One of the big reasons the Ravens won nine of their first 11 games is that, despite problems on both sides of the ball at times, they were able to make plays at crucial times late in the game. That's not what happened Sunday against Pittsburgh.
And it's a big reason the Steelers pulled out the 23-20 victory.
The Ravens rallied in the fourth quarter -- with the already-famed conversion on third-and-29 -- versus the Chargers. It's why the game went to overtime to let the Ravens pull it out.
Similar rallies took place in the second half against the Bengals and in the fourth quarter versus the Patriots. The Ravens also held off Dallas, Kansas City and others late. Several big plays came through in those games. It just didn't happen this time.
“Sure, we got some stops in other games, and we got some first downs in other games," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said when talking to the media Monday. "We converted some third downs in some other games – just look at the week before like you’re saying. We didn’t do that in this game."
The offense wasn't able to come through in the fourth quarter versus Pittsburgh. Baltimore had a seven-point lead halfway through the final quarter before Joe Flacco's key fumble gave Pittsburgh the ball deep in Ravens' territory to set up the game-tying touchdown.
The offense just couldn't get going later in the game.
"That’s the biggest thing. We needed to get something going there," Harbaugh said of his offense's troubles later in the game. "We were unable to do it. We got ahead, but we didn’t stay ahead. You get ahead, you stay ahead, you win the game. We were unable to do that, and obviously, they tied us, and they took the lead with two seconds left.”