Ravens QB Joe Flacco finally got the monkey off his back by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.
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The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 in the Wildcard round of the playoffs to advance to the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots.
With the two teams having faced off twice in the playoffs since Ravens QB Joe Flacco entered the league in 2008 – first in the 2008 AFC Championship game, and then two years later in the 2010 Divisional Playoff round, the Ravens and Steelers were very familiar with each other. And the two teams returned to their defensive roots for a mostly low-scoring game against two teams who for most of the season were dominant offenses.
The Steelers took an early lead with a first quarter FG from PK Shaun Suisham. But in the second quarter the Ravens took the lead on a TD from RB Bernard Pierce and never gave it back. The Steelers could only add on a pair of FGs from Suisham as the Ravens added one of their own from PK Justin Tucker to send the two teams to halftime with a 10-9 Ravens lead.
In the third quarter Baltimore began adding to their lead with a second Tucker FG and a TD pass from Joe Flacco to WR Torrey Smith to give them a 20-9 lead. The Steelers tried to mount a comeback and get back into the game with a TD pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR Martavis Bryant, but a failed two-point conversion kept the Ravens lead at a touchdown. The Ravens added a 52-yard FG from Tucker to extend their lead to 23-15, but on the ensuing Pittsburgh drive the Steelers turned the ball over and several plays later Flacco threw a 21-yard TD pass to Crockett Gilmore to give them a 30-15 lead. The Steelers tried to mount a comeback but could only manage to block a Ravens punt for a safety and turned the ball over again on their final play.
With the win the Ravens advance to the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs and will face the #1 seeded New England Patriots in Foxborough next weekend.