Did the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl? No, but they did the next best thing. They scored the winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in the game’s final seconds for a 23-20 victory and a season sweep of their bitter rivals.
In a nationally televised game, against Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback Joe Flacco led another comeback that will echo around the league.
Flacco drove the Ravens 92 yards in two minutes, 16 seconds and shocked the Steelers with a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Torrey Smith with eight seconds remaining to win.
The Ravens are now 6-2 and in a first-place tie with the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North. They swept the Steelers for just the second time ever.
This was the signature win Flacco needed to go to the next level.
“This is a game for men. Nobody shined brighter than Joe Flacco,” head coach John Harbaugh said before drawing from Theodore Roosevelt.
“It’s not the critic who counts. It’s the man who is in the arena, whose face is covered with blood, sweat and dust. He will never be with those poor and timid who know no victory or defeat.”
Flacco now has eight career game-winning, fourth-quarter drives, including two in the past two weeks. Last week, the Ravens rallied from 21 points behind to defeat the Arizona Cardinals.
Critics have said that Joe Flacco is not yet an “elite” quarterback. Is he elite now?
“Maybe people will stop putting him down,” wide receiver Anquan Boldin said after the game.
“You take the second half of the Arizona game and this game and there hasn’t been a better quarterback in the NFL than Joe,” running back Ray Rice added.
Flacco finished last night’s contest 28-for-47 for 300 yards and one touchdown. He converted on 12 of 21 third downs. The game-winning pass came on third-and-10.
- Baltimore Ravens: With Sweep over Steelers, Is Flacco Finally over the Hump? (bleacherreport.com)
- Flacco leads Ravens over Steelers (nypost.com)
- Burke: Flacco rallies Ravens to 23-20 win over Steelers (nfl.si.com)
- Flacco Rallies Ravens Past Steelers 23-20 (abcnews.go.com)