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Ravens fluster Maddox, beat Steelers in OT

BALTIMORE (Nov. 20, 2005) -- The Baltimore Ravens were delighted to finally end a touchdown drought that had lasted an agonizing 12 quarters.

That was nothing compared to the feeling of breaking a four-game losing streak by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"We need a win around here. It's been a while since we've won, and it means a lot, man," Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller said after Matt Stover kicked a 44-yard field goal with 4:09 left in overtime for a 16-13 victory.

The game-winner came at the end of a 30-yard drive that included a 12-yard pass from Boller to Randy Hymes on a third-and-9 from the Baltimore 44. Seven plays later, Stover drilled the game-winner through the uprights.

"What a great finish, what a great game," said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had one interception. A penalty wiped out another Suggs pickoff.

Boller completed 21 of 36 passes for 163 yards. His 3-yard touchdown pass to Hymes in the second quarter ended the Ravens' run of 190 consecutive minutes without a TD.

The Ravens (3-7) took advantage of a Pittsburgh offense run by Tommy Maddox, who produced only one touchdown playing in place of the injured Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh's leader missed a third consecutive game since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

Maddox went 19-for-36 for 230 yards and an interception. He also lost a fumble.

"We didn't make plays when we needed to. If I make a couple of throws at the end of the game or in overtime, it's probably a different story," Maddox said. "It's tough to lose a game you felt you should have won."

Pittsburgh (7-3) had an 11-game winning streak on the road since losing in Baltimore in September 2004.

"We have to move forward," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "Right now it's a six-game season. That's how we have to look at it."

For 50 minutes, Pittsburgh looked a whole lot like the 2005 Ravens: Their quarterback was ineffective, the running game struggled and they hadn't come close to scoring a touchdown.

The Steelers trailed 13-6 and had already burned all their timeouts before getting the ball at their own 15 with 9:44 left in the fourth quarter. The drive started with a procedure call against Pittsburgh, but then its stumbling offense came to life.

With Maddox leading the way, the Steelers covered the distance in seven plays to tie it with 5:15 remaining. The capper was an 11-yard touchdown pass to Willie Parker, who broke several tackles en route to the end zone.

Maddox went 4-for-4 for 67 yards on the march, and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El also got into the act, taking a snap in shotgun formation before completing a 5-yarder to Hines Ward.

Ward finished with six catches for 81 yards -- 11 more yards than Pittsburgh accumulated on the ground.

"They weren't going to let us run. That was their scheme," Ward said. "It left us a lot of opportunities in the passing game."

Baltimore had one final chance to score in regulation, getting the ball at its 44 with 1:07 to go after Suggs intercepted a pass that Ward inadvertently kicked into the air. But the Ravens couldn't get past the Pittsburgh 42.

That only delayed the euphoria they felt after Stover's kick in overtime.

"I'm just happy to be smiling on a Sunday. It's been a long time," defensive tackle Anthony Weaver said. "This is huge for us, something to build on."

Pittsburgh trailed 13-6 at halftime after making only three first downs and gaining 69 yards, including 10 on the ground.

Soon after the Ravens' string of successive quarters without a touchdown reached 12, Stover kicked a 47-yard field goal to put Baltimore up 3-0. Jeff Reed answered with a 44-yard field goal, ending a 50-yard drive that included a 32-yard pass from Maddox to Ward.

Hymes' drought-ending touchdown, which came on an excellent grab, came two plays after a replay review overturned an apparent fumble recovery by Pittsburgh.

It was the Ravens' first touchdown since Halloween, when they scored in the first quarter of a 20-19 loss to Pittsburgh.

Reed kicked a 37-yard field goal with 4:26 left in the half after Jamal Lewis lost a fumble on the Baltimore 20, and Stover capped the Ravens' most productive quarter of the year (13 points) with a 25-yarder right before the break.


Pittsburgh S Russell Stuvaints hurt his right knee in the first quarter and did not return.
Baltimore LB Tommy Polley recorded his third sack, the fifth of his five-year career.
Baltimore CB Samari Rolle left in the fourth quarter with a concussion.

The Associated Press News Service

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