The Pittsburgh Steelers, right, and the Baltimore Ravens line up for a snap in the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tossed six touchdowns as the Pittsburgh Steelers routed the Baltimore Ravens, 42-23, on Nov. 2 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Pittsburgh (6-3) moved into a tie with the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North, while the Ravens (5-4) fell to the bottom of the division.
It was an epic night for Roethlisberger, who made NFL history by becoming the first quarterback to throw six touchdown passes in back-to-back games. Roethlisberger tossed six touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts in a 51-34 victory on Oct. 26.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) makes a touchdown catch past Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain (25) in the first quarter of the NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)
Baltimore actually got off to a better start than Pittsburgh, when quarterback Joe Flacco connected with speedy receiver Torrey Smith on a 35-yard touchdown bomb to give the Ravens an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Baltimore’s defense initially brought great pressure on Roethlisberger. The Steelers offense went three-and-out on their first three possessions, and Roethlisberger was sacked several times, including one possession in which he was sacked on three consecutive plays.
But the momentum swung for Pittsburgh in the second quarter, starting when Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro fumbled and Flacco tossed a careless interception, setting up back-to-back opportunities for the Steelers on a short field. Roethlisberger took advantage of both Ravens turnovers; tossing two touchdown passes to give Pittsburgh a 14-7 lead. Baltimore cut that lead to 14-10 after a 46-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker, but Roethlisberger answered with a 47-yard touchdown bomb to push the Steelers’ lead to 22-10 just before halftime.
Roethlisberger continued to work his magic in the second half, tossing three more touchdowns. His sixth and final touchdown came with less than two minutes remaining in the game when tight end Matt Spaeth slid behind Ravens’ coverage on fourth and two.
Roethlisberger finished the game 25-of-37 for 340 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions and a 136.3 passer rating. He now has 22 touchdowns to just three interceptions this season. Roethlisberger’s favorite target, receiver Antonio Brown, led Pittsburgh with 11 catches for 144 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown.
Flacco finished with decent numbers despite facing pressure from the Steelers’ pass rush; he competed 30 of 45 pass attempts for 303 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a 91.3 passer rating. Steelers’ former Defensive MVP linebacker James Harrison harassed Flacco all night and finished with two sacks and four quarterback hits; he became just the second player age 36 or older to record a multiple-sack game.
Baltimore will return home to M&T Bank Stadium on Nov. 9 to host the Tennessee Titans (2-6). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.