Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – Make it a dozen touchdown passes in two
games for Ben Roethlisberger.
It’s been a resurgence for his Pittsburgh Steelers offense since their
lackluster Week 2 showing in Baltimore, when they didn’t tally any.
Roethlisberger tossed six touchdown passes and the Steelers routed the Ravens
43-23 on Sunday night.
Roethlisberger’s 12 touchdown passes in consecutive weeks is the most in NFL
Big Ben went 40-of-49 for 522 yards — the third most in a regulation
game in NFL history — and six touchdowns last Sunday, making him the first
ever quarterback with two 500-plus yard games.
He followed that performance up by going 25-of-37 for 340 yards.
Roethlisberger’s 30-game stretch with a TD pass came to a halt in Week 2 when
the Ravens thumped the Steelers 26-6.
But that seems like centuries ago.
Pittsburgh has scored 94 points in its last two games and topped the 50-point
plateau for the first time since 1984 in last Sunday’s 51-34 victory over
Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown, while rookie
Martavis Bryant hauled in three receptions for 44 yards and two scores for the
Steelers (6-3), who have won three in a row.
Joe Flacco was 30-of-45 for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception
for Baltimore (5-4), which has dropped consecutive games and sit in last place
in the AFC North.
The Steelers failed to pick up a first down on each of their first three
drives, moved the chains a trio of times before being sacked three straight
snaps on their fourth touch, but posted three consecutive touchdowns on their
final three series of the opening half.
A pair of Ravens turnovers on three snaps led to two of those scores in the
middle stages of the second.
Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats stripped Adam Taliaferro from behind and
Brice McCain scooped up the fumble and returned it 26 yards to the Baltimore
27. Roethlisberger flipped a back-shoulder throw in the front left corner of
the end zone to Le’Veon Bell lined up in the slot, with Ravens linebacker C.J.
Mosley covering him on 3rd-and-goal for a 5-yard score.
Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison hit Flacco as he threw from the blind
side and Jason Worilds, who dropped back in coverage on the zone blitz, hauled
in the easy interception to put the ball at the Baltimore 30.
Roethlisberger hit Bryant on a post corner route in the front left corner of
the end zone to make it 14-7 Steelers with 5:30 left until the break.
Justin Tucker nailed a 46-yard field goal on Baltimore’s ensuing march, but
Roethlisberger lofted a beautifully thrown pass right into the waiting arms of
Markus Wheaton along the right sideline for a 47-yard score a possession
The extra-point snap was bobble by Brad Wing, but he was able to compose
himself and hit Matt Spaeth in the right flat for two points.
The third quarter went scoreless, but Brown caught a 54-yard TD pass early in
Brown hauled in an out route on Ravens cornerback Chykie Brown along the right
sideline, cut back into the middle and stiff armed safety Will Hill before
racing past the rest of the secondary for his touchdown.
Jacoby Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 108 yards to cut the gap to 29-17.
Bryant’s 18-yard TD catch, Crockett Gilmore’s 1-yard TD reception —
Baltimore’s two-point try following Gillmore’s score was unsuccessful — and
Spaeth’s 33-yard score capped the scoring.
Earlier, following a 25-yard Jones punt return, Flacco hit a streaking Torrey
Smith along the right sideline to open the scoring just over five minutes into
Bell carried the ball 10 times for 20 yards and caught five passes for 38
yards. He didn’t eclipse 100 total yards for the first time this season …
Smith had four receptions for 63 yards … Pittsburgh was 6-of-14 on third
down, while Baltimore finished 3-of-13.