BALTIMORE – Because there’s still some life in the 37-year-old arm of Charlie Batch, the Pittsburgh Steelers remain alive in the AFC North.
Batch directed a 61-yard drive in the closing minutes and Shaun Suisham kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give the Steelers a 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Playing without injured Ben Roethlisberger for a third straight week, the Steelers turned to Batch for the second game in a row. The 15-year veteran went 25 for 36 for 276 yards, threw a touchdown and rallied the Steelers in a must-win game against their hated division rivals.
This is big. It was another opportunity for me to come out here and start, which is rare right now, said Batch, who was elevated to the top of the depth chart after backup Byron Leftwich was injured against Baltimore two weeks ago
Pittsburgh (7-5) snapped a two-game losing streak and kept alive its slim hopes of overtaking Baltimore (9-3) in the AFC North. The teams have split their games this season, with each winning by three points.
Seven of the last eight regular-season games between the teams have been decided by that same margin.
That was a typical Pittsburgh-Baltimore game, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
It’s amazing how it works out that way.
The Ravens could have clinched a playoff berth with a victory. Instead, Baltimore had its 15-game home winning streak snapped and also lost for the first time in 13 games against division foes. Baltimore’s last defeat at home was against Pittsburgh in December 2010.
This game didn’t determine the AFC North. We still can go ahead and win the division, said running back Ray Rice, who ran for 78 yards in only 12 carries. We’ll go ahead and try to get over this loss.
Batch outplayed Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who went 16 for 34 for 188 yards and fueled Pittsburgh’s comeback by losing a fumble in the fourth quarter.