The Steelers needed a win to stay alive in the playoff hunt, and they did exactly what they needed to do.
With Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich both out with injuries, it was up to Charlie Batch to lead the Steelers against the hated Ravens. And to make matters worse, he had to do it in the Ravens’ stadium.
Batch is 58 years old (or something like that), and some fans thought that this stage was too big for him. But Batch proved that he still had a few good games left in his old bones.
Batch passed for 276 yards, one touchdown, an interception, and an 89.6 quarterback rating. Meanwhile, Raven’s quarterback Joe Flacco only passed for 188 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a 61.9 QB rating. Way to kick his butt, Charlie!!!
But make no mistake. This was no easy win. In fact, the Ravens led for most of the game. And the Steelers seemed to be trying hard to hand them another win. Charlie Batch started off shaky. He missed several wide open targets. Mike Wallace played much of the game like he had soaked his hands in butter. Emmanuel Sanders fumbled the ball while he was wide open and heading for an uncontested touchdown. And Antonio Brown threw an interception on a trick play that probably shouldn’t have been called in the first place.
But despite those mistakes, there were plenty of good things that happened. For example, Heath Miller played an outstanding game, and led the team in receiving yards. Cortez Allen played an outstanding game subbing for Ike Taylor. Jonathan Dwyer turned a failed running play into an unexpected touchdown. James Harrison produced a strip-sack, just when it was needed most. And of course, Shaun Suisham kicked the 42-yard field goal that won the game with no time left on the clock.
By beating the Ravens, the Steelers held onto their playoff hopes. If the playoff were to begin today, the Steelers would be the last AFC team to make the playoffs, and they’d face the Baltimore Ravens in the first round.
Next up for the Steelers is the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have a 4-8 record, and would seem to be an easy opponent. But we’ve all realized that the Steelers often have a harder time against the bad teams than they do against the good teams. So next week’s game is likely to be more difficult than it should be.