PITTSBURGH • Shaun Suisham remains perfect. Now, his imperfect team is showing signs of pulling out of its massive early season hole.
He drilled a 42-yard field goal with no time remaining to lift the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 19-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Suisham’s fourth field goal of the day pushed the Steelers (2-4) to their second straight win after an 0-4 start
Ben Roethlisberger completed 17 of 23 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. He hit Antonio Brown for a pair of big gains on Pittsburgh’s final drive, putting Suisham well within range to win it. Running back Le’Veon Bell ran for a season-high 93 yards on 19 carries.
Joe Flacco passed for 215 yards and a touchdown but couldn’t stop the defending Super Bowl champions from losing for the third time in their last four games.
The Ravens trailed all day but finally ran the Steelers down when Flacco guided a 16-play, 73-yard drive that ended when the quarterback hit Clark in the back of the end zone to tie the game at 16 with 1:58 to go.
The Steelers nearly went back in front immediately when Emmanuel Sanders picked up the ensuing kickoff in the back of the end zone and raced down the right sideline all the way to the end zone. Officials, however, ruled he stepped out at the Pittsburgh 37.
In the end, it didn’t matter.
Roethlisberger led the Steelers 39 yards in seven plays, finding Brown for gains of 11 and 13 yards. Suisham remained perfect on the season, improving to 14 of 14 on the year when his kick went right down the middle.
One of the NFL’s best rivalries over the last five years is in the midst of a transition. Bold-faced names Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and James Harrison are gone and at the moment, both teams find themselves looking up in the standings at AFC North leader Cincinnati.
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs did his best to insist nothing had changed, though with more than a third of the players in uniform making their debut in the series, there was a general sense of decorum previous meetings lacked.
A sense of inventiveness too, at least by the Steelers. Looking to spark a running game that ranked 31st in the league coming in, Pittsburgh found a variety of ways to get the ball in Bell’s hands, even lining him up in the wildcat formation with Roethlisberger split out as a wide receiver.
Bell churned for 61 yards in the first half alone, higher than any Steelers back produced in an entire game coming in. The variety wasn’t limited to Bell. The Steelers took an early 7-0 lead when Roethlisberger flipped a shovel pass to Miller for a 3-yard touchdown.
The Ravens, who have spent most of the season flip-flopping impressive and inconsistent, looked more like the bunch that struggled against Green Bay and Buffalo than the one that blew out Houston and beat Miami on the road.
Still, Baltimore managed to pull within 10-6 at the half thanks to a rare mistake by Miller. The Pro Bowl tight end fumbled at the Pittsburgh 45 in the final minute of the second quarter and Matt Elam picked it up and returned it seven yards. The miscue gave Flacco enough time to get Baltimore in position for a 38-yard field goal by Tucker.
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