NFL season 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers claim AFC North with comeback win to eliminate Baltimore Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger connects on four-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown with nine seconds left to overcome a 10-point deficit in the final period

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 9:39am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 9:39am

The Pittsburgh Steelers exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter on Sunday to beat the Baltimore Ravens 31-27 in a Christmas battle for the NFL’s AFC North division crown.

Ben Roethlisberger connected on a four-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown with nine seconds remaining as the Steelers overcame a 10-point deficit in the final period.

The Steelers beat their bitter division rivals for the first time in five games to eliminate the Ravens from play-off contention and win their 22nd division crown since 1970.

“We punched our ticket, and that’s an awesome thing,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of securing a play-off berth.

Pittsburgh looked to be on their way after two Le’Veon Bell touchdowns in about four minutes in the fourth quarter helped them overcome a 20-10 Baltimore lead and take a 24-20 edge.

But Baltimore surged back as quarterback Joe Flacco mounted a 75-yard, go-ahead touchdown drive capped by Kyle Juszcyk’s 10-yard scoring run up the middle.

However, Roethlisberger had just enough time to fashion a game-saving 75-yard drive, capped by Brown reaching with an arm to get the ball across the goal line.

Pittsburgh won their sixth in a row after dropping four straight, while Baltimore’s defeat also assured Kansas City of a play-off berth.