted with a sneak. Nick Boyle looked to have a big downfield catch on the next play, but couldn’t hold on. Devin Bush nearly came down with it over the top.
Correction, it was ruled an interception. I think the Steelers got a gift there. Rudolph threw an incompletion on the first play after the turnover, and then James Conner was bottled up for a loss. Now third and long, Rudolph scrambled and made a huge throw to James Washington for a first down, but he suffered a vicious hit to the head that saw him concussed and unconscious well before he landed. A very scary moment. He was carted off the field. And amazingly, no flag on the helmet hit by Earl Thomas.
Conner spun his way for about seven on the first play after the injury, with Devlin Hodges now in at quarterback. On second and three, his first attempt was incomplete, but drew a short pass interference on Brandon Carr working against Washington. So technically not an official pass of record. Conner got the carry again for about two yards. He again threw in Washington’s direction, incomplete, looking like he came down on his shoulder as well. Now third down, he completed the ball to Diontae Johnson for a first down, later fumbling the ball out of bounds.
Now at the Ravens’ 19, Samuels in at the wildcat, the reverse to Johnny Holton, but he only picked up about four. Off the bootleg, Hodges got the ball out to Vance McDonald, turning the corner and getting down to the one-yard line. On first and goal, with Zach Banner eligible, Tyson Alualu at fullback, Conner put it in to give the Steelers their first lead of the game, 20-17.
Justice Hill was limited to three on first down. Hayden Hurst picked up a first down for 13 the next play. Jackson completed to Hurst for six. T.J. Watt chopped Ingram down for a loss of three on second down. Now third and seven, Jackson found Willie Snead for 10, Bush making the tackle, but a first down.
Across midfield, it was Snead again for a big catch down to the 23 off play action to end the third quarter. After a five-yard scramble, Jackson secured the first by juking both Vince Williams and Terrell Edmunds. Ridiculous play.
At the 13, Tyler Matakevich made a nice tackle on Marquise Brown to limit him to three yards. On second down, Jackson chucked the ball away after seeing a holding flag called, making it second and 17 from the 20. Stephon Tuitt was basically hip-tossed off the line. Hilton made the tackle on Snead after a short catch to set up a third and long. From the 15, Jackson threw short to Gus Edwards well short of a first, but Justin Tucker was able to tie the game at 20-20 with over 10 minutes to play.
Despite a bad return by Ryan Switzer, Hodges threw down the field for Smith-Schuster for 19 yards to start the drive, down to the 33. A hold negated a three-yard run on the following play. But he got 12 on the next play, following a pull by Foster. On second and eight, Hodges with time to throw was picked off by Earl Thomas, returning the ball to the 34. Tony Jefferson suffered a left knee injury on the play. After being injured, however, he was flagged for a defensive hold on the play, negating the interception. So a big break for the rookie quarterback.
Back at the 40, it’s Samuels with a burst for about six yards. Hodges converted to Smith-Schuster across midfield. Now at the Ravens’ 44, Conner was limited to three up the middle. Hodges’ home-run ball looking for Johnson was overthrown, the receiver called for offensive pass interference. Canady wasn’t too far from an interception there. Now facing second and 17, Samuels dropped a ball behind the line of scrimmage. On third and very long, Hodges threw short to Johnson for a gain of about eight. Berry back to punt, downed at the one by Artie Burns.
Renegade ensues. Defense on the field.
Minkah Fitzpatrick blew up Andrews on an incompletion on the first play, a clean hit but the tight end stayed down. He landed on his left side, perhaps a hip or shoulder. A bad pass by Jackson to Boyle allowed Williams to break it up. Now third and 10 from his own one, the second-year quarterback handed it off, with the back just barely able to get out of the end zone to avoid a safety. Koch’s punt from the back of the end zone was returned to the Ravens’ 45 by Switzer with 6:05 to play.
Conner started the drive with a one-yard gain before his forward progress was stopped. Hodges scrambled for 21 yards down to the 24. A hold on the Ravens added five yards to the end of the run, putting the Steelers into the red zone. Conner added four on the first play after the scramble with 4:40 to play. He was stopped after one yard on second down. Now third and five, Samuels caught a floater but for a loss, keeping the clock moving, allowing Chris Boswell to get on the field to retake the lead. From 33 yards out, extra-point distance, he was good, the Steelers retaking the lead at 23-20. 2:37 remains in the fourth quarter, the Ravens with two timeouts left.
Jackson was forced to scramble on first down for a short gain, Hilton forcing him out after two yards. From the 27, Hilton made the open-field tackle at the line of scrimmage, but Ola Adeniyi was flagged for roughing the passer, which looked like a bad call by the officials. That puts the Ravens at the 42, though it should be third and eight.
After a completion of 14 to Snead, Jackson flipped one to Ingram to the 40, pretty much in Tucker’s range at the two-minute warning. A couple of runs were able to put the Ravens inside the 30. Javon Hargrave got a sack for a short loss. On third and 10, Jackson heaved a deep shot out of bounds. From the 30, with 14 seconds to play, Tucker tied the game at 23 with 10 seconds to play, starting overtime.
The Steelers won the coin toss and elected to defend first, rather than have the opportunity to end the game with an opening-drive touchdown.
From the 25, Jackson handed off to Ingram, who was smacked hard for a loss by Tuitt. Hit right in the helmet, which might have been a penalty. On second and 11, Bud Dupree was ultimately the tackler of record on the sack, but it was Watt with the initial pressure. Now third and 15, Jackson threw into the flat, Holton chopping down Andrews for just a yard. A perfect defensive stand to start overtime, sending the Ravens’ offense backwards. Switzer called for a fair catch at about the 32, so not as great of field position as you might hope after a stop like that.
Conner started the Steelers’ first series of overtime with a three-yard run to the 35. Hodges completed to Smith-Schuster, but Humphrey punched the ball out and the Ravens recovered, giving Baltimore the ball in field goal range. Disaster, giving the Ravens the ball at the 34. Jackson scrambled for two yards on first down. Ingram got a couple more. After another short gain, Tucker came on to hit the game-winner, sending Pittsburgh to 1-4, near the bottom of the NFL, and propping the Ravens back up to 3-2 with the AFC North lead, pending the Browns’ results against San Francisco.