BALTIMORE — The Steelers got two big stops in crunch time, as the defense twice stuffed Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the final two minutes to preserve a 28-24 victory over Baltimore on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Minkah Fitzpatrick broke up Jackson’s final pass attempt in the Steelers’ end zone with no time left on the clock, securing the Steelers’ victory and a 7-0 start to the season for Pittsburgh.
Fitzpatrick’s hard hit on Willie Snead was the second end zone stop for the Steelers defense late in the fourth quarter.
On the penultimate Ravens drive, Steelers backup lineman Isaiah Buggs reached off his block to grab Jackson on a designed quarterback run, and Vince Williams and Minkah Fitzpatrick came crashing down from the secondary. Fitzpatrick forced Jackson to fumble, and Robert Spillane grabbed the ball, securing the victory for the Steelers.
Buggs was in the game thanks to an early first quarter injury suffered by starting Steelers nose tackle Tyson Alualu. Alualu did not return after the knee injury. Cameron Heyward also left the game late with a lower-body injury.
Pittsburgh took the lead late in the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to rookie Chase Claypool, but the Ravens moved the ball down the field methodically, taking over five minutes off the clock.
Spillane intercepted Jackson on the opening drive of the game and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career and the first time Jackson has ever thrown a pick six.
The Steelers also intercepted Jackson in the third quarter, when rookie Alex Highsmith dropped into the flat and pulled down a leaping pick.
Roethlisberger hit Eric Ebron on a crossing route for an 18-yard score to cap the ensuing drive to make it 17-14 Baltimore after the Ravens had opened up a two-score margin.
After the Pittsburgh defense forced a three-and-out, James Conner capped a 10-play, 57-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown to put Pittsburgh ahead.
Jackson responded with a 3-yard scoring strike to Marquise Brown to give the Ravens a 24-21 lead, setting up Roethlisberger’s scoring strike to Claypool.
Roethlisberger finished with 182 yards on 21 of 32 passing and two touchdowns. Conner had 47 yards rushing on 15 carries, almost all of which came in the first half.
The Steelers are 7-0 for the first time since 1978 and will finish their three-game road swing with a visit to Dallas next Sunday.