All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown caught a game-winning touchdown as the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens, 31-27, on Christmas Day in Pittsburgh.
The victory by the Steelers (10-5) earned them the AFC North division title, and eliminated the Ravens (8-7) from playoff contention.
Pittsburgh scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning drive. That drive started with a minute left in the fourth quarter and ended with Brown catching a pass at goal line and stretching the ball across the plane of the end zone for the score. Brown was stopped at the one-yard lline by Ravens safety Eric Weddle, but reached out with the ball before he was taken to the ground to score the touchdown.
A few minutes earlier, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco led his team on what appeared at the time as the game-winning drive. Baltimore had taken a 27-24 lead with 1:25 left in the game after fullback Kyle Juszczyk rushed for a 10-yard touchdown. Flacco was 30-of-44 for 262 yards and a touchdown pass to Steve Smith Sr., who finished with seven catches for 79 yards.
Despite ranking as one of the top defensive units in the league, the Ravens simply couldn’t come up with a stop to save their season. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 24-of-33 pass attempts for 279 yards and tossed three touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter. He overcame two bad interceptions thrown earlier in the game. Brown caught 10 passes for 96 yards and game-deciding score. But the most impressive player for Pittsburgh was running back Le’Veon Bell, who ran for 122 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, ripping through Baltimore’s top-ranked run defense.
The Steelers win also ended a four-game losing streak to their archrivals.
Next: The Ravens will try to avoid finishing with a losing record as they face the Bengals (5-9) in their season finale on Jan. 1 in Cincinnati.