Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers

 

The Baltimore Ravens' playoff hopes were ended with a 31-27 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Christmas Night.

Needing to win their final two games of the 2016 season, the Ravens were poised for victory over thier AFC North rivals late in the game. The Steelers made many errors in the second half of the game, including two interceptions and two kickoffs that went out of bounds, but were able to come away with a victory with 0:09 left on the clock in the fourth quarter.

Pittsburgh took an early 7-0 lead after Ben Roethlisberger hit Xavier Grimble for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The Ravens responded with a Justin Tucker field goal, and then botched a snap on a second potential field goal later in the first half. Tucker connected from 38 in the second quarter to make it a 7-6 Steelers game at the half.

The Ravens took the lead for the first time of the game in the third quarter when Joe Flacco found Steve Smith, Sr. in the end zone and then connected with him again on the two-point conversion attempt to give Baltimore a 14-7 lead. The team then traded field goals later in the third quarter to make it a 17-10 game heading into the final 15:00.

Tucker added his 4th field goal of the day in the 4th to make it a 20-10 game, but Pittsburgh responded when Le'Veon Bell ran one in from 7 yards out to make it a 3 point game. The Steelers retook the lead when Bell caught a 7-yard pass from Roethlisberger to put them ahead 23-20. 

With less than 2 minutes left in the game, the Ravens regained the lead on a plowing 10-yard TD run by Kyle Juszczyk. The team celebrated on the field and the sidelines, but the game was not over as the Steelers would prove. Roethlisberger lead an impressive drive down the field that cultivated in a 4-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown with 0:09 left in the game that would seal the victory and knock the Ravens out of playoff contention.

The Ravens end the 2016 season when they head to Cincinnati to play the 5-9-1 Bengals on New Year's Day.

 

Top Photo Credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images