Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Ravens hold off Dixon-led Steelers, win in overtime

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- In a fierce rivalry that has featured several of the most notable NFL players over the past 10 years, a couple of backups made their mark in memorable fashion.

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Add third-string quarterback Dennis Dixon to a list of notable Pittsburgh Steelers that includes Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Plaxico Burress and Troy Polamalu.

Paul Kruger, welcome to a club that includes Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Tony Siragusa and Shannon Sharpe.

Kruger intercepted a Dixon pass to set up a 29-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 6:42 left in overtime, and the Baltimore Ravens outlasted the Steelers 20-17 on Sunday night.

Dixon started because Roethlisberger was sidelined with a concussion and backup Charlie Batch had a broken left wrist. Dixon had thrown only one pass in two seasons before getting the nod against the Ravens.

For much of the game, Dixon did his best impersonation of Roethlisberger. He threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, and even added a personal touch, running for a 24-yard touchdown to put Pittsburgh up 17-14 in the fourth quarter.

"I like his demeanor throughout it all. He made some plays," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I thought he represented himself relatively well."

But in overtime, Dixon's lone turnover propelled the Ravens (6-5) to a much-needed win.

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"This is a confidence booster. Not only against a great team with a great legacy, but a division opponent," said Ravens running back Ray Rice, who rallied Baltimore in overtime. "It sets us up for a five-game season right now."

The Steelers (6-5) have lost three straight, their longest skid since a three-game run in 2006.

"We will not go gently," Tomlin said. "We won't go in a shell. We're going to go into attack mode, because that's what's required."

Playing in place of injured linebacker Terrell Suggs, Kruger picked off the pass and returned it 26 yards to the Pittsburgh 28, and six plays later Cundiff delivered the game-winner in Baltimore's first overtime win since November 2005 (against the Steelers).

"To be a part of that victory is huge for me," said Kruger, a rookie playing in only his fourth game. "It was a designed blitz. I was the dropper. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time."

Dixon said, "It was a situation where they were disguising the blitz throughout the whole game. We saw it. I basically tried to trust my instincts. The guy made a good play."

Pittsburgh's past two defeats have come in overtime. Dixon went 12 for 26 for 145 yards, and Rashard Mendenhall gained 95 yards on 24 carries.

"Please don't talk to me about moral victories and things of that nature," Tomlin said.

Joe Flacco completed 23 of 35 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown to keep Baltimore in the thick of the playoff hunt.

"You have to be ready to play 60 minutes. Today we played more than that," Flacco said. "It feels good. It's what we needed. Against these guys, it's even bigger."

The game was a rematch of last season's AFC championship, when the Steelers completed a three-game sweep of the Ravens with a 24-13 victory.

With Roethlisberger in full uniform looking on from the sideline as the third quarterback, Dixon ran around the right end for a touchdown on a third-and-5 from the Baltimore 24 to give the Steelers their first lead, 17-14, with 6:24 left.

But the Ravens came back. Facing a fourth-and-5 from his own 46, Flacco completed a 44-yard pass to Rice to set up a 24-yard field goal by Cundiff with 1:51 to go.

Cundiff came up short on a 56-yard try on the final play of regulation.

Pittsburgh closed to 14-10 in the third quarter when Jeff Reed kicked a 44-yard field goal to end a 24-yard drive that featured a 20-yard pass from Dixon to Mendenhall.

The Ravens went up 14-7 with an 89-yard drive late in the second quarter. Flacco completed passes of 11 and 54 yards to Mark Clayton before connecting with Derrick Mason for a 10-yard score.

Baltimore nearly picked off Dixon's first pass and forced a punt on Pittsburgh's first possession. Willis McGahee then capped a 73-yard drive with a 2-yard run, the Ravens' first touchdown on offense before halftime since Oct. 4.

On Pittsburgh's second drive, Dixon had an impromptu 31-yard run wiped out by holding. But there were no flaws the next time he got the ball: Dixon was 3 for 3 for 60 yards, including a touchdown pass to Holmes.

Notes

  • Baltimore has won six of seven over Pittsburgh in Baltimore.
  • Ravens LB Prescott Burgess (hamstring) and RB Le'Ron McClain (abdominal muscle) left the game and did not return.
  • Dixon's TD run was the third by a Steelers QB this year.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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The Ravens get a much-needed boost from RB Ray Rice, who finishes with 155 total yards (88 rushing, 67 receiving).
 
The Ravens get a much-needed boost from RB Ray Rice, who finishes with 155 total yards (88 rushing, 67 receiving). (AP)
 

 

Latest Video

Sun. Nov. 29Final OT
OT
0737017
7703320
SteelersRavens
Pass: D. Dixon (12-26, 145) J. Flacco (23-35, 289)
Rush: R. Mendenhall (24-95) R. Rice (19-88)
Rec: S. Holmes (6-74) M. Clayton (7-129)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDWillis McGahee, 2 Yd run (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 8:14. Drive: 9 plays, 73 yards in 5:00.
2ND QUARTER
TDSantonio Holmes, 33 Yd pass from Dennis Dixon (Jeff Reed kick is good), 14:11. Drive: 7 plays, 74 yards in 3:37.
TDDerrick Mason, 10 Yd pass from Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 1:45. Drive: 6 plays, 89 yards in 2:26.
3RD QUARTER
FGJeff Reed 44 Yd, 9:09. Drive: 5 plays, 24 yards in 1:40.
4TH QUARTER
TDDennis Dixon, 24 Yd run (Jeff Reed kick is good), 6:24. Drive: 7 plays, 54 yards in 5:09.
FGBilly Cundiff 24 Yd, 1:51. Drive: 10 plays, 84 yards in 4:33.
OT
FGBilly Cundiff 29 Yd, 6:42. Drive: 6 plays, 17 yards in 3:23.
Players of the Game
Baltimore

J. Flacco
Att 35
Comp 23
Yds 289
TD 1

R. Mendenhall
Rush 24
Yds 95
Avg 4.0
TD 0
 
Pittsburgh
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
D. Dixon12/2614511
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Mendenhall2495015
D. Dixon327124
C. Davis215014
W. Parker51407
M. Moore4203
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
S. Holmes674133
H. Ward347022
R. Mendenhall222020
H. Miller1202
Baltimore
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Flacco23/3528910
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Rice1988019
L. McClain42809
W. McGahee51816
J. Flacco1-20-2
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
M. Clayton7129054
R. Rice567044
D. Mason762117
K. Washington115015
L. McClain1909
T. Heap1606
W. McGahee1101
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
NE 17 Final
NO 38
JAC 3 Final
SF 20
KC 14 Final
SD 43
ARI 17 Final
TEN 20
SEA 27 Final
STL 17
WAS 24 Final
PHI 27
CAR 6 Final
NYJ 17
CHI 10 Final
MIN 36
IND 35 Final
HOU 27
CLE 7 Final
CIN 16
MIA 14 Final
BUF 31
TB 17 Final
ATL 20
NYG 6 Final
DEN 26
OAK 7 Final
DAL 24
GB 34 Final
DET 12