Final/OT

Steelers 10

(6-10, 2-6 away)

Ravens 13

(10-6, 7-1 home)

8:30 PM ET, December 28, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 OT T
PIT 0 0 10 0 010
BAL 7 0 0 3 313

Ravens beat Steelers on 47-yd field goal

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Finishing second-best was fine with Jamal Lewis, who was delighted to at least get the chance to run his way into the NFL record book.

Lewis fell tantalizingly short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season record for yards rushing, in part because he was limited to five yards on eight carries after the third quarter.

But that didn't ruin a truly memorable day for the 2003 NFL rushing champion and the Baltimore Ravens, who beat Pittsburgh 13-10 in overtime Sunday night.

Earning the distinction of AFC North champions earlier in the day, the Ravens won on a 47-yard field goal by Matt Stover with 11:32 left in the extra session.

Lewis ran for 114 yards on 27 carries to finish the season with 2,066 yards rushing -- 39 yards short of Dickerson's mark of 2,105, set in 1984.

"I'm not disappointed," Lewis said. "The opportunity was there, and we went at it. My line, they blocked well. It was in reach but we didn't get it. I think second is good."

The result became meaningless when the Cincinnati Bengals lost to Cleveland earlier Sunday, clinching the division for the Ravens (10-6). Division champs for the first time in franchise history, Baltimore will open the postseason Saturday at home against the Tennessee Titans (12-4).

Because the game meant little to the Ravens, no one would have blamed Ravens coach Brian Billick for saving Lewis for the playoffs. But the starters played to the end.

"I am surprised Coach left me in the game," Lewis said.

"This is the Pittsburgh Steelers," Billick said. "You can't cheat the game, you can't cheat the fans."

Lewis reached the 2,000-yard mark with seven minutes elapsed, had 73 yards after the first quarter and 109 yards after three periods.

But he gained only 2 yards on six carries in the fourth quarter and got 3 yards in overtime to finish with the second-best rushing season in the history of the league.

"I didn't even want him to get to 2,000," Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter said. "He got the big runs early, so he got the 2,000. But we wasn't going to let him get the overall record. He got some yards, but he didn't get the record."

The only other players to reach 2,000 yards in a season are: Barry Sanders (2,053 in 1997); Terrell Davis (2,008 in 1998); and O.J. Simpson (2,003 in 1973, a 14-game season).

Dickerson was shown on television after the game holding up a handmade sign that said: "19 years and counting."

The Steelers (6-10) are done for the year after losing in Baltimore for the first time in seven games since 1996. Had Pittsburgh stuffed Lewis early in the game, the result might have been different.

"The first couple of series, he was running very well," Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher said. "Once we made some adjustments in the second quarter, I felt like we pretty much had him in control."

Pittsburgh's Jerome Bettis ran for 54 yards to move past Jim Brown into sixth on the career list with 12,353. Tony Dorsett ranks fifth with 12,739 yards.

"It seems like every week he's passing somebody," Cowher said. "He's a Hall of Fame running back, there's no question about it."

Lewis gave the Ravens a 7-0 lead with a 25-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. But Pittsburgh tied it in the third quarter when Chris Hope scored an 81-yard pass play from Josh Miller on a fake punt.

With the score tied at 10, Stover missed a 52-yard field goal try with 46 seconds left in regulation and teammate Wade Richey was short on a 51-yarder as time expired.

Lewis, who had never run for 100 yards against the Steelers, had 4 more yards in the first quarter than he gained in the opener in Pittsburgh.

He started the night needing 48 yards to make it to 2,000. Lewis reached the number -- exactly -- with a 9-yard run midway through the first quarter. Then he rambled 25 yards for the touchdown on the next play to pass Simpson and Davis.

There was no fanfare after the 9-yard run; the only acknowledgment of the feat was that the ball was removed from the game. But Lewis received a lengthy standing ovation after the touchdown, when it was announced he surpassed 2,000 yards rushing.

Lewis finished the season leading the NFL in total yardage from scrimmage with 2,271 yards.

"I love the guy," said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who had one of three interceptions against Tommy Maddox. "We just try to get turnovers just to see Jamal run."

Game notes


Ray Lewis set a team single-season record with 219 tackles. ... Pittsburgh's six road losses were its most since 1998. ... Baltimore punter Dave Zastudil broke his nose and got a minor concussion in the first half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Pittsburgh
Baltimore
1st Downs914
3rd down efficiency
3-154-16
4th down efficiency
1-30-0
Total Yards214279
Yards per play3.54.4
Total Drives00
Passing158151
Comp-Att
15-2916-27
Yards per pass
5.45.6
Interceptions thrown
31
Sacks-Yards Lost
5-312-12
Rushing56128
Rushing Attempts
2734
Yards per rush
2.13.8
Penalties3-4010-55
Turnovers52
Fumbles lost
21
Interceptions thrown
31
Possession30:2533:03

Passing Leaders

PITC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Maddox14/271084.0035-31
Miller1/18181.0100-0
BALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Wright16/271636.0012-12

Rushing Leaders

PITCARYDSAVGTDLG
Bettis23542.308
Zereoue310.303
BALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Lewis271144.2125
Taylor294.509

Receiving Leaders

PITRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hope18181.0181
Randle El6416.8013
BALRECYDSAVGTDLG
Robinson610217.0029
Taylor3217.0010

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPITBAL
TD8:20JAMAL LEWIS 25 YD RUN (MATT STOVER KICK)
Drive: 2 plays, 34 yds, :35
07
THIRD QUARTERPITBAL
TD7:15CHRIS HOPE 81 YD PASS FROM JOSH MILLER (JEFF REED KICK)
Drive: 4 plays, 90 yds, 1:36
77
FG12:30JEFF REED 42 YD
Drive: 6 plays, 19 yds, 3:19
107
FOURTH QUARTERPITBAL
FG1:25MATT STOVER 46 YD
Drive: 7 plays, 37 yds, 3:55
1010
OVERTIMEPITBAL
FG3:28MATT STOVER 47 YD
Drive: 5 plays, 35 yds, 2:12
1013