DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) — Joe Flacco threw a 95-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace, and the Baltimore Ravens frustrated an ineffective Ben Roethlisberger in a 21-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.READ MORE: Michigan Lottery Results For Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Baltimore (4-4) snapped a four-game losing streak and moved into a tie atop the AFC North with the Steelers (4-4), who have dropped three in a row.
Three weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee, Roethlisberger returned well ahead of schedule. Playing for the first time since Oct. 16, the 13-year veteran looked out of sync until the fourth quarter, when he directed a 75-yard drive that got the Steelers to 21-7 with 8:38 remaining.
Before that, Pittsburgh’s offense produced only two first downs and was limited to 69 yards. The Steelers finished with 36 yards rushing, 32 by Le’Veon Bell.
Roethlisberger ran for a 4-yard score with 48 seconds left, but Chris Boswell botched the onside kick — barely knocking it off the tee — and Baltimore ran out the clock.
After going 8 for 18 for 54 yards and an interception through three quarters, Roethlisberger closed at 23 for 45 for 264 yards.
Baltimore’s only touchdown offensively came on Flacco’s pass to Wallace, who was making his first appearance with the Ravens in this bitter rivalry after playing for Pittsburgh from 2009-12.
Wallace broke free on the left sideline , caught the pass in stride and outran safety Mike Mitchell to the end zone. It was the longest play from scrimmage in Ravens history during the regular season and second-longest in the NFL this year.
The home crowd gasped in the third quarter when Flacco hopped off the field after sliding at the end of an impromptu run. It appeared he had reinjured his surgically repaired left knee, but it turned out that his protective brace broke. He missed only three plays.
Flacco completed 18 of 30 passes for 241 yards to help Baltimore earn its first win since Sept. 25, at Jacksonville.
The offense of both teams was slowed by a steady stream of penalties. Pittsburgh had 84 yards in penalties in the first half and only 66 yards of offense, its fewest before halftime with Roethlisberger at quarterback since 2009.READ MORE: Former MDHHS Director, Robert Gordon To Receive $155,000 Payout After Resignation
Baltimore led 10-0 at halftime and 13-0 in the fourth quarter before Javorius Allen blocked a punt and Chris Moore took it 14 yards for a TD and a 21-0 lead with 13:36 to go.
Roethlisberger cut the deficit with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. The Steelers then forced a three-and-out, and Roethlisberger brought Pittsburgh to the Baltimore 13 before a sack created a fourth-and-18.
Roethlisberger threw incomplete, but took the Steelers 65 yards for a score in his final shot at the end zone.
MR. SMITH RETURNS
Ravens WR Steve Smith returned after missing two games with an ankle injury. He had Baltimore’s first catch, a 30-yarder, and finished with four receptions for 47 yards.
Steelers: C Maurkice Pouncey (finger) missed part of the first quarter, returned and left for good with the same injury in the third quarter. … LB Jarvis Jones hurt himself making a first-quarter tackle and did not return until the second half. … S Jordan Dangerfield (groin) left in the fourth quarter.
Ravens: RB Kenneth Dixon left in the fourth quarter with a bruised chest.
The Steelers host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The Ravens are at home Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns, who entered the weekend as the only winless team in the NFL.
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