Justin Tucker’s 46-yard kick in overtime lifted the Baltimore Ravens to a 26-23, come-from-behind victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at Heinz Field. Baltimore (3-2) is now all alone in first place in the AFC North division, while Pittsburgh is 1-4 after losing just their second game inside the division since the start of the 2017 season.
Baltimore raced out to a 10-0 first quarter lead before Pittsburgh trimmed the deficit to 17-13 at halftime. The Steelers’ comeback began on quarterback Mason Rudolph’s 35-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Pittsburgh’s defense set up the other six points on two interceptions off Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Despite losing Mason Rudolph in the third quarter to a concussion, the Steelers scored 10 more points in the second half behind backup quarterback Devlin Hodges. Chris Boswell, who made all three of his field goal attempts, gave the Steelers a 23-20 lead with 2:41 left.
Jackson, undaunted despite throwing three interceptions, drove Baltimore into field goal range before Tucker drilled a 48-yard kick to force the game to overtime. In overtime, the Steelers forced a punt on the Ravens’ first possession before Baltimore cornerback Marlon Humphrey forced a fumble of Smith-Schuster that was recovered in Pittsburgh territory. The Ravens’ offense picked up the necessary yards to set up Tucker’s 13th career game-winning kick.
Jackson, who improved to 9-3 as a starting quarterback, was more dangerous with his legs than he was with his arms on Sunday, leading Baltimore with 70 rushing yards while throwing for just 161 yards. Rookie receiver Marquise Brown, who missed considerable time Sunday with an ankle injury, did catch a second quarter touchdown (his first score since Baltimore’s Week 1 blowout win over the Miami Dolphins) that gave the Ravens a 17-7 lead. Tight end Mark Andrews also had a solid effort while leading Baltimore with five receptions.
Rudolph excited the game after going 13 of 20 for 131 yards. Hodges, who made his NFL regular season debut on Sunday, went 7 of 9 for 68 yards. Smith-Schuster led the Steelers with 75 yards on seven receptions.
Baltimore’s defense shut own Pittsburgh’s Wildcat offense, something that was extremely effective in the Steelers’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals last Monday night. Baltimore’s first touchdown was set up by linebacker Josh Bynes’ pick off a pass from Pittsburgh running back Jaylen Samuels, who attempted to throw a pass to James Conner out of the Wildcat.
The Ravens will now watch to see what happens Monday night between the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers. If Cleveland falls on the road, Baltimore will be all alone in first place in the North five weeks into the regular season.