The Ravens have been eliminated from the playoffs and they can only hope to damage the Steelers playoff hopes right now. As we enter into the holiday season and into the third game of the Jimmy Clausen era, let's reflect upon another Ravens-Steelers matchup that had playoff implications and a happy ending.
The Ravens entered Week Nine of the 2011 season 5-2 looking to complete a season sweep against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The first half started out slowly, as both teams were only able to kick field goals. The Ravens would walk into halftime with a 9-6 lead.
The Ravens would increase that lead in the second half when Ray Rice scored a touchdown off of a four yard run. The Steelers would stage a comeback in the fourth quarter, with Rashard Mendenhall scoring a touchdown from one yard out and Ben Roethlisberger throwing a 25 yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace to give Pittsburgh the lead.
The Ravens would receive the kickoff but they would go three and out and have to punt. The Ravens defense was able to stand their ground and force the Steelers to punt at the Ravens 34. The Ravens were at their eight yard line with 2:24 on the clock with no time-outs and they needed a touchdown to win.
Flacco would respond with one of the best drives of his career. Flacco completed seven passes to four receivers, one on third and eight and another on fourth and one, on a remarkable 92 yard drive that was capped off by a 26 yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith with 0:14 left on the clock. The Steelers tried to comeback, but Ben Roethlishberger's pass to Mike Wallace was fumbled away at the Pittsburgh 40 and Paul Kruger would recover it and secure the win.
The Ravens swept the Steelers for the first time during the Harbaugh-Flacco era and they would go on to win their first AFC North title and get a first-round bye for the first time since 2006. Hopefully the Ravens can get back to those days soon.