Reporting Rob Long
On Sunday, October 3, 2010, the Baltimore Ravens trailed 14-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Joe Flacco led his offense back onto the field with 55 seconds left with the ball on Pittsburgh’s 40 yard line. Four plays later, Flacco’s 18-yard pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh gave the Ravens a 17-14 lead and the win.
After the game, the talk was that Flacco defeated a Steelers team that was led by Charlie Batch, not Ben Roethlisberger. In fact, Joe had never defeated a Roethlisberger led Steelers team at that point in his career.
Fast forward to Saturday, January 15, 2011, same venue. The Ravens took a 21-7 lead into halftime. The Ravens used two forced turnovers and the Steelers missed a field goal on an 11-play drive. The Ravens had all of the momentum. All they had to do was hold onto the lead by not making any mistakes.
The Ravens made one mistake after another as they allowed the Steelers to get back into the game and ultimately win 31-24. Pittsburgh also won the season series over the Ravens 2 games to 1 with the only win being with Roethlisberger on suspension.
After the Ravens exacted some revenge at M&T Bank Stadium in week one, they still had one more task. They and Joe needed to beat the Steelers in their house with Ben under center.
The Ravens had control for the majority of Sunday night’s game, but once again, a turnover put the Steelers right back in the game. It seemed like it was the same old bad movie for Baltimore fans.
With the Steelers leading 20-16, it looked as if they were going to steal yet another one. Flacco and the offense got the ball back on their own eight yard line with 2:17 left, one timeout and the two minute warning.
After two dropped passes by Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, Joe Flacco finally got that win over a Ben Roethlisberger led team at Heinz Field. His 26-yard touchdown strike to Smith may have been a signature win for a quarterback who’s eaten by his own fans at times. There’s a lot of football to be played for this team, but a 300-yard performance against your rival in their stadium gives you a huge boost.