PITTSBURGH — With a 3:40 p.m. kickoff on a weekday afternoon, there was plenty of weirdness built into the Steelers’ Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on Wednesday.
The Steelers added to it, as they muffed a punt, Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone, and the team’s receivers had a handful of key drops, several in the red zone.
But the Steelers leaned on their strong defense and got just enough production out of the offense to secure a 19-14 win over their AFC North rivals.
The Steelers jumped out to a 6-0 lead after a Joe Haden, but the most painful of Pittsburgh’s miscues let Baltimore, which was playing without over a dozen regulars due to a COVID-19 list, take an early lead.
Ray-Ray McCloud muffed a punt, giving Baltimore the ball at the Pittsburgh 16-yard line and the fill-in Ravens were able to punch it in. Running back Gus Edwards, who started with J.K. Dobbins and Mark Ingram both on the COVID-19 reserve list, scored from 1-yard out to give Baltimore a 7-6 lead.
The Steelers scuffled their way back into the lead on two short Chris Boswell field goals that were precipitated by red zone drops by the Steelers’ receivers.
The game remained 12-7 for most of the second and third quarters before the Steelers finally seemed to be able to break the game open late in the third, when Roethlisberger hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 1-yard score.
But Baltimore got right back into the game on a 70-yard strike from backup quarterback Trace McSorley to Marquise Brown, who beat Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick on his way into the end zone.
The Steelers struggled to run the ball all day, but needed to in the waning moments in order to run the clock out. Benny Snell had gains of 13 and seven yards to force the Ravens to burn their time outs and then converted a first down on 3rd and 1 with just over a minute to play to secure the victory.
Roethlisberger finished with 266 yards passing on 36 of 51 with one touchdown and one interception. Eric Ebron was his most prolific receiver, gaining 54 yards on seven catches. Chase Claypool had six for 52 and Diontae Johnson hauled in eight of his 13 targets for 46 yards.
The 11-0 Steelers will now have four days of rest and practice before hosting the Washington Football Team on Monday, Dec. 7.