Nick Laham/Getty Images
James Harrison with one of his three sacks on Joe Flacco in the AFC Divisional Round
After a historic battle two years prior, the Ravens and Steelers met in the playoffs for the sequel. This time in the divisional round. The physicality was guaranteed and did not disappoint. The quirkiness, turnovers and momentum shifts helped this battle play out like a Hollywood movie.
The first act of this war movie had the Steelers biggest antagonist counter Pittsburgh’s opening touchdown drive with 21 unanswered points. Heinz Field sounded more like PNC Park as the second quarter came to an end.
In yet another twist, Ravens’ running back Ray Rice coughed up the ball early in the third quarter. It was only his first fumble in over 400 attempts. The Steelers capitalized and cut the deficit in half.
Later in the third, similar to recent games against Baltimore, Dick LeBeau’s defense forced a Joe Flacco mistake. Ryan Clark, who played an extraordinary game that evening, intercepted Flacco’s overthrow. Minutes later, the game was tied and astonished looks filled the away team’s sideline.
The game was far from over and the teams entered the fourth quarter, nearing the climax of this epic battle. Tied at 24 with 2:06 left, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers faced a third-and-19.
Rookie Antonio Brown, who was in Coach Mike Tomlin’s doghouse much of the season, ran down a perfect bomb from his quarterback, barely holding onto it as he scampered out of bounds at the two-yard line. The game was truly playing out like a movie.
After Rashard Mendenhall finished off the drive with a touchdown run, the Ravens had one last chance. One last chance for the villain to finally end up on top.
Fourth-and-18 on the Steelers 44, it looked to be impossible. That certainly was not the case as Joe Flacco fired a bullet into the chest of TJ Houshmandzadeh, who ran a perfect 20-yard curl route.
Houshmandzadeh sat on his route, did not come back to the ball and dropped the potential first down. The game was over.
Another furious playoff comeback at home and the Steelers biggest adversary would crawl out of Heinz Field disappointed again. Like many Hollywood sequels, the result was not much different than the prior acts.
Steelers 31, Ravens 24