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A tough fight to win the AFC North

Steelers 13, Baltimore Ravens 9
December 14, 2008
M&T Bank Stadium

The Steelers clinched the AFC North in a place where the battle for the division is always a bitter one, Baltimore.

"We fought all the way through, and it's great to win here in Baltimore," said Hines Ward. "It's great to be the division champions after the tough schedule that we've played and the way we've had to battle to win games all season."

The Ravens took an early lead on a Matt Stover field goal, and the Steelers answered when Jeff Reed hit one of his own.

For almost four quarters neither team would reach the end zone, with Stover and Reed accounting for all scoring and Baltimore leading, 9-6.

But Santonio Holmes came through in the end, catching a four-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 43 seconds left in the game. Holmes caught the ball in the end zone, but it appeared the ball didn't cross the goal line, so he was ruled down at the one-yard line.

"I thought I got the ball in the end zone," Holmes said. "I caught it out in front of me but then I brought it in to a tuck position. In my mind, that meant the ball was in the end zone."

 After an official review, it was ruled a touchdown. 

In 2008 the Steelers defeated the Ravens in a regular season game 13-9.

"He had two feet down," said referee Walt Coleman postgame.  "When he gained control of the ball, the ball was breaking the plane."

The Steelers walked away with a 13-9 win, AFC North title, and a first-round playoff bye.

The defense got to Ravens' rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 11 of 28 passes for 115 yards, with two sacks and two interceptions for a quarterback rating of 22.2.

"When we play the Ravens, it's always a physical, hard-hitting game that comes down to the end," said William Gay. "These are two teams that don't like each other, but we do respect them, and I know that they respect us."

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