Steelers top Ravens 17-10 to keep playoff hopes alive
Published 8:50 pm Saturday, January 6, 2024
BALTIMORE (AP) — Mason Rudolph threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson on the first play of the fourth quarter, and the Pittsburgh Steelers took a step toward the postseason with a 17-10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.
Rudolph led Pittsburgh (10-7) to three straight wins to close the season, and now the Steelers wait. They would make the playoffs Sunday if Buffalo loses to Miami, or Jacksonville loses to Tennessee. They also had a chance to clinch a berth if the Houston-Indianapolis game Saturday night ended in a tie.
There was some bad news for the Steelers. T.J. Watt — who had two sacks to take sole possession of the NFL lead with 19 — left in the third quarter with a knee injury.
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The Ravens (13-4) already had the top seed in the AFC locked up, and they held MVP favorite Lamar Jackson out of this game, along with a handful of other key players. Tyler Huntley started at quarterback, and both teams had a hard time moving the ball on a rainy, windy day.
With the score tied at 7, Rudolph found Johnson over the middle for the one big play Pittsburgh needed. After Baltimore’s Gus Edwards lost a fumble, the Steelers kicked a field goal with 3:13 remaining. The Ravens hadn’t trailed by more than seven points all season until then.
Justin Tucker kicked a field goal with 16 seconds left, but Baltimore couldn’t come up with the ensuing onside kick. The Ravens had a six-game winning streak snapped.
Rudolph was 18 of 20 for 152 yards.
Each team lost two fumbles.
Pittsburgh opened the scoring on a 6-yard touchdown run by Najee Harris in the first quarter. The Ravens didn’t manage a first down until the second, but they eventually tied it on a 27-yard scoring pass from Huntley to Isaiah Likely.
The Steelers have won seven of the last eight meetings with Baltimore, all of which were decided by seven points or fewer. Pittsburgh’s four consecutive wins at M&T Bank Stadium are the most by a visiting team since the Steelers themselves won five straight from 1998-2002.
Baltimore S Geno Stone left with a knee injury, and LB Del’Shawn Phillips hurt a shoulder. DL Brent Urban was evaluated for a concussion.
Steelers: Their postseason fate is in other teams’ hands now, but they did what they could down the stretch to salvage a spot.
Ravens: Baltimore will have a first-round bye before hosting its postseason opener.