Personally, it’s hard to remember a game that had more emotional ups and downs than the Pittsburgh Steelers’ clash with the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field in December 2017 with the AFC North division title on the line.
That night at Heinz Field, in front of a Sunday Night Football national audience, the Steelers raced out to a 14-0 lead at home, but things unraveled from there.
Early in the game, Pittsburgh lined Bell out wide in the red zone. Roethlisberger took advantage of the matchup and found Bell from 20-yards out for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Bell then scored from 1-yard out on a run early in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead.
Baltimore roared back though as Joe Flacco found Chris Moore from 30 yards out to make it a 14-7 game. Steelers kicker Chris Boswell answered with a 52-yard field goal to make it 17-7, but Baltimore started to find its rhythm offensively as running back Alex Collins scored on the ground from 18 yards out to make it a 17-14 game.
For good measure, Boswell booted another field goal – this one from 43 yards – to give the Steelers a 20-14 lead at the half.
From there, the Ravens took over, scoring 17 unanswered points to take a 31-20 lead. Tucker kicked a 47-yard field goal, Javorius Allen scored from 1-yard out on the ground, and Flacco found fullback Patrick Ricard from 6 yards out to take an 11-point lead.
The Steelers responded though as Pittsburgh marched 80 yards in 15 plays for a 24-yard Boswell field goal. Then, Roethlisberger dialed up a deep ball to Antonio Brown to really spark the Steelers’ offense.
This deep ball down the right sideline to Brown showed the Steelers want they could do with Brown against Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr in the second half. More on that later.
Following Brown’s toe-tap catch to put the Steelers in the red zone, Roethlisberger turned to a little-used offensive weapon to put up six points.
Fullback Rosie Nix was never really used as a pass-catching fullback, but he sure came up clutch here, bailing out Roethlisberger in scramble mode, wrestling the ball away from Ravens safety Tony Jefferson for the score, making it a 31-29 game after a failed two-point conversion.
Just when it looked like the Steelers were going to mount an epic comeback, the Ravens marched 56 yards in six plays before Allen scored for the second time on the ground, this one from 9 yards out, making it a 38-29 game with just under seven minutes left in the game.
That comeback miraculously happened though.
Bell scored from 11 yards out to make it a 38-36 game, setting up a final drive for the Steelers late in the fourth quarter.
Pittsburgh dialed up another deep ball to Brown down the right sideline against Carr again, leading to a great throw by Roethlisberger and a terrific catch by Brown.
The strike set up Boswell’s go-ahead 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left.
Baltimore had one last gasp with the division title on the line, but rookie pass rusher TJ Watt had other plans.
Watt raced around the right edge, tracked down Flacco and stripped the ball from the veteran quarterback, sending the ball out of bounds. That let the clock roll, ending the game, giving the Steelers a thrilling comeback victory for the division title.
In that 2017 win, Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards and two touchdowns, while Brown hauled in 11 passes for 213 yards.