Final/OT

Steelers 17

(6-5, 2-4 away)

Ravens 20

(6-5, 4-2 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, November 29, 2009

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD 

1 2 3 4 OT T
PIT 0 7 3 7 017
BAL 7 7 0 3 320

Top Performers

Passing: J. Flacco (BAL) - 289 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: R. Mendenhall (PIT) - 24 CAR, 95 YDS

Receiving: M. Clayton (BAL) - 7 REC, 129 YDS

Ravens intercept Steelers' third-string QB Dixon in overtime to claim victory

Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- In a fierce rivalry that has featured several of the most notable NFL players over the past 10 years, a couple of backups made their mark in memorable fashion.

Add third-string quarterback Dennis Dixon to a list of notable Pittsburgh Steelers that includes Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Plaxico Burress and Troy Polamalu.

Running Over Rival

Ray Rice had his third game of the season with more than 150 total yards to rally Baltimore past Pittsburgh in OT.

Most yards from scrimmage by Raven vs. Steelers
Player Year Yards Result
Qadry Ismail 1999 258 W, 31-24
Derrick Alexander 1996 198 W, 31-17
Ray Rice 2009 155 W, 20-17
Priest Holmes 2000 151 W, 16-0

Paul Kruger, welcome to a club that includes Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Tony Siragusa and Shannon Sharpe.

Kruger intercepted a Dixon pass to set up a 29-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 6:42 left in overtime, and the Baltimore Ravens outlasted the Steelers 20-17 on Sunday night.

Dixon started because Roethlisberger was sidelined with a concussion and backup Charlie Batch had a broken left wrist. Dixon had thrown only one pass in two seasons before getting the nod against the Ravens.

For much of the game, Dixon did his best impersonation of Roethlisberger. He threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, and even added a personal touch, running for a 24-yard touchdown to put Pittsburgh up 17-14 in the fourth quarter.

Walker: Season on brink

Clearly peeved, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin promised to "unleash hell" on the rest of the NFL in the month of December. Blog

"I like his demeanor throughout it all. He made some plays," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I thought he represented himself relatively well."

But in overtime, Dixon's lone turnover propelled the Ravens (6-5) to a much-needed win.

"This is a confidence booster. Not only against a great team with a great legacy, but a division opponent," said Ravens running back Ray Rice, who rallied Baltimore in overtime. "It sets us up for a five-game season right now."

Fast Facts

• Billy Cundiff's 29-yard field goal with 6:42 left in overtime ended the Steelers' streak of 12 straight wins in night games. Cundiff missed a 56-yarder that would have won the game in regulation.

• Paul Kruger's first career interception set up the game-winning score.

• In his first NFL start, Dennis Dixon finished 12 for 26 with 145 yards, one TD, a rushing TD and one interception. Dixon had thrown just one pass in his NFL career coming into the game.

• Joe Flacco finished 23 for 35 with 289 yards and one TD.

• The Steelers have lost three straight for the first time since 2006. Four of their five losses this season were when they had leads in the fourth quarter and their last two losses came in overtime on the road.

• Bloggers' reactions

-- ESPN Stats & Information

The Steelers (6-5) have lost three straight, their longest skid since a three-game run in 2006.

"We will not go gently," Tomlin said. "We won't go in a shell. We're going to go into attack mode, because that's what's required."

Playing in place of injured linebacker Terrell Suggs, Kruger picked off the pass and returned it 26 yards to the Pittsburgh 28, and six plays later Cundiff delivered the game-winner in Baltimore's first overtime win since November 2005 (against the Steelers).

"To be a part of that victory is huge for me," said Kruger, a rookie playing in only his fourth game. "It was a designed blitz. I was the dropper. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time."

Dixon said, "It was a situation where they were disguising the blitz throughout the whole game. We saw it. I basically tried to trust my instincts. The guy made a good play."

Pittsburgh's past two defeats have come in overtime. Dixon went 12 for 26 for 145 yards, and Rashard Mendenhall gained 95 yards on 24 carries.

"Please don't talk to me about moral victories and things of that nature," Tomlin said.

Joe Flacco completed 23 of 35 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown to keep Baltimore in the thick of the playoff hunt.

"You have to be ready to play 60 minutes. Today we played more than that," Flacco said. "It feels good. It's what we needed. Against these guys, it's even bigger."

The game was a rematch of last season's AFC championship, when the Steelers completed a three-game sweep of the Ravens with a 24-13 victory.

With Roethlisberger in full uniform looking on from the sideline as the third quarterback, Dixon ran around the right end for a touchdown on a third-and-5 from the Baltimore 24 to give the Steelers their first lead, 17-14, with 6:24 left.

But the Ravens came back. Facing a fourth-and-5 from his own 46, Flacco completed a 44-yard pass to Rice to set up a 24-yard field goal by Cundiff with 1:51 to go.

Cundiff came up short on a 56-yard try on the final play of regulation.

Pittsburgh closed to 14-10 in the third quarter when Jeff Reed kicked a 44-yard field goal to end a 24-yard drive that featured a 20-yard pass from Dixon to Mendenhall.

The Ravens went up 14-7 with an 89-yard drive late in the second quarter. Flacco completed passes of 11 and 54 yards to Mark Clayton before connecting with Derrick Mason for a 10-yard score.

Baltimore nearly picked off Dixon's first pass and forced a punt on Pittsburgh's first possession. Willis McGahee then capped a 73-yard drive with a 2-yard run, the Ravens' first touchdown on offense before halftime since Oct. 4.

On Pittsburgh's second drive, Dixon had an impromptu 31-yard run wiped out by holding. But there were no flaws the next time he got the ball: Dixon was 3 for 3 for 60 yards, including a touchdown pass to Holmes.

Game notes


Baltimore has won six of seven over Pittsburgh in Baltimore. ... Ravens LB Prescott Burgess (hamstring) and RB Le'Ron McClain (abdominal muscle) left the game and did not return. ... Dixon's TD run was the third by a Steelers QB this year.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
PIT
BAL
1st Downs1621
Passing 1st downs
612
Rushing 1st downs
98
1st downs from Penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
6-165-14
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays6469
Total Yards298393
Yards per play4.75.7
Total Drives1313
Passing145261
Comp - Att
12-2623-35
Yards per pass
5.67.5
Interceptions thrown
10
Sacks - Yards Lost
0-05-28
Rushing153132
Rushing Attempts
3829
Yards per rush
4.04.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-02-4
Penalties5-599-80
Turnovers12
Fumbles lost
02
Interceptions thrown
10
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession35:5632:22

Passing Leaders

PITC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Dixon12/261455.6110-0
BALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Flacco23/352898.3105-28

Rushing Leaders

PITCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mendenhall24954.0015
Dixon3279.0124
BALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rice19884.6019
McClain4287.009

Receiving Leaders

PITRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Holmes67412.313310
Ward34715.70226
BALRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Clayton712918.405410
Rice56713.40445

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPITBAL
balTD08:14Willis McGahee 2 Yd Run (Billy Cundiff Kick) 07
SECOND QUARTERPITBAL
pitTD14:11Santonio Holmes 33 Yd Pass From Dennis Dixon (Jeff Reed Kick) 77
balTD01:45Derrick Mason 10 Yd Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick) 714
THIRD QUARTERPITBAL
pitFG09:09Jeff Reed 44 Yd 1014
FOURTH QUARTERPITBAL
pitTD06:24Dennis Dixon 24 Yd Run (Jeff Reed Kick) 1714
balFG01:51Billy Cundiff 24 Yd 1717
OVERTIMEPITBAL
balFG06:42Billy Cundiff 29 Yd 1720