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Steelers fall to Ravens, 16-14

Chalk this game up to opportunities lost.

With Kenny Pickett knocked out of the game after being placed in concussion protocol early in the first quarter, Mitch Trubisky had an opportunity to show what he could do at quarterback once again for the Steelers.

But Trubisky was intercepted three times – all inside the Baltimore 20 – and the Ravens rushed for 215 yards as they snuck past the Steelers, 16-14, here at Acrisure Stadium Sunday.

Baltimore (9-4) was playing with some quarterback issues of its own. Starter Lamar Jackson was out for this game with a knee injury. His backup, Tyler Huntley, was then knocked from the game in the second half, leaving Anthony Brown, called up from the practice squad, to finish the game.

But with J.K. Dobbins returning from injured reserve on Saturday, Baltimore chose to ride its feature back in his first game back. Dobbins had 120 yards on 15 carries as the Ravens snapped a four-game losing streak to the Steelers.

"I don't think we got worn down, I think it was just a factor of not executing when we knew -- everybody in the stadium knew what they were going to do, and that was run the ball," said Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt.

The Steelers couldn't stop it. And that proved to be too much for the Steelers (5-8) to overcome, despite not allowing 100 yards passing in the game.

Pickett was sacked on third down of the Steelers' opening possession, escaping a blitzing Patrick Queen coming up the middle, only to be slammed to the ground by Roquan Smith.

He was taken to the medical tent and evaluated for a concussion. Pickett returned for the Steelers' next series – after Baltimore had gotten onto the board with a 42-yard Justin Tucker field goal – but did not return to the game after that.

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 14 game against the Baltimore Ravens at Acrisure Stadium

Meanwhile, the Ravens grabbed a 10-0 lead on their next possession after a 17-yard Pressley Harvin punt that bounced about 10 yards backward, giving Baltimore the ball at the Pittsburgh 48.

Dobbins broke off a 44-yard run on first down before being ridden out of bounds by Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, then scored from the 4 to give the Ravens a 10-0 lead.

Trubisky entered and connected on a 42-yard pass down the sideline to rookie wide receiver George Pickens, who then drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Najee Harris to trim the lead to 10-7.

The Ravens drove to the Pittsburgh 34 on their next possession early in the second quarter, but Huntley mishandled a handoff to wide receiver Devin Duvernay on an attempted fourth-down jet sweep and Baltimore turned the ball over on downs.

Trubisky again led the Steelers deep into Baltimore territory, but his pass to tight end Pat Freiermuth was intercepted by Smith at the 10, ending the threat.

"I was being aggressive, at times overly aggressive, probably forced that one, especially early on the downs on first and second," said Trubisky. "I've got to take care of the football so we can come away with points down there. That's on me."

The Ravens turned that miscue into a 35-yard Tucker field goal with 1:06 remaining in the first half for a 13-7 lead.

Trubisky again moved the Steelers downfield quickly, but was again intercepted deep in Baltimore territory, this time at the 8, on another pass intended for Freiermuth. Patrick Queen made the leaping interception, though Freiermuth was well-covered behind him.

The teams traded punts to open the second half, but on the Steelers' second possession of the half, they drove from inside their own 20 to midfield. But Trubisky's deep pass attempt to Diontae Johnson was intercepted by Marcus Williams at the 1-yard line, giving the Ravens their third turnover of the game.

The Steelers forced another Baltimore punt and again drove inside the Ravens' 20, but were forced to settle for a field goal attempt. But Chris Boswell's 40-yard attempt was deflected by 6-foot-8 defensive lineman Calais Campbell, sending the Steelers away without points again.

The Ravens continued churning out yardage on the ground after taking over the Baltimore 30, grinding their way into field goal range for a 30-yard field goal from Tucker that increased the advantage to 16-7 with 3:19 remaining in the game.

The Steelers quickly answered as Trubisky connected on a 37-yard pass to Johnson and was roughed by defensive lineman Justin Madubuike on the play, picking up a big chunk of yardage. That set up a 10-yard touchdown pass to Freiermuth that made it 16-14 with 2:30 remaining in the game.

On third-and-3 from the Pittsburgh 28, Gus Edwards picked up 6 yards off right tackle to seal the victory.

"(There was) really nothing mystical about it. We didn't do the things necessary to secure victory, particularly how these two teams come together and the nature of these match-ups, you know points are precious," said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. "We turned the ball over when we were in scoring territory a couple of times, taking points off the board. We allowed a known legendary guy to block a kick. He's probably the leading kick blocker, active kick blocker in the NFL, just get in there in the gap and blocked the kick, and then obviously we couldn't get the needed stop at the weightiest moment on defense."

Trubisky finished the game 22 of 36 for 276 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Johnson had six receptions for 82 yards, while Pickens had three for 78.