BALTIMORE – There are grow-up moments and then there are grown-up moments.
Last week in a 13-10 victory over the Raiders, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said his team's young offense had one of the former as Kenny Pickett drove the team for a game-winning score in the closing moments.
But leading a game-winning drive in the closing moments against the Ravens in Baltimore, well, that's a grown-up drive.
With their playoff lives on the line, the Steelers did just that Sunday night, as rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett directed an 80-yard scoring drive in the closing moments, throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Najee Harris to lift the Steelers to a 16-13 victory over the Ravens.
"I really thought we got a hold of ourselves at the half and had some real frank conversations and had the type of focus that was needed to finish the game out. For that, I'm thankful," said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. "I can't say enough about our young QB. He smiled in the face of it. He's always ready to be that guy in the moments that we need him. And it's just good to see the young guy. We marched forward."
The win, which evens the Steelers' record at 8-8, gives them a chance to make the playoffs, something that seemed improbable after a 2-6 start.
The Patriots and Seahawks took care of the Dolphins and Jets, respectively, earlier in the day, putting the Steelers into a situation where they kept their playoff hopes alive with a victory over the Ravens. Had either the Dolphins or Jets won on Sunday, the Steelers would have been eliminated from playoff contention regardless of the outcome of their game against the Ravens.
The Steelers now need to win next week and have Buffalo win or tie against the Patriots and the Jets beat the Dolphins or that game to end in a tie to reach the playoffs.
The Steelers trailed 13-9 when they forced a Baltimore (10-6) punt with 4:25 remaining.
But Pickett, who finished 15 of 27 for 168 yards, hit a pair of big passes, the first to tight end Pat Freiermuth for 20 yards to midfield, the second of 28 yards to wide receiver Steven Sims.
The pass to Sims put the ball at the Baltimore 22 and set up Pickett's third-down pass to Harris for the game-winner.
Harris finished with 22 carries for 111 yards, while Jaylen Warren added 76 yards on 12 carries as the Steelers outrushed the Ravens, 198-120.
Baltimore had rushed for 215 yards against the Steelers Dec. 11 in a 16-14 win.
The Steelers opened the game with a drive to the Baltimore 2, but Freiermuth was called for a false start on first-and-goal, pushing the ball back to the 7. Najee Harris got five of that back on a second-down run, but Pickett's pass to George Pickens on a fade was broken up by Ravens cornerback Brandon Stephens, forcing a field goal.
Chris Boswell made the short field goal, giving the Steelers a 3-0 lead as they scored points on their opening drive for the fourth time in the past six games.
The Ravens answered with a field goal drive of their own, getting a 30-yard field goal from Justin Tucker with 14:12 remaining in the second quarter to tie the game at 3-3 after just one possession by each team.
The Steelers had a promising drive going to answer, but Pickett slipped and fell on first-and-10 at his own 39. He connected with Diontae Johnson on second down to get 14 yards back, but rookie George Pickens was ruled to have stepped out of bounds before catching Pickens' next pass, negating a first down at the Baltimore 40.
Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 17 game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium
The Steelers had another opportunity to put points on the board on their next possession, but a 48-yard field goal attempt by Boswell hit the right upright, giving the Ravens the ball back at their own 38 with 3:30 remaining in the half.
They took advantage of that field position and an untimely penalty on Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward to take a 10-3 lead into the locker room.
On third-and-16 from the Pittsburgh 22, the Ravens ran a draw to J.K. Dobbins for 7 yards to the Pittsburgh 15. But as the players unpiled, Heyward was called for unnecessary roughness, giving the Ravens an automatic first down at the 7 with 11 seconds remaining in the half.
Heyward appeared to be pulled down while on the pile by Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley.
On the next play, Huntley threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Isaiah Likely.
With that score, despite outgaining the Ravens 142-129 in the first half and rushing for over 100 yards, the Steelers trailed Baltimore, 10-3.
The two teams traded field goal drives to open the second half, with the Ravens getting a 51-yard field goal from Tucker and the Steelers answering with a 51-yard field goal of their own from Boswell.
Pickett had two big third-down conversions during the field goal drive, connecting with Pickens on third-and-14 over the middle and then getting a third-and-4 conversion to rookie running back Warren for a 6-yard gain.
The Steelers got a stop on Baltimore's next possession with help from a Watt sack and forced a punt. But a holding penalty pushed the ball back to the Pittsburgh 5, giving the Steelers terrible field position.
But Harris ripped off runs of 9 and 15 yards to get the Steelers out from under the shadow of their own goalpost. The 80-yard drive stalled at the Baltimore 15, however, and Boswell kicked another field goal, this one from 33 yards to make it 13-9 with 9:44 remaining.
The Ravens got a 56-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, but Watt had a tackle for a loss on first down and Huntley threw a pair of incompletions to force a punt.
"(It was) very disappointing. That was a big drive for us right there," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. "We could have put the game away right there."
Instead, they left the door open and the Steelers kicked it in.
"It feels great. Obviously, that's our goal every season to make the playoffs, and we're one step closer to that goal," said Freiermuth. "We need some help, but we're right there. We've got to go win next week."