The Steelers have themselves a winning streak.
Shaun Suisham’s 42-yard field goal at the whistle lifted Pittsburgh to a 19-16 win over the Ravens in a game that resembled many of the others in the rivalry between the two teams. It was physical football short on frills between two teams so evenly matched that the game ended with 287 yards for the Ravens and 286 yards for the home team.
The Steelers grabbed the last points after a drive that saw Ben Roethlisberger throw for two first downs after an Emmanuel Sanders kickoff return gave them the ball on their own 37-yard line. Pittsburgh got another first on an illegal contact penalty called on Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb and it added up to enough to set up Suisham’s big kick.
The Steelers were returning a kickoff because the Ravens had just completed a 16-play, 73-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark. It was the most impressive drive of the day for the Ravens, who had a hard time keeping the ball moving before that point against a very game Steelers defense. The Ravens defense was game as well, but Roethlisberger found enough gaps to get his team their second straight win. It helped that the running game chipped in 141 yards of their own, including 93 from rookie Le’Veon Bell
Ravens coach John Harbaugh will likely face some questions about the decision to try an onside kick after cutting the Steelers’ lead to 13-9 early in the fourth quarter. Kicker Justin Tucker didn’t get the ball to go 10 yards and the Ravens were offside, neither of which mattered since the Steelers recovered and needed just 18 yards to set up another Suisham field goal. The Steelers had put together several time-consuming drives on the day, which likely factored into the decision, but those points wound up proving costly in such a closely matched contest.
Ultimately, though, it was their inability to move the ball on offense that wound up doing them in. The loss drops the defending Super Bowl champs to 3-4 on the season and they’ll spend the bye trying to rectify that shortcoming. The Steelers, meanwhile, will travel to Oakland and try to continue grinding their way back into the playoff picture before the start of the second half.