Before Sunday, Charlie Batch was an aged, washed-up, third-string quarterback who Pittsburgh was forced to play because its other two options were injured.
Batch had just come off a three-interception game a week ago and hadn't thrown a touchdown pass in 798 days. Surely, the Ravens, a team riding a four-game winning streak and in control of the AFC North, would pummel the journeyman veteran -- who turns 38 this Wednesday.
Instead, Batch re-wrote the script to his own liking.
Batch completed 25 of 26 passes for 276 yards and a TD and led the Steelers to 17 second-half points in a 23-20 win at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. When Pittsburgh (7-5, 2-2) needed a big play, Batch came through.
He didn't look like an old quarterback that doesn't belong in this league. The Steelers were able to win because he commanded the huddle while normal starter Ben Roethlisberger continued to rest an injured right shoulder that has kept him out for the last three games.
In that light, Batch's contributions should be remembered down the line. The win over Baltimore (9-3, 4-1) bought Roethlisberger more time to heal while easing the tension of the playoff chase. Pittsburgh needed this win for its postseason hopes and Batch delivered.
Both teams made a plethora of mistakes, but Batch capitalized on more opportunities and willed Pittsburgh to a victory over its most hated rival, ending the Ravens' 15-game, regular-season home winning streak.
"I knew going into it I had to play better, to continue to come out here and lead the offense the way I knew I could," Batch said. "The receivers did a great job of getting open, the offensive line did a great job of protecting and I was able to go out there and set my feet and have fun."
When the game turned: It was an evenly fought football game that came down to which team had the ball last. With the game tied after Steelers TE Heath Miller's touchdown catch, Baltimore went three-and-out, giving the Steelers the ball back with 6:14 remaining. Beginning their drive at their own 15, Batch and the Steelers methodically moved the ball down the field, converting two first downs and getting another one thanks to a roughing the passer penalty on Ravens OLB Paul Kruger. With only one timeout heading into that final drive, Baltimore lost it after an injury to CB Chykie Brown occurred with under two minutes remaining. The Ravens couldn't stop the clock and the Steelers ran it all the way down for K Shaun Suisham, who kicked a game-winning 42-yard field goal.
Highlight moments: Ravens WR Anquan Boldin had a 28-yard touchdown pass on a fade route down the left sideline in the second quarter. ... Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer looked like he had no running room before bouncing a play outside to the left on a 16-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter. ... Ravens RB Ray Rice's 34-yard touchdown came on a cutback run to the left, showcasing good vision and good foot speed. ... In the fourth quarter, S Ed Reed intercepted Batch in the end zone, baiting him into a throw he thought he had. Reed then ran the interception out to the 27-yard line after almost being tackled just outside the end zone. ... Batch found Miller coming across the field on a short pass. Miller then cut it upfield and dove into the right corner of the end zone, getting the ball across the pylon just before his foot landed out of bounds.
- Steelers QB Charlie Batch -- 25 of 36 for 276 yards, one TD, one INT
- Steelers TE Heath Miller -- five receptions, 97 yards, one TD
- Steelers OLB James Harrison -- seven tackles, one sack, one forced fumble
- Ravens RB Ray Rice -- 12 carries, 78 yards, one TD; one reception, five yards
- Ravens FB Vonta Leach -- four receptions, 40 yards, lots of key blocks, including a pancake on Steelers NT
- Ravens CB Corey Graham -- 11 tackles, one INT
What they said about Batch's performance:
- Steelers Ryan Clark -- "I know how important it was to him. Last week, our offense struggled and turned the ball over. There was a lot of pressure on him this week. It was awesome to have him on the field for the game-winning drive."
- Steelers WR Antonio Brown -- "He was a general in the huddle. An offensive leader. A poised veteran guy who came in and got the job done. He's a guy who has been around a long time and to see him come out and give us a win is a great thing. He definitely made some great calls, some great throws and some great plays to will us a win down the stretch."
- Ravens S Bernard Pollard -- "He's a professional quarterback. He's on the roster for a reason. He can make throws. I look at it as, we let some things get away. We should have stepped on their throat and choked them when we had a chance and we didn't do it."
- Ravens coach John Harbaugh -- "He played well. Charlie's always been a good quarterback, we had a lot of respect for him going into the game."
Injury update: Ravens -- OLB Terrell Suggs injured his right arm and the severity is unknown. Suggs said "I'll be all right" after the game but declined to talk further with the media, stating he was upset that he was unable to finish the game. A Ravens team source said Chykie Brown sustained an ankle injury but that he should be OK. DE Pernell McPhee, who missed the previous four games with knee and thigh injuries, said he came out of this game fine. TE Ed Dickson (knee) and OLB Dannell Ellerbe (ankle, knee, thumbs) were inactive due to their injuries. Steelers -- CB Ike Taylor left the game with a right ankle injury and did not return. He was later spotted on the sideline wearing a protective boot. He has an MRI scheduled for Monday. WR Emmanuel Sanders injured his AC joint but was able to play through it. FB Will Johnson sustained a concussion. QB Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder), OT Mike Adams (ankle), QB Byron Leftwich (ribs), LB LaMarr Woodley (ankle) and WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs) were inactive due to their injuries.
Going forward: Ravens -- Baltimore will try to regroup on the road next week, traveling 30 miles south to face Washington. Steelers -- Pittsburgh will host the Chargers next week at home.
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter: @CBSRavens and @JasonButtCBS.