Billy Cundiff knows how to make amends.

After sending a 40-yard field-goal attempt wide right in the first quarter, the Ravens kicker booted two field goals in the second quarter, including a 51-yarder with no time remaining that gave the team a 9-6 lead at halftime.

Cundiff missed his second field goal in three games when his try with 2:08 left in the first quarter stayed wide right.

It was Cundiff's first mistake from under 50 yards since he sent a 37-yarder wide left in the Ravens' 26-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 7, 2010.

The unsuccessful try also snapped a streak of 32 consecutive field goals under 50 yards for Cundiff.

But he bounced back with field goals of 43 and 51 yards. The 51-yarder was his first successful attempt from 50 yards or beyond since a 56-yarder as a member of the Dallas Cowboys against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 20, 2005.

Cundiff, who is now 20-of-24 this season, also converted his first 50-yarder in his last eight attempts.

Cundiff, who went to his first Pro Bowl last year, missed just three field goals in 2010.

Grubbs, Ngata, Birk active vs. Steelers

The Ravens got a morale boost with the return of left guard Ben Grubbs against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field Sunday night.

Grubbs started Sunday night for the first time since the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 11 after straining ligaments in a toe on his right foot. He was flagged for a false start with 11 seconds left in the second quarter.

Grubbs replaced Andre Gurode, who had made five consecutive starts at that position.

Two more starters in defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (thigh) and center Matt Birk (neck) also started. Both players had been listed as probable.

Pitta is clutch

Second-year tight end Dennis Pitta had another strong game, catching five passes for 92 yards. More telling, though, was that all five of his catches led to third-down conversions, as quarterback Joe Flacco consistently appeared comfortable targeting the sure-handed Pitta.

Harbaugh wins another challenge

Continuing his success this season, Ravens coach John Harbaugh won another challenge Sunday night.

Harbaugh questioned the officiating crew's ruling that wide receiver Hines Ward had caught a pass for six yards despite seeming to lose possession after getting tackled by inside linebacker Ray Lewis and strong safety Bernard Pollard. After a review, referee Walt Anderson announced that Ward did not maintain possession prior to falling to the turf.

Harbaugh won his NFL-leading sixth challenge in seven opportunities.

End zone

The Ravens deactivated wide receivers Lee Evans (left ankle) and rookie Tandon Doss, linebackers Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) and Sergio Kindle, rookie running back Anthony Allen (thigh), tight end Kris Wilson and rookie cornerback Chykie Brown (knee). … Wide receiver/kick returner David Reed (knee) and cornerback Danny Gorrer (thigh) were active. Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith made his sixth consecutive start for Evans. … Rookie linebacker Chavis Williams, who had been promoted from the practice squad to the active roster after the team waived cornerback Bryan McCann Saturday, was active. … Pittsburgh played without two starting linebackers in LaMarr Woodley (strained left hamstring) and James Farrior (torn calf muscle). Jason Worilds and Larry Foote filled in for Woodley and Farrior, respectively.

But outside linebacker James Harrison (fractured orbital bone) was active. He had been listed as probable. Starting wide receiver Hines Ward (ankle sprain) was also active after being questionable. … In addition to Woodley and Farrior, the Steelers scratched wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (knee/death of mother), center Doug Legursky, nose tackle Chris Hoke, quarterback Dennis Dixon and offensive tackle Jamon Meredith. … Punter Jeremy Kapinos kicked after the team placed Dan Sepulveda (knee) on injured reserve. … Linebackers Ray Lewis and Brendon Ayanbadejo and quarterback Joe Flacco represented the Ravens for the coin toss.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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