Ravens 23

(6-2, 2-2 away)

Steelers 20

(6-3, 4-1 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, November 6, 2011

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA 

1 2 3 4 T
BAL 3 6 7 723
PIT 0 6 0 1420

Top Performers

Passing: B. Roethlisberger (PIT) - 330 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: R. Mendenhall (PIT) - 13 CAR, 52 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: A. Brown (PIT) - 5 REC, 109 YDS

Joe Flacco drives Ravens to series sweep of Steelers with last-second TD

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Torrey Smith's night began with a penalty that wiped out a long Baltimore touchdown.

It ended with a catch that gave the Ravens a season sweep of Pittsburgh.

Five plays after a sure scoring strike tipped off his fingers, the Baltimore rookie receiver held onto a 26-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco with 8 seconds remaining to lift the Ravens past the Steelers 23-20 on Sunday.

"For him to keep coming back to me, that meant a lot," Smith said.

Smith was flagged for holding on the game's first play, negating Ray Rice's 76-yard touchdown run. But he capped Baltimore's game-winning 92-yard drive by beating William Gay down the right sideline as the Ravens (6-2) snapped Pittsburgh's four-game winning streak.

Flacco finished with 300 yards passing and Baltimore swept the season series from the rival Steelers (6-3) for the first time since 2006.

"This Steelers-Ravens game is a game for men," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "This is a game for big men. You've got to shine bright in this game if you want to win this game. And nobody shined brighter than Joe Flacco in this game."

The Steelers appeared to be in control after rallying from a 10-point deficit to take a 20-16 lead with less than 5 minutes to go when Ben Roethlisberger hit Mike Wallace for a 25-yard score.

Pittsburgh's defense held once and the Steelers moved in range for Shaun Suisham to attempt a 47-yard field goal that could have bumped their lead to seven.

A delay of game penalty, however, pushed Pittsburgh back five yards and the Steelers opted to punt.

"I accept responsibility for that," coach Mike Tomlin said. "There was some hesitation on my part."

Flacco, who fumbled midway through the fourth quarter to set up Roethlisberger's strike to Wallace, atoned during a brilliant 13-play drive.

He converted a fourth-and-1 at the Pittsburgh 49 with less than a minute to go to keep Baltimore's hopes alive, and Smith made up for a drop with the biggest play of his young career.

The Steelers got the ball back with 8 seconds left but Antonio Brown fumbled a lateral from Wallace and the Ravens poured onto the Heinz Field turf in celebration.

How excited were the Ravens? Harbaugh received a cut on his chin after being dropped by Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome.

It's hard to blame the Ravens for their giddiness, particularly after two of their last three seasons ended on the same field.

"We swept them, but don't be fooled -- we'll see them again in January," Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "This is the only team in the world that can play like we play and match us blow for blow."

With one dramatic drive, Baltimore ended Pittsburgh's surge and moved into a tie with Cincinnati atop the AFC North.

Flacco, who had come under fire from his teammates for inconsistent play, completed 28 of 47 passes and kept his head late after spending much of the second half trying to avoid Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison.

The All-Pro sacked Flacco three times in his first game back after missing a month with a fractured orbital bone around his right eye, but Pittsburgh's pass rush disappeared on Baltimore's final drive. Given time to work, Flacco picked apart the NFL's top-ranked pass defense.

Gay couldn't stop Flacco from hitting Anquan Boldin on the crucial fourth down and then couldn't stay in front of Smith on the game-winning play.

"That was, on my part, the worst drive ever," Gay said.

And perhaps the finest moment of Flacco's career.

"You don't really have anything to lose," Flacco said. "You either score or you don't score. ... You take a couple of shots at the end zone and see what comes of it."

The Steelers trailed by 10 going into the fourth quarter but roared back behind Roethlisberger. Rashard Mendenhall scored from 1 yard out to pull Pittsburgh within 16-13 and Harrison swatted the ball out of Flacco's hand on Baltimore's next possession.

Gay recovered and Roethlisberger put the Steelers in front when he rolled right to avoid pressure and threw in the direction of Brown. Wallace streaked in front of his teammate for the score and Pittsburgh appeared to be on its way to avenging a 28-point loss to the Ravens in the season opener.

Roethlisberger finished with 330 yards passing to become the first Pittsburgh quarterback to top 300 in three consecutive games, but the Steelers' defense couldn't contain Flacco at the end.

Suggs picked off Roethlisberger's pass in the third quarter to preserve a 9-6 Baltimore lead. A dozen plays later, Rice darted in from 4 yards out to put the Ravens up 16-6.

The NFL's top-ranked defense couldn't make it hold up, though for once Flacco bailed the defense out in a relationship that's often been vice versa.

"In my eyes, to be totally honest with you, they're the defending AFC champs, so they're still the team to beat," Suggs said of the Steelers. "But if we're playing football throughout, we'll see them again in January. But they've got to come to our house."

Game notes

Steelers WR Hines Ward left in the second quarter with concussion-like symptoms after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Baltimore LB Ray Lewis. Tomlin called the injury "minor." ... Pittsburgh punter Jeremy Kapinos averaged 33.3 yards on three kicks a day after being signed to replace injured Dan Sepulveda, who is out for the season with a knee injury. ... Rice, who ran for more than 100 yards against the Steelers in the opener, was held to 43 yards on 18 carries. ... Smith finished with five receptions for 71 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2320
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7758
Total Yards356392
Yards per play4.66.8
Total Drives99
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-21-4
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

balFG8:10Billy Cundiff 18 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, -2 yds, 6:44
pitFG14:05Shaun Suisham 36 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 52 yds, 3:03
balFG9:28Billy Cundiff 43 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 34 yds, 4:28
pitFG1:05Shaun Suisham 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 49 yds, 4:34
balFG0:00Billy Cundiff 51 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 22 yds, 1:00
balTD4:27Ray Rice 4 Yard Run (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 47 yds, 6:09
pitTD14:32Rashard Mendenhall 1 Yard Run (Shaun Suisham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 95 yds, 4:28
pitTD4:59Mike Wallace 25 Yard Pass From Ben Roethlisberger (Shaun Suisham Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 58 yds, 2:21
balTD0:08Torrey Smith 26 Yard Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 92 yds, 2:09

Research Notes

Joe Flacco struggled in his first 5 trips to the Steel City, going just 1-4 and throwing for 176 yards per game. That wasn't the case Sunday night; Flacco completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 300 yards (career-high vs PIT) and the game winning score in the Ravens 23-20 come from behind victory.
NEXT LEVEL: Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 15 or more yards downfield on 32.4 percent his passes Sunday against the Ravens. When he faced them Week 1, only 19.5 percent of his throws traveled at least 15 yards. He passed for 105 more yards this week on throws of that distance than in Week 1.
NEXT LEVEL: Joe Flacco faced at least 5 defensive backs on 33 of his 50 dropbacks against the Steelers and threw for 267 of his 300 yards against those defenses. The Steelers used 5 or more DBs on every play of the Raven's 92-yard game-winning touchdown drive.

RavensThird-down efficiency was one of the keys to Baltimore's win Sunday night. The Ravens shredded the Steelers on the crucial down, gaining big yardage all the while.

Joe Flacco finishes with 300 yards passing and 0 interceptions - just the 5th QB to do that in a win at the Steelers since the merger:

ESPN Stats & Information