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Steelers lose to Ravens, 26-14

The Steelers fell behind early, and despite tying the game, weren’t able to ever take the lead and lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 26-14, at Heinz Field.

The game was tied, 14-14, at halftime, but weren’t able to muster anything in the second half.

“Not enough play-making in the second half for us to secure victory,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “It really is as simple as that. They made the plays when they had the ball to maintain possession of it and move. We didn’t make enough plays quickly enough to get off the field. On offense we didn’t make enough plays to possess the ball. They dominated the time of possession and were able to control the game in the second half.

“We have to own it. We don’t like where we are. But we accept it. We understand it. It’s our doing. We have to keep working. We will do that. We won’t make excuses. Disappointing tonight. The sun will come up tomorrow. We will look at it, assess it, make necessary adjustments and things relative to our performance and who is available to us and get ready to roll again. That’s our story.”

Ben Roethlisberger was 27 for 47 for 274 yards, with just 50 yards passing in the second half. The offense also managed just 19 yards rushing and were two for 12 on third down.

“I didn’t make enough throws and we didn’t convert first downs,” said Roethlisberger. “We were terrible on third downs. That’s on me. We didn’t make enough plays in the second half.”

The Steelers won the toss but deferred to the second half, giving the Ravens the ball to start the game. Joe Flacco came out firing, taking the Ravens on an eight-play, 75-yard drive, completing four of four passes for 51 yards. He found John Brown for a 33-yard scoring strike, taking an early 7-0 lead.

Roethlisberger and company took over at their own 25-yard line after the touchdown, but the Ravens quickly got the ball back. Roethlisberger connected with Vance McDonald, and Tony Jefferson stripped the ball, causing a fumble. Jefferson originally was credited with a 31-yard touchdown return, but after review he was ruled down by contact.

The Ravens took advantage of the turnover. Flacco hit Chris Moore for 19 yards, and Lamar Jackson lined up at quarterback and ran for eight yards. Flacco hit Alex Collins in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown pass, extending their lead to 14-0.

The offense got clicking late in the first quarter, with Roethlisberger hitting JuJu Smith-Schuster for 38 yards. Roethlisberger completed consecutive passes to Ryan Switzer, for eight and six yards, and James Conner took it for one-yard on third-and-one. But on the ensuing third down, Brandon Carr broke up a pass to Smith-Schuster in the end zone. Chris Boswell got the Steelers on the board with a 34-yard field goal, to cut the lead to 14-3 early in the second quarter.

It looked like the Ravens were poised to extend their lead, when Sean Davis knocked the ball out of Collins’ hands and Terrell Edmunds recovered at the one-yard line.

With their backs against the wall, the offense got clicking again. Roethlisberger hit Jesse James for 23 yards, James Washington for four yards, and McDonald for 12 yards. He continued with the hot hand, hitting Smith-Shuster for 11 yards, and Switzer for six yards. Roethlisberger found Antonio Brown for 17 yards, but an illegal crackback block on Conner pushed them back 15 yards. Roethlisberger went back to Brown for nine and seven yards. The drive stalled after that, and they were forced to settle for a 39-yard field goal by Boswell, cutting the lead to 14-6.

The defense stepped up and held the Ravens on their ensuing drive, putting the ball right back in Roethlisberger’s hands. And this time he wasn’t coming up short of the end zone.

Roethlisberger hit McDonald for 11 yards, and it was the big guy who stepped up again. McDonald broke two tackles, then muscled his way as he carried two defenders on his back for a 33-yard gain. Roethlisberger capped the drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brown, adding a two-point conversion when he hit Conner, tying the game at 14-14, a score they would take into halftime.

The Ravens regained the lead in the third quarter when Justin Tucker hit a 47-yard field goal, putting them ahead, 17-14. The Ravens added to the lead, with Tucker hitting a 49-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter, extending it to 20-14.

A third unanswered field goal by Tucker gave the Ravens a 23-14 lead, and after Roethlisberger was intercepted by Anthony Levine, the Ravens added a fourth field goal for a 26-14 victory.

A detailed look at how they scored:

First Quarter: Steelers 0, Ravens 7
Scoring Play: Joe Flacco 33-yard touchdown pass to John Brown.
Scoring Summary: 8-75-4:15  

First Quarter: Steelers 0, Ravens 14
Scoring Play: Joe Flacco three-yard touchdown pass to Alex Collins.
Scoring Summary: 4-31-1:56

Second Quarter: Steelers 3, Ravens 14
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 34-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 12-69-5:26

Second Quarter: Steelers 6, Ravens 14
Scoring Play: Chris Boswell 39-yard field goal
Scoring Summary: 14-79-6:13

Second Quarter: Steelers 14, Ravens 14
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger 26-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger to James Conner for two-point conversion.
Scoring Summary: 5-76-1:58

Third Quarter: Steelers 14, Ravens 17
Scoring Play: Justin Tucker 47-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 12-51-3:26

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 14, Ravens 20
Scoring Play: Justin Tucker 49-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 11-37-6:15  

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 14, Ravens 23
Scoring Play: Justin Tucker 28-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 14-82-6:40   

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 14, Ravens 26
Scoring Play: Justin Tucker 31-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 5-14-1:19

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