BALTIMORE (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers rallied behind Ben Roethlisberger to remain the lone unbeaten team in the NFL, beating error-prone Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 28-24 Sunday in a duel for first place in the AFC North.
Roethlisberger threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to bring Pittsburgh (7-0) back from a 10-point halftime deficit. After completing only four passes for 24 yards in the first half, the 38-year-old finished 21 for 32 for 182 yards.
Jackson threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles, turnovers that helped Pittsburgh stay within striking distance until its offense finally got on track.
The Steelers led 28-24 when the Ravens (5-2) faced a fourth-and-3 at the Pittsburgh 8 with 2 minutes left. Jackson ran a quarterback draw and lost the ball while being stopped short.
Baltimore got the ball back and moved to the Pittsburgh 23 before Jackson’s pass in the end zone was broken up on the final play.
Earlier, Robert Spillane took an interception back for a score to end Baltimore’s first possession; Jackson lost a fumble inside the Pittsburgh 5; and Alex Hightower set up a Steelers touchdown by picking off a pass on Baltimore’s initial offensive play of the second half.
Jackson went 13 for 28 for 208 yards and two interceptions, the most he’s had in a regular-season game since throwing three against Pittsburgh in October 2019.
After Hightower’s pick, Roethlisberger threw an 18-yard TD pass to Eric Ebron. The Steelers then went ahead 21-17 on a 1-yard touchdown run by James Conner.
Baltimore had scored in every quarter this season before being blanked in the third period.
Jackson made it 24-21 with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown with 11:52 to go, but Roethlisberger answered with an 80-yard drive capped by an 8-yard TD pass to rookie Chase Claypool.
The game carried the intensity expected when longtime division rivals clash in a showdown for first place. There were hard hits, late hits and head butts, the latter occurring when Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters popped Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson during a confrontation away from the play.
That brought players from both teams near the Baltimore sideline. Late in that fray, Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon was ejected for making contact with an official. It appeared the slap to the arm occurred while Judon was trying to break free from the grasp of an assistant coach.
Ravens All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley left with an ankle injury in the first quarter after being accidentally undercut by Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt. Stanley had an air cast applied to his left leg and was carted off the field.
A heavy rain let up just before the opening kickoff, but the combination of a wet field and two strong defenses resulted in a first quarter with three turnovers — two by Jackson.
After Pittsburgh went up 7-0 on Spillane’s 33-yard touchdown, the Ravens pulled even on a 6-yard touchdown catch by Miles Boykin. Baltimore then drove inside the Steelers 10 before Bud Dupree jostled the ball from Jackson’s grasp and Vince Williams recovered at the 4.
The announced crowd was 4,345. It was the first time the Ravens had fans at a home game after previously making around 250 seats available to the immediate family of players, coaches and front office personnel.
The Ravens travel to Indianapolis next Sunday, the first meeting between the teams since 2017.