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Steelers top Ravens, pull even with rival in loss column

For the ninth time in the last 11 meetings between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, the game was decided by exactly three points.

Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham's 42-yard field goal gave the Steelers the 19-16 victory after an apparent 107-yard kickoff return touchdown by Emmanuel Sanders was ruled out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 37-yard line. As it turned out, the call benefited Pittsburgh because Joe Flacco never got a chance to answer.

For the first time this season, the Steelers' formula on offense involved a sustained rushing attack.

Rookie Le'Veon Bell's 93 rushing yards are the most by a Steelers running back since Week 8 of the 2012 season. In fact, Bell rushed for more yards Sunday than any Pittsburgh back had accrued through five games this season.

After their first 0-4 start since 1968, the Steelers have reeled off back-to-back victories to pull into a three-way tie with the Ravens and Browns in the loss column. Now that Bell and tight end Heath Miller have injected life into the offense, there's a strong argument to be made that this is the second-best team in the AFC North.

A playoff run isn't out of the question.

Here's what else we learned in Sunday's game:

  1. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are ranked first and second in the NFL in percentage of runs that have generated two yards or fewer. The Ravens backs combined to average 2.76 yards on 21 carries versus the Steelers. The numbers suggest a woeful run-blocking offensive line, but Rice has looked downright slow this season. One has to wonder if a Week 2 hip flexor strain has sapped his burst.
  1. Joe Flacco salvaged the Ravens' streak of 17 games with a touchdown by leading a 16-play, eight-minute drive to tie the game in with 2 minutes remaining. After a slow start, Flacco completed 11 of 15 passes for 109 yards on Baltimore's final two drives resulting in a field goal and a touchdown. Outside of Torrey Smith, he's getting little help from his teammates.
  1. Ben Roethlisberger has a passer rating over 90.0 in four consecutive games. His 107.2 rating Sunday would have been higher had wide receiver Derek Moye not dropped a perfectly thrown 20-yard pass in the end zone. Roethlisberger has lost more than a few steps as a scrambler, but he's still making a few "wow" plays every week. He's easily the best quarterback in the division.
  1. Defensive Player of the Year candidateTerrell Suggs picked up another sack, giving him at least one sack in six out of seven games this season.

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