GAME BALL goes to: K Shaun Suisham
In a game in which Le'Veon Bell showed his worth and Lawrence Timmons made 17 tackles, Suisham was the biggest star of all. He kicked four more field goals to remain perfect on the season (14 of 14), none bigger than the winning 42-yarder with no time remaining. Suisham has been reliable, making 46 of his last 47 field goals inside the 50. "That's my job; I'm happy I did it," Suisham said. "But I would have been happy if Emmanuel [Sanders] went down and I had to kick an extra point. I'm happy we won the football game."
THE COUNTDOWN: A quick look at the top performances from Sunday's game:
1. BIG RETURN: Emmanuel Sanders knew his name might be called to return a kickoff, and with less than two minutes remaining, and it was. All Sanders did with his first return of the season was take the kick 7 yards deep in the end zone, head up the right sideline and appear to score on what he thought was a 107-yard return. However, the officials ruled he stepped out at his own 37. Still, the return set up the winning field-goal drive. "I saw the replay, but I felt like my heel was up and I was running on my tip-toes," Sanders said. "I don't know if I went out.
2. BIG BREAKUP: CB William Gay knocked down two passes in the end zone, none bigger than when he broke up a pass for WR Tandon Doss on a play in which Joe Flacco scrambled to avoid LaMarr Woodley. The Ravens settled for a field goal that made it 13-9. "I just took a gamble and luckily I got there," Gay said.
3. FIRST TIMER: The Steelers used a shovel pass to score their only touchdown, and the surprise recipient was TE Heath Miller, who caught a 3-yard toss from Ben Roethlisberger. "I think that was my first shovel pass," Miller said. "I saw Hines [Ward] do it a lot."
4. SOME DRIVE: Joe Flacco completed 10 of 11 passes for 65 yards and converted three first downs on the 16-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark with 1:58 remaining. The drive consumed 8:01 and tied the score at 16-16.
5. RENEGADE JINX: Two plays after the Steelers took a 13-6 lead, Flacco hit his longest pass -- a 41-yarder to Torrey Smith over Ike Taylor -- that set up a Justin Tucker 32-yard field goal. That cut the lead to 13-9
"It took contributions in all three phases and it's good to get that type of result and under those circumstances. It probably wasn't perfect; it never is. But it was significant getting our first home win and getting our first AFC North win, trying to remain relevant."
-- Mike Tomlin
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
67 That's how many drives the Steelers have had in six games, and only two have started beyond the 50. One of those came in the fourth quarter when the Ravens tried an onside kick and were penalized for an illegal touch, giving the Steelers possession at Baltimore's 38. The short field resulted in a Suisham field goal for a 16-9 lead.
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
Ben Roethlisberger had several chances last year to take the Steelers on winning, game-ending drives, but he failed in late-season losses to the Cowboys and Bengals with costly interceptions. His winning drive against the Ravens -- seven plays, 39 yards -- was his first since a 16-14 victory Oct. 7, 2012 against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field. "It's about time we do a fourth-quarter drive," Roethlisberger said. "Obviously you do not want to be in that situation. I told the line and I told the guys, 'Let's go win it,' and we did."
X's AND O's
In attempt to generate running room and put life in the offense, Todd Haley resorted to some trickery against the Ravens -- unveiling a Wildcat look with RB Le'Veon Bell and calling a shovel pass for a touchdown to Heath Miller, who had never run the play before. Bell ran four plays getting the direct snap, handing off to Antonio Brown once and carrying three times for 15 yards. "It's something I'm comfortable with," said Bell, who finished with 93 yards on 19 carries. "I ran it a lot in college and in high school I played quarterback."
The Steelers (2-4) play Sunday against the Raiders (2-4) in Oakland at 4:05 p.m. The Raiders, who had an off week, have won three of the past four meetings, including 2012 in Oakland.
Gerry Dulac: firstname.lastname@example.org. First Published October 20, 2013 8:00 PM