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Steelers outlast Ravens, 28-24

The Steelers started slowly but finished strong in Baltimore and improved to 7-0 with a 28-24 victory over the Ravens.

Baltimore fell to 5-2.

The game featured five lead changes, including three in the second half.

"This rivalry is what it is, man," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin observed.

Nose tackle Isaiah Buggs, who was playing due to a knee injury sustained by Tyson Alualu early in the game, came off a block and started to take Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to the ground short of the line to gain on fourth-and-3 from the Steelers' 8-yard line just inside the two-minute warning. Free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick helped finish Jackson off on the play, which resulted in a fumble and a recovery by inside linebacker Robert Spillane.

The Steelers were unable to generate a first down and punted the ball back to the Ravens with 52 seconds left in regulation.

The Ravens took over at their 37-yard line and drove to the Steelers' 23 with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter but Fitzpatrick successfully defended Jackson's last-gasp pass into the end zone for wide receiver Willie Snead IV, with help from cornerback Justin Layne.

"This wasn't our best defensive performance," defensive end Stephon Tuitt acknowledged. "But those two drives we had to stop them on was what's most important."

Added Spillane: "We knew what it was going to take to win the game."

The Steelers rallied from a 24-21, fourth-quarter deficit with an eight-play, 80-yard drive in 4:27 that ended on an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Chase Claypool. Kicker Chris Boswell's extra point gave the Steelers a 28-24 lead with 7:29 left in regulation.

The Ravens had re-taken the lead on their previous possession, an eight-play, 53-yard drive in 3:58 for a touchdown and a 24-21 advantage. Jackson finished the march with a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Marquise Brown. Kicker Justin Tucker converted with 11:56 left in the fourth.

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 8 game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium

The Steelers struck for two touchdowns on consecutive possessions in the third quarter that turned a 17-7 deficit into a 21-17 lead.

The first took advantage of a short field thanks to an interception by outside linebacker Alex Highsmith that set the Steelers up at the Ravens' 21 with 14:04 left in the third. Roethlisberger found tight end Eric Ebron wide open on a shallow cross on second-and-7 from the Ravens' 18 and Ebron cruised untouched into the end zone. Boswell's extra point trimmed the Baltimore lead to 17-14 with 13:21 left in the third.

After the defense produced a three-and-out, the Steelers drove 77 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown and their second lead of the game.

Running back James Conner finished the possession with a 1-yard touchdown run. Roethlisberger had found wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for 14 yards on second-and-13 from the Ravens' 15 just prior to the TD. Boswell's extra point put the Steelers ahead, 21-17, with 5:38 left in the third.

The Steelers gained 157 of their 221 total net yards in the second half.

Baltimore rushed for 265 yards and had 457 total net yards but came up 23 short.

"They punched us in the mouth," Ebron said. "We had to make adjustments.

"We fought our (backside) off."

The Steelers didn't produce any points on offense and only held the ball for 9:51 in a first half that ended with a 51-yard field goal by Tucker that increased Baltimore's lead to 17-7. Baltimore took over at its 8 with 3:44 left in the second quarter and was able to convert three third downs on a 15-play, 59-yard drive that exhausted the remainder of the first half.

The Ravens had taken a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Gus Edwards and Tucker's extra point with 7:24 left in the second quarter. Edwards' rumble into the end zone capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive in 5:18.

Baltimore tied the game at 7-7 on 6-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to wide receiver Miles Boykin and a Tucker extra point with 8:48 left in the first quarter. The Ravens moved 75 yards in nine plays and ate up 5:22 on their second possession of the game.

Baltimore's first possession on the afternoon ended on an interception and 33-yard return for a touchdown by Spillane. Boswell's extra point gave the Steelers a 7-0 lead just 54 seconds into the game.

The Ravens went 5-for-8 on third downs and gained 254 total net yards, including 179 on the ground, while possessing the ball for 20:09 in the first two quarters.

The Steelers allowed an average of 68.8 yards against on the ground over their first six games.

The Steelers went 0-for-3 on third downs and had 64 total net yards in the first 30 minutes.

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