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January 30, 2023

Sunday Night Football: Steelers keep playoff hopes alive with late touchdown, 16-13 win

Sunday Night Football: Steelers keep playoff hopes alive with late touchdown, 16-13 win

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The Steelers were fighting for their playoff lives. The Ravens were fighting to remain alive in the AFC North race.

A defensive battle came down to the wire, with Najee Harris catching a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kenny Pickett with 56 seconds left to give the Steelers a 16-13 win.

The Steelers moved to 8-8 and stayed alive, though they will need help to get a wild-card berth. They started the season 2-6. The Ravens fell to 10-6, giving the Bengals a chance to clinch the division with a win Monday.

Ravens edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul nearly sacked Pickett on third-and-eight from the Baltimore 10, but the Steelers quarterback broke free, rolled left and hit a perfect pass to Harris, who had Roquan Smith covering him. Harris’ touchdown ended a streak of 40 consecutive possessions for the Baltimore defense without allowing a touchdown at home.

Pickett had back-to-back big plays in the 11-play, 80-yard drive, connecting with Pat Freiermuth for 20 yards and Steven Sims for 28 yards to get the Steelers in position for the win.

The Ravens, with the league’s best kicker on their side, had plenty of time to get in field goal range. But Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted Tyler Huntley on a pass intended for Demarcus Robinson with 13 seconds left.

The Steelers’ first three scores came on Chris Boswell field goals of 21, 51 and 33 yards. He missed a 48-yard try, kicking it off the upright, after missing two last week.

The Ravens led 10-3 at halftime, getting a 7-yard touchdown pass from Huntley to Isaiah Likely with seven seconds left in the second quarter.

It followed Cameron Heyward‘s unnecessary roughness penalty with 11 seconds left. The Steelers had stopped J.K. Dobbins short of the line to gain on third down before Heyward did whatever he did as both teams tussled in the pile.

The Ravens took a 13-3 lead on a 51-yard Justin Tucker field goal with 9:31 remaining in the third quarter, but they didn’t score again.

Pickett went 15-of-27 for 168 yards and a touchdown, while Huntley was 14-of-21 for 130 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews had nine catches for 100 yards.

Harris had 22 carries for 111 yards and caught two passes for 12 yards and the game-winner.

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