Judging by the first two quarters at a wet and windy MT&T Bank Stadium in Maryland, no one expected this game to blossom into life like it did in the second half and go to overtime. The stakes were heightened in overtime once the Jaguars' 26-11 win over the Colts was confirmed, a win for either team, and the playoff beacon still shines bright.
Lining up in the Maryland wind and rain, Chris Boswell made the kick and kept the playoff dreams in Pittsburgh alive with a 16-13 win. As long as the Sunday night game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers doesn't end in a tie, the Steelers will be experiencing postseason football once again.
Despite winning the toss, the Ravens failed to make it count and were forced to punt, giving the Steelers the ultimate trump card. All they needed to do was score a TD or field goal to win the game.
Driving from their own 17, it looked like at one stage, the curtain was falling on the Steelers' playoff hopes when they faced 4th & 8 on the Ravens 41. A 60-yard field goal wasn't in Boswell's remit, but Roethlisberger wanted to leave one last mark on a team he has faced more than most in his career.
A 10-yard pass to McCloud, followed by a 15 yard run by Najee Harris to the Ravens 16, all but gave kicker Boswell an easy shot at glory. Lining up in the Maryland wind and rain, Boswell made the kick and kept the playoff dreams in Pittsburgh alive with a 16-13 win. As long as the Sunday night game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers doesn't end in a tie, the Steelers will be experiencing postseason football once again.
Both offenses were struggling to put together drives in the opening stages of the game. However, after the Pittsburgh Steelers took the lead in the first quarter through a Boswell field goal, it seemed like Mike Tomlin's team was slowly gaining control.
Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley's pass intended for Mark Andrews was intercepted by Terrell Edmunds with just four minutes remaining in the first. Ben Roethlisberger, who was potentially playing his final game as a Steeler, also had a pass intercepted by Geno Stone in the closing stages of the first.
The Steelers led 3-0 going into the second quarter, which was relatively uneventful.
T.J. Watt managed to record the crucial sack he needed to equal Michael Strahan's record of 22.5 in a single season, but that occurred amongst a backdrop where six straight punts were kicked before Justin Tucker leveled the scores with a 24-yard field goal.
Then came the second half.
Ravens running back Latavius Murray decided to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and looked impossible to stop at one stage. However, the Ravens scored the game's first touchdown after Murray charged straight through the middle of the Steelers defensive line for a 46-yard run to make it 10-3.
Momentum had this time swung towards the Ravens, who sacked Roethlisberger with 4:51 remaining in the third after Boswell's 40-yard field goal reduced the deficit to just four points.
The fourth quarter was one full of tension. Not one player wanted to put a foot wrong, and with news that the Jacksonville Jaguars were beating the Indianapolis Colts, one slip could see any hopes of reaching the playoffs snatched away.
This was certainly a game where the defenses excelled, and it looked like the Ravens would be able to hold on, but in the final three minutes, the Steelers took the lead after Roethlisberger's six-yard pass connected with Chase Claypool for a TD and, more importantly, put Pittsburgh 13-10 following the extra point.
However, when a team has a kicking machine-like Tucker, the Ravens can never be counted out. Luckily Huntley managed to get his team into field goal range which allowed the 32-year-old to make a 46-yard kick and tie the scores at 13-13.
It's no surprise that despite the low scoring, both teams produced a thrilling matchup, but Roethlisberger showed what the Steelers would miss if he leaves or retires. It takes experience and calmness to thrive in the situation he faced in overtime. Some QBs would have panicked. Some wouldn't have been confident they could make those eight-season defining yards, and others would have asked the kicker to bail them out of trouble. Not Big Ben, he still showed glimpses of an illustrious 18 year playing career, and nothing will make him happier than stopping Baltimore from reaching the playoffs in his final regular-season game.
Re-live the best moments of Pittsburgh's overtime win against Baltimore below.