Cundiff FG gives Ravens 20-17 OT win over SteelersNov 30, 2009 - 6:05 AM
BALTIMORE(AP) -- In a fierce rivalry that has featured several of the most notable NFL players over the past 10 years, a couple of backups made their mark in memorable fashion.
Add third-string quarterback Dennis Dixon to a list of notable Pittsburgh Steelers that includes Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Plaxico Burress and Troy Polamalu.
Paul Kruger, welcome to a club that includes Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Tony Siragusa and Shannon Sharpe.
Kruger intercepted a Dixon pass to set up a 29-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 6:42 left in overtime, and the Baltimore Ravens outlasted the Steelers 20-17 on Sunday night.
Dixon started because Roethlisberger was sidelined with a concussion and backup Charlie Batch had a broken left wrist. Dixon had thrown only one pass in two seasons before getting the nod against the Ravens.
For much of the game, Dixon did his best impersonation of Roethlisberger. He threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, and even added a personal touch, running for a 24-yard touchdown to put Pittsburgh up 17-14 in the fourth quarter.
"I like his demeanor throughout it all. He made some plays," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I thought he represented himself relatively well."
But in overtime, Dixon's lone turnover propelled the Ravens (6-5) to a much-needed win.
"This is a confidence booster. Not only against a great team with a great legacy, but a division opponent," said Ravens running back Ray Rice, who rallied Baltimore in overtime. "It sets us up for a five-game season right now."
The Steelers (6-5) have lost three straight, their longest skid since a three-game run in 2006.
"We will not go gently," Tomlin said. "We won't go in a shell. We're going to go into attack mode, because that's what's required."
Playing in place of injured linebacker Terrell Suggs, Kruger picked off the pass and returned it 26 yards to the Pittsburgh 28, and six plays later Cundiff delivered the game-winner in Baltimore's first overtime win since November 2005 (against the Steelers).
"To be a part of that victory is huge for me," said Kruger, a rookie playing in only his fourth game. "It was a designed blitz. I was the dropper. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time."
Dixon said, "It was a situation where they were disguising the blitz throughout the whole game. We saw it. I basically tried to trust my instincts. The guy made a good play."
Pittsburgh's past two defeats have come in overtime. Dixon went 12 for 26 for 145 yards, and Rashard Mendenhall gained 95 yards on 24 carries.
"Please don't talk to me about moral victories and things of that nature," Tomlin said.
Joe Flacco completed 23 of 35 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown to keep Baltimore in the thick of the playoff hunt.
"You have to be ready to play 60 minutes. Today we played more than that," Flacco said. "It feels good. It's what we needed. Against these guys, it's even bigger."
The game was a rematch of last season's AFC championship, when the Steelers completed a three-game sweep of the Ravens with a 24-13 victory.
With Roethlisberger in full uniform looking on from the sideline as the third quarterback, Dixon ran around the right end for a touchdown on a third-and-5 from the Baltimore 24 to give the Steelers their first lead, 17-14, with 6:24 left.
But the Ravens came back. Facing a fourth-and-5 from his own 46, Flacco completed a 44-yard pass to Rice to set up a 24-yard field goal by Cundiff with 1:51 to go.
Cundiff came up short on a 56-yard try on the final play of regulation.
Pittsburgh closed to 14-10 in the third quarter when Jeff Reed kicked a 44-yard field goal to end a 24-yard drive that featured a 20-yard pass from Dixon to Mendenhall.
The Ravens went up 14-7 with an 89-yard drive late in the second quarter. Flacco completed passes of 11 and 54 yards to Mark Clayton before connecting with Derrick Mason for a 10-yard score.
Baltimore nearly picked off Dixon's first pass and forced a punt on Pittsburgh's first possession. Willis McGahee then capped a 73-yard drive with a 2-yard run, the Ravens' first touchdown on offense before halftime since Oct. 4.
On Pittsburgh's second drive, Dixon had an impromptu 31-yard run wiped out by holding. But there were no flaws the next time he got the ball: Dixon was 3 for 3 for 60 yards, including a touchdown pass to Holmes.
Notes: Baltimore has won six of seven over Pittsburgh in Baltimore. ... Ravens LB Prescott Burgess (hamstring) and RB Le'Ron McClain (abdominal muscle) left the game and did not return. ... Dixon's TD run was the third by a Steelers QB this year.
FINAL IN 1ST OT 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH OT TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -- -----
PITTSBURGH 0 7 3 7 0 17
BALTIMORE 7 7 0 3 3 20 FINAL IN 1ST OT
1ST QUARTER: BAL - TD, WILLIS MCGAHEE 2 YD RUN
(BILLY CUNDIFF KICK), 6:46.
2ND QUARTER: PIT - TD, SANTONIO HOLMES 33 YD PASS
FROM DENNIS DIXON (JEFF RE
Nov 29 11:47 PM
BALTIMORE 20 IN 1ST OT POSSESSION
Steelers 17, Ravens 20 End of Reg.Nov 29 11:47 PM
BALTIMORE 17 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Nov 29 11:29 PM
BALTIMORE 17 1:51 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Steelers 17, Ravens 17 4th - 1:51Nov 29 11:15 PM
BALTIMORE 14 6:24 LEFT, 4TH QTR
Steelers 17, Ravens 14 4th - 6:24Nov 29 10:59 PM
BALTIMORE 14 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR
Nov 29 10:38 PM
BALTIMORE 14 9:13 LEFT, 3RD QTR
Steelers 10, Ravens 14 3rd - 9:13Nov 29 10:16 PM
BALTIMORE 14 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Nov 29 9:46 PM
BALTIMORE 14 1:45 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Steelers 7, Ravens 14 2nd - 1:45Nov 29 9:41 PM
BALTIMORE 7 14:11 LEFT, 2ND QTR
Steelers 7, Ravens 7 2nd - 14:11Nov 29 9:05 PM
BALTIMORE 7 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Nov 29 9:00 PM
BALTIMORE 7 8:14 LEFT, 1ST QTR
Steelers 0, Ravens 7 1st - 8:14Nov 29 8:41 PM
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