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Steelers edge Ravens 39-38; Claim AFC North Title

 

The phrase “Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.” Comes to mind when I think of the Sunday night’s Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens game as they needed to rebound from 11 and 8-point deficits to beat the Ravens 39-38. Once again it was K Chris Boswell that delivered the winning points as his 43-yard FG got it done.

The Steelers are now 11-2 and have clinched the AFC North Division Title for the second year in a row, 3rd in 4 years. They’re also on an 8-game winning streak. Boswell got it done, but it took the entire team to refuse to give up, especially after the determined Ravens ran over the Steelers for 152 yards and 3 TDs, 120 by RB Alex Collins.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger passed for 506 yards and 2 TDs. 213 went to WR Antonio Brown (11 catches), 97 to TE Jesse James (10 catches) and 77 to RB Le’Veon Bell (9 catches) in fact, Bell had 127 total yards with 3 TDs. Boswell was 4/4 from field goal range.

The defense was plagued by penalties and giving up the deep pass, but they were great when they had to be, especially on the game’s final play when rookie LB TJ Watt sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco as time expired. Flacco also played well as he passed for 269 yards, 2 TDs, and an interception.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens

 Heinz Field ▪ Sunday, December 10, 2017

A very emotional group in there. AFC North champs. We had Ryan Shazier on Facetime. He had an opportunity to share that moment with the team, and that’s a special thing. We did what we had to do to win tonight. Obviously, we’ve got some things that we need to work on, but we’ll work on those things in our AFC North hats and t-shirts. For that, we are thankful.

 

We had a few bumps and bruises along the way. Some of those guys were able to go back into the game. Le’Veon [Bell] had a quad and was able to go back into the game. [Alejandro] Villanueva had a shoulder and was able to go back into the game. Vance McDonald had a shoulder and was not able to go back into the game. Those things and others that may come up here in the next 24 (hours) – so we will update you on Tuesday.

Just very appreciative of the efforts of all the men in all three phases. Ben [Roethlisberger] was big time tonight. That probably goes without saying.

QB Ben Roethlisberger

Re: It was a sneaky 500-yard passing game.

It was. I had no idea. We needed everyone though.

Two incompletions with enough time on the clock, what brought that along?

The call came from the sideline and they brought kind of a heavy blitz on the first one. Kind of threw it to a spot where I knew maybe there was a chance that our guy could get it but It was kind of a safe spot to throw it to. That’s a play that was kind of a tough call to put a guy in position that hadn’t really been there throughout the week. The second one, really it’s about the same sort of thing. They brought the pressure. Just don’t take the sack. Just try to get it out of my hands there at the end because four, five, six yards could be a killer there.

Re: Finding ways to win compared to last year:

Well, I think championship teams find ways to win. Like you said in the past you felt like we couldn’t quite get over that hump for whatever reason. Got to love [Chris] Boswell. I hate that we put it on his shoulders, but there is no one I’d rather have doing it than him.

 

RE: The tight ends being open a lot:

We started the game in a two-tight end set and went to the no huddle. We were very successful with it. We felt like it created matchup problems. They were going to put linebackers on the field, and we like our tight ends against linebackers. Even late they started substituting and putting in a small guy, but the middle of the field just felt like it was open and our guys made plays.

WR Antonio Brown

Opening Statement

It’s a great feeling today to secure the AFC North. It’s an amazing feeling, especially for Ryan Shazier. One of our brothers couldn’t be out here today. Obviously, he is watching. We were just happy to be able to get it. It was an emotional win today at Heinz Field.

 

Re: Game on the line.

With the Ravens, they love their guys. They try to blitz us and we were able to attack those guys in that situation.

 

You guys came out with the spread and got away from it what happened?

We tried to get the no-huddle going which allows Ben [Roethlisberger] to call the plays he likes and see the defense to put us in some good situations. I think it was a great call. www.steelers.com

The Steelers will now face the New England Patriots next Sunday.

In other NFL Scores… In other AFC North action, Cincinnati fell to Chicago 33-7, and the 0-13 Browns fell to Green Bay 27-21 in OT. In other NFL action, Philadelphia beat the LA Rams 43-35 to clinch the NFC East Division, Jacksonville improved to 9-4 after beating Seattle 30-24, Kansas City beat Oakland 26-15, Dallas beat the NY Giants 30-10, Arizona beat Tennessee 12-7, Denver beat the NY Jets 23-0, the LA Chargers beat Washington 30-13, Detroit beat Tampa Bay 24-21, San Francisco beat Houston 26-16, Carolina beat Minnesota 31-24 and Buffalo needed overtime to beat Indianapolis 13-7.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

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