The Steelers are AFC North champions for the third time in four seasons.
Pittsburgh secured a playoff berth with a 39-38 shootout win Sunday night over rival Ravens.
After blowing a 14-point lead, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown engineered two scoring drives in the final 3:15 to pull off a remarkable comeback which rivals Brown’s “Immaculate Extension” last Christmas.
Brown was stellar yet again, recording 213 receiving yards and Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards, but it was the Steelers' defense which stepped up late despite giving up 38 points to one of the worst offenses in the league. Pittsburgh forced a Baltimore three-and-out with 2:25 remaining, giving the Killer Bs plenty of time for the game-winning drive.
The fourth member of the Killer Bs, kicker Chris Boswell kicked his third game-winning field goal in as many games, this one a 46-yarder with 42 seconds remaining to give the Steelers their 11th win of the season. They'll face the Patriots next Sunday for a chance to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC outright.
Here are three takeaways from the Ravens' win over the rival Steelers
1. Ravens play-calling late loses game
Ravens running back Alex Collins broke out in a big way, rushing for 120 yards and a touchdown and hauling in two passes for 46 yards. In all honesty, Collins should have had three TDs on the night if it wasn't for Javorius Allen vulturing two of them. Collins used his speed against a banged up Steelers defense, which look nothing like the fourth-best unit in the league.
After the Steelers got within two points with three minutes remaining, the Ravens inexplicably threw the ball twice en route to a three-and-out instead of handing it off to Collins. Pittsburgh didn't have to use any of their timeouts and promptly marched 55 yards on the ensuing series to set up Boswell's field goal.
2. Steelers defense misses more than Ryan Shazier
It goes without saying Shazier's spine injury impacted the Steelers defense. Not only from an emotional standpoint but from a matchup perspective against the Ravens, who enjoyed running to the outside of the tackles. Shazier enjoyed an All-Star season last year and he put his blazing speed on display. With Shazier and his top backup Tyler Matakevich (shoulder) out, Collins ran wild and Flacco enjoyed dumping it off in the flats against Arthur Moats and Sean Spence, who was picked up off waivers to help fill the void at linebacker.
The Ravens entered Sunday's game with the second-fewest yards per game in the league (288.5) but their big-play ability kept them in the game vs. a Joe Haden-less secondary. Safety Mike Mitchell was hobbled with a sore ankle as another bad offense enjoyed one of its best games of the season. Tom Brady is going to have a field day next Sunday.
3. Antonio Brown needs to be in MVP conversation
Russell Wilson struggled Sunday and the Eagles fear Carson Wentz tore his ACL. Tom Brady is the GOAT but not up to his usual standards. Enter Antonio Brown. With Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster out for illegal blindside hit to Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict, Brown took over the Steelers' receiving corps — even more than normal, and that is saying something.
With his 11-catch, 213-yard game Brown, has 39 receptions for 627 yards and six TDs over the last four games alone (all Steelers wins) and is on pace for 1,857 receiving yards, the third highest total in NFL history.
Brown is also there in the clutch whenever Roethlisberger needs him.
Sunday Night Football schedule
Dec. 17: Cowboys (7-6) at Raiders (6-7) on NBC