Ben Roethlisberger passed for more than 500 yards as the Pittsburgh Steelers edged out their arch-rival Baltimore Ravens, 39-38, on Sunday Night Football in Pittsburgh. 

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) plays in an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

The Ravens’ loss snapped a three-game winning streak and dropped their overall record back down to .500 at 7-7. The Ravens are currently in seventh place in the AFC standings, just outside of the last seed for the AFC playoffs. The Steelers improved to 12-2.

The Ravens Defense Didn’t Do Their Part

Heading into Sunday night, if someone told me that Baltimore was going to score 38 points, I would have told that person to put all the money they have on the Ravens, because 38 points would guarantee a blowout victory. Baltimore’s defense had been so good this year at keeping teams out of the end zone, and even recorded three shutouts wins. Yet they gave up 39 points and more than 500 yards to their most hated rivals? 

That’s just heartbreaking for Ravens fans. The team’s offense played so poorly for the majority of the season while the defense dominated, and as soon as the offense starts to get rolling, the defense falls off. The Ravens defense leads the league in creating turnovers, yet didn’t create a single one against the Steelers. They actually dropped two errant passes by Roethlisberger that should have been easy interceptions. Roethlisberger ended the night with 506 passing yards and two touchdowns on 44-of-66 passing attempts completed.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) plays in an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

“January Joe” Was On the Money Again

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco proved once again why he goes by the nickname “January Joe” with yet another solid performance as the postseason approaches. An inside joke floating around the Ravens locker room teases at how Flacco always seems to play at his best once the weather drops below the freezing point. It was certainly cold Sunday night at the hostile environment of Heinz Field when Flacco tossed two touchdown passes and led the Ravens in recording 413 yards of offense and nearly 40 points.

Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins (34) plays in an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Ravens running back Alex Collins also had an outstanding night, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Running back Buck Allen also scored two touchdowns for Baltimore. 

Next: Baltimore has just two games left to try and squeeze into the playoffs. They’ll face the Browns in Cleveland on Dec. 17. 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor