Steelers 31, Baltimore Ravens 27
December 25, 2016
For the first time ever the Steelers played on Christmas Day, and they delivered the perfect gift to their fans.
By defeating the Baltimore Ravens, 31-27, the Steelers won the AFC North.
In 2016 the Steelers defeated the Ravens in a regular season game 31-27.
"Man, it's great to be AFC North Champs," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We tip our cap to the Ravens, they're a tough, tough opponent, not only today, but always. I like the mentality that the guys showed. We knew it was going to be a tough football game. It was just great to see the no-blink mentality, the competitive spirit. We helped one another. We were turning the ball over, the defense kept us in it there at the early portions of the second half. And then, we gave a drive up late and the offense responded. And that's just good team ball.
"All of the men are to be congratulated. It's significant. We punched our ticket. And that's an awesome thing."
And they punched their ticket in exciting fashion.
When the big guns were needed, they came though. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown were among the playmakers for the Steelers offense and on the final, pivotal, playoffs on the line, offensive drive, they came through.
The Steelers were down 27-24, with just 1:18 to play, after the Ravens scored a go-ahead touchdown. Roethlisberger, starting at his own 25-yard line, completed eight of eight passes, and spiked the ball twice, as he drove the offense down the field with incredible precision, completing passes to five different receivers.
But the play of the game, and possibly of the season, was a four-yard pass to Brown where he wouldn't be denied getting into the end zone for the 31-27 win. Brown, who looked like he was stopped short, extended his arm and got the ball over the goal line. And fittingly enough, it was the 50th touchdown the two combined for, the most ever by a quarterback-receiver combination in Steelers' history.
"No one stopped believing," said Roethlisberger. "It's pretty special the way we won it. Especially after feeling the way I felt at a certain point in that game and feeling like you let guys down and you blew it. So to come back and win it is pretty special."
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