PITTSBURGH - Yet again, it looked like the Ravens had let a second-half lead against the Steelers slip away.
Up by 10 with 20 minutes left, the Ravens allowed 14 unanswered Steelers points, the final seven of which came when Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made something out of nothing, scrambling out of the pocket and finding wide receiver Mike Wallace for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
It all felt too familiar.
Then, Joe Flacco pulled some magic.
Flacco led the Ravens on late 13-play, 92-yard drive, and with just eight seconds left in regulation, Flacco hit rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith on a 26-yard touchdown pass in the back right corner of the end zone to stun the Steelers and give the Ravens a shocking victory.
The win moves the Ravens to 6-2 on the season and gives them their first sweep of the hated Steelers since 2006.
The Ravens will celebrate this one deep into the night, but it didn’t always look so promising.
As is usually the case when these two teams meet, the Ravens set things up for Pittsburgh with a key turnover in the fourth quarter. This one came midway through the fourth, when Flacco was hit by Steelers linebacker James Harrison and lost the football. The fumble was recovered by Pittsburgh cornerback William Gay, jump-starting the Steelers’ go-ahead scoring drive.
It looked like this would become the third time in four games against the Steelers that the Ravens would let a second half lead slip away.
Last December, a 10-3 fourth quarter lead turned into a 13-10 loss when Steelers safety Troy Polamalu forced a Flacco fumble in Baltimore territory, and fullback Isaac Redman scored the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing drive with under a minute left in regulation.
A month later, in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Ravens led 21-7 at halftime, but Pittsburgh outscored them 24-3 in the final 30 minutes to earn the win and move on to the AFC championship.
Tonight, it was a different story. Flacco led a comeback for the ages, and the Ravens overcame two big drops on their final drive to record the winning score.
One of those drops came by Smith in the end zone. The rookie let the potential game-winning TD pass go through his hands, but he sure made up for four plays later when he hauled in the winning score.
Lots more to talk about. First, time to head down to the locker room and get some postgame reactions.