(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Steelers finished out the regular season in a divisional matchup, in a rainy game against John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens. This intense rivalry did not fail to disappoint NFL fans, as the game came down to a late field goal in overtime to give Pittsburgh a 16-13 victory.
In Ben Roethlisberger’s last regular-season game in the NFL, he completed 30 of 44 passes for 244 yards. Star running back Najee Harris missed most of the game with an elbow injury, which means Pittsburgh had to extend the playbook a bit. Chase Claypool led the team in rushing yards with 33. Tight end Pat Freiermuth led the team in receiving yards and receptions with 6. Freiermuth made some very strong plays, including a crucial catch on third down in overtime, to extend Pittsburgh's drive, which led to the game-winning kick by Chris Boswell. Pittsburgh’s leading receiver Diontae Johnson was second in receiving yards against the Ravens with 51. Johnson also made a very impactful play during overtime, by converting on a third down and seven. Johnson faked out his defender with a beautiful zig route, creating separation to run for the first down.
On Pittsburgh’s defensive side of the ball, Cam Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Chris Wormley all tied for the most total tackles with six. Pittsburgh had a total of three sacks, by T.J. Watt, Chris Wormsley, and Cam Heyward. T.J. Watt tied Michael Strahan’s record of sacks in a single season with 22.5. Watt continued to prove why he should be voted Defensive player of the year. His pressures, pass knockdowns, are no match for offensive lines in the NFL.
After Ben Roethlisberger led his team on a game-winning drive, Roethlisberger now has 57 total game-winning drives, including the playoffs. With over 50 game-winning drives, Roethlisberger continues to show why he deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
On Baltimore’s side of the ball, quarterback Tyler Huntley completed 16 of 31 passes for 141 yards. Huntley also threw 2 interceptions. The true star of Baltimore was veteran running back Latavius Murray, who had 16 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown. Murray’s touchdown was a 46-yard run. Another star for Baltimore was tight end Mark Andrews, who caught 8 passes for 85 yards.
With the Steelers win, and the Las Vegas Raiders win, Pittsburgh took the last spot in the AFC Playoffs. They are currently sitting at a seven seed. Pittsburgh will travel to Kansas City a second time this season, looking to avenge themselves against the Kansas City Chiefs in a wildcard matchup. When Pittsburgh last visited Kansas City, they lost 36-10. With this possibility being Ben Roethlisberger’s last game ever, the Steelers must find a way to stop the explosive offense led by Patrick Mahomes.