Baltimore's defense came up with four huge late-game stops and Justin Tucker made it pay off.
The Ravens hope they’ll be looking back on Thursday night’s win as the turning point of their season.
Baltimore’s maligned defense came through with clutch stops time and time again andJustin Tucker delivered the victory with a game-winning 52-yard field goal in overtime for a 23-20 win at Heinz Field.
It’s a massive win for the Ravens as they teetered on the edge of 0-4. Now they’re halfway through a very challenging start to their schedule and have a chance at picking up momentum.
The Ravens defense came through with two big stops in the final four minutes of regulation, then blanked the Steelers twice on fourth down in overtime.
Baltimore’s offense didn’t always make it pay off, butcame through with enough chances.
Quarterback Joe Flacco made a couple big mistakes with an interception and fumble in the first half, but hit some tough passes in the face of pressure down the stretch. Baltimore’s running game got rolling as Justin Forsettrumbled for 150 yards on 27 carries, including 15 yards on the Ravens’ second drive in overtime to setup Tucker.
That’s when Flacco jogged to the sideline and told coaches to, “Let Tucker win the game.” Tucker nailed 40- and 42-yard field goals in the fourth quarter. His 52-yard game-winning boot was the longest at Heinz Field in five years.
On the flip side, Steelers kicker Josh Scobee missed two field goals in the fourth quarter, keeping the Ravens in the game. Pittsburgh was in field-goal range on its second drive in overtime, but opted not to send Scobee out for a 50-yard attempt.
Baltimore’s offense got the job done in overtime without top tight end Crockett Gillmore (calf) and wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. (back) and Michael Campanaro. The two receivers left the game after strong starts. Now the Ravens will have a long weekend to rest their bodies and enjoy their first, much-needed win of the season.
Quote Of The Day
"Just let Tucker win the game." --QB Joe Flacco
Turning Point Of The Game
The Ravens defense stepped up when faced with a fourth-and-1 from their 33-yard line in overtime. Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who had a brutal game less than a week earlier against Cincinnati, was close in coverage on the Steelers’ final incompletion, giving the Ravens the ball with good field position.
Campanaro showed his playmaking ability for the Ravens’ first points of the game. On third-and-2, he took a jet sweep handoff and made linebacker Arthur Moats miss in the open field when he was squared up to take a loss. Campanaro skated by one more defender and dove over another into the end zone for a 9-yard score to give the Ravens a 7-3 lead.
Baltimore was in position to take an early stranglehold on the game when Pittsburgh’s scheme fooled Flacco. Steelers cornerback Ross Crockell came off his man to undercut Smith as Flacco was releasing a pass. The ball came right to him for an easy interception. A sack by linebacker Daryl Smith knocked the Steelers out of field-goal range on the resulting drive, however.
The Steelers marched down the field on their next drive late in the second quarter. Quarterback Michael Vick scrambled twice for first downs and running back Le’Veon Bell capped it with a cross-field rushing touchdown of 11 yards, thanks in part to a tackle by one of his offensive linemen. The refs missed the holding call.
The Ravens trailed just 13-7 at halftime, and Baltimore had the first possession of the second half. On the first play, Flacco made his second poor decision of the game. Instead of throwing the ball away, Flacco tried to scramble for what would have been minimal yardage. He didn’t secure the ball and was stripped as he ran. Crockell recovered the bouncing ball while dragging his toes to stay in bounds. The Steelers turned Flacco’s fumble to start the second half into their second touchdown of the night.
The run game once again jumpstarted a Baltimore touchdown drive. Forsett opened it with a 33-yard rumble when given a huge hole behind right guard Marshal Yanda. Then Kamar Aiken stepped up, notching a 17-yard catch and run, then hauling in a 15-yard touchdown pass over his shoulder to cut the Steelers’ lead to 20-14 midway through the third quarter. It was a beautifully lofted pass by Flacco.
Head Coach John Harbaugh rolled the dice with a fake field goal from Pittsburgh’s 20-yard line. Holder Sam Koch pitched the ball to rookie tight end Nick Boyle, but the play was sniffed out and stopped 3 yards in the backfield by Steelers linebacker Sean Spence, turning the ball over on downs.
Cornerback Will Davis, who was acquired via trade last week, made a huge play breaking up a third-down pass to force a 49-yard field-goal attempt by Josh Scobee with two minutes, 29 seconds left in regulation. Scobee hooked it, giving the Ravens excellent starting position for a potential game-tying or game-winning drive.
With the Steelers blitzing, Flacco stood in and took a huge hit while delivering a 20-yard strike to Aiken. Forsett ran for 8 yards to put Tucker in better field-goal position for a 42-yarder to send the game into overtime.
The Steelers got the ball first in overtime and drove to the Ravens’ 39-yard line. They went for it on fourth-and-2, scrambling outside with Vick, but Baltimore’s defense swarmed and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil came up with the tackle short of the sticks.
RB Justin Forsett
The Ravens’ run game struggled through the first three games of the season, but Forsett and the offensive line got things moving in Pittsburgh. The group posted 191 yards of rushing on the day, including 150 yards on 27 carries from Forsett.
On The Horizon
The Ravens will have the weekend off, then return back home to M&T Bank Stadium to face the Cleveland Browns the following Sunday.