Anthony Levine Sr.’s interception of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s pass late in the fourth quarter proved critical as it helped the Ravens snuff out any thought of a Pittsburgh comeback in a 26-14 victory at Heinz Field on Sunday night.
The defensive back’s interception also helped him satisfy a career-long desire.
“It’s crazy because I was telling [safety] Chuck [Clark] earlier, ‘Man, I’ve been here seven years now, and I haven’t made a big play in this rivalry, and I want to make a play in this rivalry,’ ” he said. “That’s what we live for — things like that, this type of game. So I was happy that I made a play and made a mark in this rivalry.”
Considering the opponent, setting and circumstances, Levine’s interception might have been as pivotal as any the defensive player has made in recent memory. Pittsburgh rallied in back-to-back home games to end the Ravens’ season in 2016 and severely damage their playoff hopes in 2017.
The offense converted Levine’s takeaway into a 31-yard field goal by Justin Tucker for the final score.
“I got into my drop, got back and just read the quarterback’s eyes and made a break on the ball,” said Levine, who had only the second interception of his career and first since Nov. 27 in a 23-16 win against the Houston Texans.
Levine’s teammates mobbed him after the interception, but strong safety Tony Jefferson playfully chided Levine.
“It was great, but he should have had three [interceptions],” Jefferson said. “So tomorrow, I told him to meet me at the Jugs [machine]. We’re going to be on the Jugs all week.”
Informed of Jefferson’s comment, Levine replied: “Tony said that? See, I love that man. The one that I dropped, Antonio Brown, third down [in the fourth quarter], I mean, that would have been a one-handed [interception]. It would have been a great play. But he’s right. I should have had it, and then I dropped one at the end. So definitely two, maybe three. But that’s what we do. We’re hard on each other, we push each other. We want each other to be great.”