Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch, a national punchline after his performance last week in Cleveland, knew Sunday's game in Baltimore probably was the last start of his 15-year NFL career.
Steelers 23, Ravens 20Check out the best photos from the Week 13 matchup between the Steelers and Ravens.
What a way to go out.
Batch and the visiting Steelers upset the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in a game that will shake up the AFC playoff race. The Ravens, now 9-3, could slip out of position to hold a playoff bye, while the Steelers are in better position to gain a wild-card spot at 7-5.
Pittsburgh deserved this old-school win led by defense and timely passing. The Steelers held the ball for 34:21. They trailed 13-3 at halftime and scored the final 10 points in the last eight minutes.
Safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Antonio Brown were back on the field for Pittsburgh. Linebacker James Harrison, who's beginning to look his old self again, made perhaps the biggest play of the game with a sack-fumble in the fourth quarter. The Ravens' offense had a chance to put the game away then, but they couldn't protect Joe Flacco. The Pittsburgh pass rush was back. The secondary gave up just 5.5 yards per attempt to Flacco.
The Ravens dared Batch to beat them, and he obliged. Batch's 276-yard passing performance could have been even better if not for a big drop by Mike Wallace and a fumble by Emmanuel Sanders on a play where it appeared he should run for a long score.
This was a season-altering win for the Steelers. They probably won't win the AFC North this season, but this is the type of performance that can ignite a late-season run. They showed they can win on the road, even with their third-string quarterback at the helm.
Don't be surprised if Pittsburgh winds up back in Baltimore in January.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.