Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pittsburgh Steelers edge Baltimore Ravens 31-24 in AFC playoffs

PITTSBURGH — A most fitting comeback for Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers quarterback connected on a 58-yard pass to rookie Antonio Brown with less than two minutes to go.

Four plays later in the rough-and-tumble matchup, Rashard Mendenhall scored from 2 yards with 1:33 left to lift the Steelers past the Ravens 31-24 in Saturday's AFC division playoff game.

Just before his biggest pass of the season, Roethlisberger said he told offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, " 'Let's send him. Let's just chuck it deep. If they pick it, it will be a pick way down there, just as good as a punt. … I just throw it as far as I can.' "

He did. Brown made the biggest catch of his life, and the Steelers (13-4) are a win from their third Super Bowl in six seasons. On Jan. 23, the Steelers either play at New England or at home against the New York Jets.

"It was kind of amazing," Brown said. "It kind of stuck to my shoulder."

Roethlisberger took some hits early but threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns before his big pass on third and 19.

It has been a rugged season for the Steelers quarterback. His life and reputation were in tatters 10 months ago after sexual assault allegations that weren't prosecuted. He was suspended for the first four games but returned to help his team finish with 12 victories and a first-round bye.

The third meeting this season between AFC North rivals had the usual skirmishes and penalties but also several key turnovers.

The Steelers allowed more points in a game only once this season yet won this one because Baltimore also surrendered the second-most points this season. The 55 combined points were the most in the past 18 meetings, including playoffs.

The Ravens led 21-7 at halftime but had minus-4 yards in offense in the third quarter and 28 yards in the second half.

Baltimore led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter on an odd play. Defensive end Cory Redding returned Roethlisberger's fumble for a touchdown. The ball lay on the ground for a few seconds as both teams thought the play was an incompletion, but Redding picked it up and ran 13 yards.

With Baltimore up 21-7, Steelers safety Ryan Clark forced a rare fumble by running back Ray Rice on a screen pass, and linebacker LaMarr Woodley recovered at the 23. The play ignited Pittsburgh's rally.

"We felt good at the half," Rice said. "Our defense had them stopped, and I thought we were going to come out and handle our business. But then the situation happened — fumble, turnover, another turnover."

The Ravens' last chance ended when T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped a fourth-down pass at the Steelers 38 with 1:03 left.

"What better way to put the Ravens out of the tournament," Steelers receiver Hines Ward said. "They keep asking for us, and we keep putting them out of the tournament. They're going to be ticked about this for a long time."

Steelers 31

Ravens 24

Pittsburgh Steelers edge Baltimore Ravens 31-24 in AFC playoffs 01/15/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

  2. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000


    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Blake Snell
  4. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big


    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  5. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump


    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.