Steelers Week 17 Recap: Steelers Top Ravens

Dec 25, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers (17) runs after a catch against Baltimore Ravens free safety Lardarius Webb (21) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers (17) runs after a catch against Baltimore Ravens free safety Lardarius Webb (21) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers did it. They beat the Ravens at home and secured the AFC North win and a spot in the playoffs. And what a game too.

The Steelers are the AFC North champs and have earned themselves a spot in the playoffs. In a great game filled with lead changes, the Steelers walked away winners against the Ravens Sunday evening. The Steelers are hot right when they need to be, when the playoffs are just around the corner. So let’s dive into what happened.

1st Quarter

The Ravens started off with the ball. Mike Wallace caught a 14 yard pass on the first play but they went three and out after that and punted. The Steelers started their first drive with a nice play too, a 10 yard Bell run. But they were able to continue their drive, aided by a unnecessary roughness penalty, all the way to the 20 yard line. Xavier Grimble then caught a 20 yard touchdown pass. Pittsburgh up 7-0.

Flacco did his patented ‘throw it as far as you can and see what happens’ move and Steve Smith pulled in a 44 yard pass and with an unnecessary roughness penalty added on it the Ravens went from their own 20 yard line to the Steelers 20 yard line 1 play. They settled for a field goal though. Pittsburgh up 7-3.

The Steelers had a 64 yard pass play to Brown called back due to offensive pass interference and even a 16 yard pass to Eli Rogers couldn’t get a first down and they punted. The Ravens had an 11 yard pass to Waller. Then a 23 yard run by Campanaro. Then another unnecessary roughness penalty got them to the 16 yard line. Finally, a stuffed run and a Lawrence Timmons sack stopped the drive and the Ravens kicked and missed.

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2nd Quarter

Bell started the quarter off with another nice bunch of runs but a few incomplete passes led to a punt. The Ravens started their drive hot too when a series of short passes and long runs was topped off with a 17 yard pass to Dixon. Then a holding call set them back and a Bud Dupree sack pushed them back into their own territory and forced a punt.

The Steelers again were taking short gains but fell short on a 3rd down and punted. The Ravens converted a third down with a 17 yard Pitta pass. A fumble was recovered to keep the drive alive. Then a 13 yard pass got them to the 23 yard line. A series of incomplete passes led to a kick finishing the half. Pittsburgh up 7-6.

3rd Quarter

The Steelers and Ravens decided at half time that they would each have roughly a great quarter. The Ravens went first and pursuant to that agreement, Roethlisberger threw an interception on the first play. The Ravens capitalized on starting on the 20 yard line with a third down 18 yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith, who also got the 2-point conversion. Ravens up 7-14.

The Steelers then gained a first down with some Bell runs and a Brown catch. But the highlight was a 39 yard pass to Eli Rogers. The Steelers got into the redzone but had to settle for a field goal. Ravens up 10-14.

The Ravens began the drive slowly moving up the field with Dixon runs and short passes. Then Flacco threw a short pass to West that he took 16 yards. They started back on the runs and short passes but a holding penalty stalled the drive and they kicked. Ravens up 10-17.

Then CJ Mosley intercepted a pass and brought it to the Pittsburgh 11. The defense saved the team 4 points though when the Ravens were forced to kick. Ravens up 20-10.

4th Quarter

The Ravens just scored three times and the Steelers once. Recall the halftime bargain though. Now the pattern would flip.

Roethlisberger threw a 21 yard pass to Jesse James. A 6 yard pass to Brown got them to the 50. Then Demarcus Ayers in his Steeler debut makes the key play when he draws a pass interference that gets them to the 15. Finally, and 8 yard Brown pass got Bell within range to finish the job. Ravens up 17-20.

The Steelers then held the Ravens to three and out. Le’Veon Bell started the drive with a 23 yard run. Then he ran for 13 yards. They were only taking big plays on this drive. Antonio Brown pulled in a 21 yard pass and then a 26 yard pass. Finally, a scrambling Ben flicked it to Bell who took it 7 yards to the endzone. Pittsburgh up 24-20.

The Ravens decided to use their score this round. There was an 11 yard pass to Pitta, a 9 yard one too. Perriman even caught one for 15. They mostly just used short passes and runs to go from their 25 to Pittsburgh’s 10. Then Juszczyk barreled threw the middle of the Steelers defense for a touchdown to take back the lead. Ravens up 24-27.

At this point their was only a minute and 18 seconds left to play. Roethlisberger started slow with a 3 yard pass to James. He warmed up with an 8 yard pass to Brown. Then back to James for 16 yards. A 9 yard Ayers catch was followed up by a 20 yard pass to Rogers.

The Steelers spiked the ball at the 19 with 41 seconds left. Cobi Hamilton caught a 6 yard pass. Final timeout. Jesse James caught a 9 yard pass. Spiked the ball. Then Brown caught a 4 yard pass and, though met with defenders at the goal line stretched his arm over the plain for the game winning score. Pittsburgh up 31-27.

Ryan Shazier intercepted the ball with time running out and that was the game. Steelers win the AFC North.

Next: Steelers Game Day Grub: Christmas Braciole

The game showed a lot of good things from Pittsburgh. Bell and Brown each had outstanding games, Bell with 122 rushing and 2 touchdowns and Brown having 96 yards and a score. The grit to win a game like this against a Ravens team that is better than the one they lost to earlier this season, described by Tomlin in his post game press conference as a “no blink mentality,” is what really won the game and the AFC North.