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Ravens edge Steelers to seize control of AFC North
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Jacoby Jones returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown, and the Baltimore Ravens emerged with a 13-10 victory over the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers in a key AFC North clash at Heinz Field.
Joe Flacco had 164 yards on 20-of-32 passing for the Ravens (8-2), who have won 12 straight games against divisional opponents.
"We can play a lot better than we played tonight and we are going to have to play a lot better than we did tonight in all three phases. That will be our task going forward," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Byron Leftwich filled in for Roethlisberger, who was sidelined with shoulder and rib injuries, but couldn't lead the Steelers (6-4) to a fifth consecutive win, one that would have given them control of the AFC North.
After its defense sacked Flacco to force a punt, Pittsburgh got the ball back at its own 16-yard line with 65 seconds remaining. Leftwich, making his first start since September 2009 with Tampa Bay, hooked up with Jerricho Cotchery at midfield, but Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard dislodged the ball with a bone- crunching hit.
Down to their final play, the Steelers wound up fumbling after a pair of laterals.
"We just have to do a better job of making more plays than that. It's frustrating, but at the same time we understand we have another game coming up here Sunday and we'll be ready to roll," said Leftwich.
It was quite the start for the Steelers, who jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game.
Leftwich showed off his arm on the first play, only to have Cary Williams break up the deep pass to Mike Wallace.
However, the Baltimore cornerback was flagged for pass interference, a 42-yard penalty.
Leftwich then took the second official snap of the game, scrambled to the right, turned the corner and ran 31 yards to the end zone.
On the next Pittsburgh drive, Wallace fumbled after a 15-yard reception at his own 29 and the turnover led to a 26-yard Justin Tucker field goal.
Later in the first quarter, Jones put the Ravens up 10-7 with his second touchdown return in as many weeks. He ran back a kickoff 105 yards in a win over Oakland.
The Ravens' defense set up another Tucker field goal off of a Pittsburgh turnover in the third quarter. Leftwich threw an interception and Tucker, who had missed from 41 yards earlier in the game, connected on a 39-yarder.
Shaun Suisham nailed a 22-yard field goal for Pittsburgh with 34 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Ravens improved to 5-0 against the Steelers when they play them without Roethlisberger ... The Steelers had their home winning streak snapped at seven games ... Leftwich was 18-of-39 for 201 yards ... Pittsburgh had more passing yards than its opponent for the 17th consecutive home game, a new NFL record. The Steelers broke the St. Louis Rams' streak of 16 from 2000-01 ... The Pittsburgh defense limited Ray Rice to 40 yards on 20 carries ... Baltimore tight end Dennis Pitta and Steelers running back Isaac Redman both suffered concussions.
11/19 01:44:46 ET