"It doesn't matter," said linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had three tackles for losses and five quarterback hits in one of the best games of his career. They're going to be happy as hell on that airplane back to Pittsburgh. It doesn't matter. They got the 'W'."
Flacco and Boldin delivered a punch of their own later in the first quarter with a 92-yard drive, the longest given up by Pittsburgh this season. Backed up to his own 3-yard line, Flacco heaved a third-and-15 pass onto the outstretched hands of Boldin for a 61-yard strike, the longest play in Boldin's short Ravens' career.
The 10-play, seven-minute series that seemed to begin in Federal Hill ended with some creativity between Flacco and Boldin. Given great protection (six seconds to scan the field), Flacco waited for Boldin to elude two Steelers in the end zone before running wide open in the middle, where he caught a 14-yard touchdown pass.
It might have been the most prolific drive for a Ravens quarterback. Flacco completed all six of his passes for 103 yards.
The Ravens' defense was relentless on Roethlisberger, sacking him twice in the first half and pressuring him countless other times. Roethlisberger didn't take the snap from under center for most of the game because of his foot injury. He lined up four yards in the backfield in a mini-shotgun formation, but he was still a sitting target with his limited mobility and inability to extend plays like he's done so much in the past.
The Ravens shut out a team in the first half for the first time this season. Roethlisberger was either getting hit or failing to hit his receivers, overthrowing them and throwing behind them. He was 9-for-19 for 92 yards at halftime.
It's been a gritty effort for the Ravens considering the injuries. They lost tight end Todd Heap on the first play from scrimmage with a hamstring injury when he pulled up on a long incompletion and decided to go without a fullback (injured Pro Bowl player Le'Ron McClain couldn't play with an ankle injury and recently signed Jason McKie was scratched).
The Steelers opened the second half with their best drive of the game, but it ended with Roethlisberger's pass bouncing off the hands of rookie wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Shaun Suisham's 45-yard field goal, his fifth beyond 40 yards in two games for Pittsburgh, closed the Steelers to within 7-3.
The Ravens looked like they were going to respond with a touchdown after Flacco ran for 14 yards. A 5-yard illegal contact penalty on cornerback Ike Taylor on that play gave the Ravens first-and-goal from the 6-yard line.
But the Ravens couldn't capitalize in the red zone, perhaps because of a pre-game move. By not having a fullback active, the Ravens couldn't run the ball in the end zone and instead tried to spread out the Steelers.
Faced with pressure in his face on the first two downs, Flacco overthrew Boldin and tight end Ed Dickson on fade routes. On third down, Flacco had his pocket collapsing and rushed a throw that fell short to Ray Rice in the left flat.
Billy Cundiff's 24-yard field goal put the Ravens ahead, 10-3 with 7:13 left in the third quarter.
The Ravens' defense provided equal frustration to Pittsburgh, who could only manage a field goal out of a 16-play drive that took up 9 minutes, 20 seconds. With the Steelers at the Ravens' 2-yard line, linebacker Terrell Suggs dropped running back Isaac Redman for a 2-yard loss on first down and tackled Rashard Mendenhall for a 1-yard loss on second down.
Mike Wallace caught a quick, third-down pass, but cornerback Fabian Washington and safety Dawan Landry teamed up to stop the speedy wide receiver one yard short of the end zone. Suisham's 19-yard field goal inched Pittsburgh to 10-6 early in the fourth quarter.
"It's a heartbreaker. It's our rival," Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher said. "Pittsburgh, we want to beat those guys every time, and then we wanted to take control of the division. To lose this one, we're going to have to keep fighting for the rest of the year."
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