Fourth-quarter comebacks are becoming second nature to Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Less than one week after engineering a 23-20 come-from-behind victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Roethlisberger brought the Steelers back from a 31-20 deficit to pull out a 39-38 win in the closing moments on Sunday evening against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Bengals and the Cleveland Browns both came away with “L”s on Sunday afternoon in Week 14, but that is where the similarities ended.
Cleveland scratched and clawed and fought and very nearly came away with its first victory of the season before seeing Green Bay rallied for a 27-21 victory in overtime. Cincinnati, meanwhile, quit. And if you don’t believe it, just look at the results.
The Bears, who came in as the worst offense in the National Football League, ran off 27 unanswered points en route to a 33-7 shellacking of the Bengals. Chicago finished with 482 total yards and ran up 29 first downs to snap a five-game losing skid.
Steelers vs Ravens
Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 500 yards on three separate occasions, and put together the 43rd game-winning, fourth-quarter drive of his career in leading the Steelers to the AFC North-clinching victory.
“Championship teams find a way to win,” Roethlisberger said after the game.
Pittsburgh started the winning drive at its own 17-yard-line, and began innocently enough with a Roethlisberger sack that moved the ball back to the 8. But then the magic of “Big Ben” took over.
Roethlisberger hit tight end Jesse James on three straight completions to move to his own 36, before a 34-yard completion to all-world wide receiver Antonio Brown put the Steelers in field goal range at the Baltimore 30-yard-line. Two plays later, Chris Boswell booted a 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left to provide the winning margin. A T.J. Watt strip sack of Joe Flacco ended it. Though, no one seemed to realize the game was over until moments later when the officials literally had to announce “the game is over”.
Roethlisberger finished with 506 yards on 44-of-66 passes with two touchdowns and an overall rating of 99.7. Brown had 213 yards receiving on 11 catches and James contributed 10 receptions for 97 yards. Le’Veon Bell managed only 48 yards rushing on 13 carries, but added nine receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Flacco completed 20 of 35 passes for 269 yards with two touchdowns and an interception to help put the Ravens in position for a victory, and Alex Collins added just the second 100-yard rushing game of his career when he finished with 120 yards on only 18 carries, for an average of 6.7 yards per carry.
Browns vs Packers
The Browns took a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter against the Packers, thanks in part to Josh Gordon’s first touchdown reception in 1,456 days. But Green Bay tied it on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Hundley to running back Devante Adams with only 17 seconds left to force the extra frame.
Josh Jones intercepted Cleveland quarterback DeShone Kizer on the third play of overtime to give the Packers the ball at the Browns’ 42-yard-line, and Hundley ended Cleveland’s hopes with a 25-yard scoring toss to Adams.
Kizer finished with 20 completions on 28 attempts for 214 yards and three touchdowns, but his two interceptions contributed to the Browns’ 13th loss of the season. Gordon finished with three receptions for 69 yards, and Kizer’s other two scoring strikes went to Corey Coleman, who has five catches for 62 yards, and Duke Johnson Jr., who contributed four receptions for 41 yards.
Isaiah Crowell turned in his first 100-yard game of the season in the losing effort, and finished with 121 yards on 19 carries for an average of 6.4 yards per carry.
Here’s a look at the updated AFC North standings heading into Week 15:
- Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2, 5-0 in division, 8-1 in AFC) - AFC North winners
- Baltimore Ravens (7-6, 2-2 in division, 5-4 in AFC)
- Cincinnati Bengals (5-8, 2-3 in division, 5-6 in AFC)
- Cleveland Browns (0-13, 0-4 in division, 0-10 in AFC) - Eliminated from playoff contention
NFL Draft order heading into Week 15
|6||Texans (pick belongs to CLE)||4||9||0||0.308||0.5121|
|Currently in playoffs|
|AFC Wild Card||Ravens||7||6||0||0.538||0.4589|
|AFC West||Chiefs (pick belongs to BUF)||7||6||0||0.538||0.4903|
|AFC WIld Card||Titans||8||5||0||0.615||0.4444|
|NFC Wild Card||Falcons||8||5||0||0.615||0.5534|
|NFC Wild Card||Panthers||9||4||0||0.692||0.5388|