Rice returns lead to Ravens (Steelers win 23-20)

With less than five minutes to go in the third quarter, Ray Rice had been mostly invisible for this contest with 34 yards on his first 10 carries.

The Ravens’ star tailback reappeared in a massive way on his change-of-direction counter run for a 34-yard touchdown with 4:50 to go in the third quarter, returning the lead to Baltimore, 20-13.

That doubled Rice’s total to 68 yards on 11 carries, a far more acceptable figure.

In the process, Rice passed Willis McGahee for second place on the Ravens’ all-time list with his 32nd rushing touchdown. He still has a little ways to go to catch club leader Jamal Lewis, who had 45 rushing scores with Baltimore.

Update: Another set of traded turnovers put the Steelers in position to tie the game yet again, and they took advantage.

After getting the ball back at the Baltimore 27 following Joe Flacco’s fumble (which followed Ed Reed’s 61st career interception), Pittsburgh knotted the score at 20-20 on tight end Heath Miller’s 7-yard touchdown reception. It was upheld after review.

Miller is having an exceptional day, finding holes in the Ravens’ secondary to come up with five catches for 97 yards.

So, another close entry in the Ravens-Steelers series, as we’re down to 7:24 to go at M&T Bank Stadium.

Update II: Wasted timeouts and an inability to move the ball in the second half let the Steelers come back from down 10 to earn a 23-20 victory over the Ravens.

Shaun Suisham made a 42-yard field goal as time expired and Charlie Batch led Pittsburgh to its first win over the Ravens without Ben Roethlisberger.

The key play that positioned the Steelers for the win was Paul Kruger’s roughing the passer on a completion to Mike Wallace on the final drive. Those 15 yards put Pittsburgh inside the Baltimore 20.

The Ravens had no timeouts remaining because of one called on confusion early in the third quarter, one lost on a challenge and one lost on Chykie Brown’s injury with less than two minutes to go.

So the Steelers drained the last 6:14 off the clock and walked away with the win.

Baltimore slips to 9-3 while the Pittsburgh improves to 7-5, staying alive in the division race. No clinching today for the Ravens.