The first edition of Wednesday Afternoon Football wasn’t pretty, but the result for the Steelers was beautiful.
Pittsburgh shut down Baltimore’s offense in a 19-14 win to remain undefeated and improve to 11-0 on the season, taking another big step toward earning home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn’t have his sharpest game, but after an early interception he did what he needed to do, completing 36 of 51 passes for 266 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The Pittsburgh receivers dropped several catchable passes from Roethlisberger.
The Pittsburgh defense played very well, but late in the game linebacker Bud Dupree went down with an apparent knee injury.
Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III struggled mightily to throw the ball, but he did show that he still has the running ability that made him such a unique threat when he burst onto the scene with Washington in 2012. Griffin finished with 68 rushing yards but was abysmal throwing the ball, going 7-for-12 for 33 yards, with no touchdowns, one interception, one lost fumble and three sacks. Eventually he was injured and replaced by third-stringer Trace McSorley, who connected with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown on a 70-yard touchdown pass that made the game close in the end.
Griffin was starting for the league’s reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson, who is out after testing positive for COVID-19. The Ravens have had the league’s most serious COVID-19 outbreak, and there were concerns this game wouldn’t be played at all as it was delayed from its originally scheduled Thanksgiving night kickoff, to Sunday and then to Tuesday until finally being played tonight. The game was finally played this afternoon, and the NFL has now made it through 12 weeks without having to cancel a game. Barely.