It was over when ...
Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons recovered a Willis McGahee fumble -- the result of a helmet-to-helmet collision with Pittsburgh S Ryan Clark -- with 3:29 remaining in the game. McGahee appeared to be momentarily unconscious, but he was alert and moving his arms while being carted off the field on a stretcher.
With the Steelers clinging to a two-point, fourth-quarter lead, Troy Polamalu's 40-yard interception return for a touchdown effectively ended any hopes the Ravens had of rallying. Polamalu finished with four tackles and led a Pittsburgh defense that held Baltimore rookie QB Joe Flacco to 141 passing yards.
Flacco entered the game with no interceptions or sacks in 45 postseason pass attempts, but he threw three interceptions and was taken down three times by the Steelers. The Ravens posted a negative-3 turnover differential after totaling eight takeaways and just one turnover in their first two playoff games.
The Steelers will make their seventh Super Bowl appearance, second most all-time behind the Cowboys' eight. ... Pittsburgh is 8-0 all-time in playoff games against teams in their division. ... The Steelers are the 12th team since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to defeat an opponent three times in the same season. ... With his seventh playoff victory, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger passed Hall of Famer Troy Aikman for the second-most playoff wins by a QB in the first five seasons of a career. ...Steelers WR Hines Ward left in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury and didn't return. ... Ravens CB Frank Walker was taken to the locker room in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury and didn't return.