The Pittsburgh Steelers overcame a 13-3 second-half deficit to defeat the Baltimore Ravens 16-13 after quarterback Kenny Pickett evaded a sack and found running back Najee Harris for a 10-yard touchdown with 56 seconds remaining.
An ugly offensive night for the Ravens culminated with quarterback Tyler Huntley throwing an interception to Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick at the Pittsburgh 40-yard line with less than 20 seconds left during a desperate last-ditch attempt to set up a game-tying field goal.
The Ravens have struggled scoring since starting quarterback Lamar Jackson suffered a sprained PCL in the first quarter of his team's 10-9 win over the Denver Broncos on Dec. 4. Baltimore has now scored just 59 points (11.8 PPG) since that date.
On Sunday, Baltimore scored only three second-half points off a 51-yard Justin Tucker field goal with 9:31 left in the third quarter. Its final four drives went for a combined 44 yards.
Huntley has quarterbacked the Ravens for the vast majority of snaps since Jackson was declared out. He's completed 67 percent of his passes for 658 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in addition to 137 rushing yards and a score.
Those aren't good numbers, but in Huntley's defense, he's been asked to take on a gargantuan task filling in the 2019 NFL MVP's shoes in the middle of an AFC North race with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson was having a solid year (2,242 passing yards and 17 touchdowns; 764 rushing yards, three scores) before the injury. He is just 16th in quarterback rating, but his rushing productivity, as usual, made him one of the most valuable signal-callers in football. Any backup would have trouble trying to step in for Jackson.
Plus, the Ravens are going forth without two of their top playmakers in wideouts Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay, both of whom are out for the season with injuries.
But the offense just hasn't gotten it going at all. Kicker Justin Tucker and the Ravens defense have largely been carrying the team during this stretch sans Jackson, which has seen Baltimore go 3-2.
The defense and special teams weren't enough to overcome the Ravens amassing just 240 yards on the evening. Huntley completed just 14 of 21 passes for 130 yards, one touchdown and one interception. All players outside tight end Mark Andrews (nine catches, 100 yards) had just 30 receiving yards total.
During and after the game, Twitter noted how important Jackson, who is seeking a long-term contract, is to the team while lamenting the current state of the Ravens offense.
This offense is just horrible to watch......Greg has ran his course here.....we need a new and innovative OC who know how to balance play calls based on how the game is going and not how he feels he wants the plays to go. <a href="https://twitter.com/Ravens?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Ravens</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GORAVENS4LIFE?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GORAVENS4LIFE</a>
Baltimore is locked into the playoffs no matter what and will finish the season Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Ravens need to beat the Bengals and hope Cincinnati loses to the Buffalo Bills on Monday to secure the AFC North title.
Regardless of where they finish, the Ravens will play sometime during Wild Card Weekend (Jan. 14-16), so Jackson has a couple of weeks to return.