For a fifth straight game, the Baltimore Ravens played a game decided by three points or less as they held on to claim a 22-20 win over their archrivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving night Nov. 28 in Baltimore, Md.

Trailing 22-14, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tossed a short touchdown pass to receiver Jerricho Cotchery to cut the lead to 22-20 with less than a minute left in the game. Pittsburgh then attempted a two-point conversion to tie the game at 22-22, but Roethlisberger’s pass was dropped by receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the end zone.

The Steelers then attempted an onside kick, hoping to get the ball back one last time, but the kick was negated by an illegal touching penalty. Baltimore drained the final minute off the clock out to seal the victory.

Baltimore scored only one touchdown, a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to receiver Torrey Smith during the Ravens’ first possession of the game. The touchdown pass came after Flacco completed a 54-yard bomb to Smith to push the Ravens down near the goal line.

Flacco completed 24-of-35 passes for 251 yards, a touchdown and a 98.6 passer rating. Smith caught six passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

The rest of Baltimore’s 15 points came via five field goals made by Ravens’ second-year kicker Justin Tucker, the most important of which came in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh cut Baltimore’s lead to 19-14 with 9:32 left in the game, but the Ravens responded by driving the field to set up a clutch 48-yard field goal to push the lead to 22-14 with 5:37 left in the game. It also marked Tucker’s 26th consecutive successful field goal attempt.

Ravens safety James Ihedigbo led the team with 10 tackles and two pass deflections.

Roethlisberger completed 28-of-44 passes for 257 yards, two touchdowns and a 94.6 passer rating. Steelers tight end Heath Miller led his team with eight catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

Next-up: Baltimore improved their record to 6-6 and stayed alive in the hunt for an AFC wild card seed. Pittsburgh fell to 5-7. The Ravens will next face the Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1) on Dec. 8 in Baltimore, Md.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor