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Steelers lose to Ravens in final minute 17-14

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Joe Flacco hit T.J. Houshmandzahdeh for an 18-yard touchdown with 32 seconds remaining as the Ravens edged the Steelers 17-14 at Heinz Field. Ray Lewis intercepted Charlie Batch seconds later to seal the victory. Baltimore moves into first place in the AFC North with the win

Steelers 14 – Ravens 17
The Steelers dropped a tough game to a division rival at home, missing a chance for a perfect 4-0 start without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Too many penalties in too many key situations, coupled with an inability to cash in on major opportunities, eventually caught up with Pittsburgh as they dropped a close one to Baltimore in the final minute.

After a three-and-out by Pittsburgh to start the game, the Ravens chipped away at the Steelers defense on their first possession, but failed to put any points on the board as kicker Billy Cundiff missed on a 46-yard field goal attempt. A big third-down catch by WR Antwaan Randle El on the ensuing drive set up a one-yard touchdown plunge by RB Rashard Mendenhall, giving the team a 7-0 lead. The Ravens answered with a rushing touchdown of their own, a nine-yard score by RB Willis McGahee. Both teams stalled until Baltimore embarked on a long drive right before halftime which ended with a 33-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Ravens a 10-7 halftime lead.

Pittsburgh notched the first turnover of the game on the first drive of the second half as James Harrison forced a fumble which was recovered by Lawrence Timmons. Unfortunately, the offense went three-and-out and Jeff Reed missed a 49-yard field goal attempt. Three drives later, Ike Taylor came down with an interception, setting up the offense for another chance at some points. The offense stalled and Jeff Reed missed again, this time from 45 yards. After Baltimore went three-and-out, Pittsburgh’s offense finally began clicking, engineering a 93-yard touchdown drive ending on a seven-yard TD run by Mendenhall, giving the Steelers a 14-10 lead. Baltimore drove into the redzone in an attempt to take the lead, but the Pittsburgh defense held with a crucial stop on fourth down. However, the offense could not run out the clock, thanks to some timely Baltimore defense and some untimely Steelers penalties, forcing the defense back out onto the field. This time, the Ravens took advantage as QB Joe Flacco hit WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh for an 18-yard touchdown and a 17-14 lead. Charlie Batch and the Pittsburgh offense had one final chance to tie things up with 30 seconds left, but Ray Lewis came up with a game-sealing interception.

On the ground:
It was tough sledding against a defense that worked all week to shore up against the run. Rashard Mendenhall netted only 79 yards on 25 carries, but accounted for both of the team’s touchdowns as he received all of the work near the goal line.

Through the air: Batch had a relatively quiet day, completing 12 of his 21 passes for 141 yards with one interception at the very end of the game. Antwaan Randle El led the team with two catches and 50 yards, including a 34-yard reception that set up one of the team’s touchdowns. Heath Miller, who had two catches for 34 yards, was the only other receiver to crack the 25-yard mark.

Pittsburgh’s defense forced two turnovers and made one big goal-line stand near the end of the game, but also failed to get consistent pressure on QB Joe Flacco. Casey Hampton registered the team’s only sack early in the game. He forced a fumble on the same hit but it was recovered by the Ravens. James Harrison had a forced fumble, Lawrence Timmons notched a fumble recovery, and Ike Taylor came down with an interception. Timmons led the team with 13 total tackles.

Jeff Reed had a forgettable day, missing both of his field goal attempts (from 45 and 49 yards, both in a swirling wind) and mishitting a kickoff late, giving Baltimore better than average field position in a crucial game situation. Daniel Sepulveda had five punts for a 49.4 yard average. Antonio Brown registered two kickoff returns and a 22.5 yard average. Antwaan Randle El had two punt returns for a 2.0 yard average, but nearly fumbled away one of them.

Rashard Mendenhall did his job against one of the toughest run defenses in the league. The gains weren’t huge but he ran well when it mattered and scored the team’s only two touchdowns. He was the brightest spot for the Steelers on Sunday.

The Steelers now enter their bye week. Ben Roethlisberger can resume contact with the team at 12:01 Monday morning. His first game will be Sunday, October 17, at home against the Cleveland Browns.


Even with a loss to Baltimore, I feel that we are still in great shape. We won 3 games without Ben Roethlisberger. Who in the world would have thought we could do that? Could the Colts win without Manning? Or how about the Saint without Brees? No. If the Colts lose Manning for 4 games, expect 1-3 record. I would say 2-2 for the Saints, but thats pushing it still. We managed to only lose 1 game without our number 1 quarterback. I say that is a great place to be. And now that we are coming up on our bye week, we can have our defence recharge, Ben can work his way back in, that have some time to make the trasition a smooth one, and I look for Ben to have a fairly solid year.

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