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Ben Roethlisberger Terminates Ravens' Season With Late Comeback

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws the ball during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, January 9, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws the ball during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, January 9, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Ravens Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale called Ben Roethlisberger "The Terminator" this week because he's so hard to finish off.

On Sunday, Roethlisberger terminated the Ravens' season again, and probably extended his football life, with a 16-13 overtime victory.

Playing in what was expected to be his final game, Roethlisberger led a fourth-quarter comeback and won the game in overtime by directing a scoring drive capped by a game-ending 36-yard field goal.

Instead of burying Roethlisberger at M&T Bank Stadium, with Terrell Suggs looking down from a suite, the Ravens instead watched Roethlisberger capture another magical moment against his AFC North rival.

"It's pretty special. Do you expect anything different in this rivalry?" Roethlisberger said. "It's special anytime you come to this place and get a win."

The Ravens were leading, 10-6, about midway through the fourth quarter when Roethlisberger got the ball with excellent starting field position at midfield. He completed seven of his next eight throws, including a 20-yard strike on third-and-9 and another completion on third-and-4. He capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown to Chase Claypool to give Pittsburgh a 13-10 lead.

Baltimore answered with a field-goal drive to tie the game, then held Roethlisberger from winning at the end of regulation. But when the Ravens punted after getting the ball first in overtime, there was certainly an uneasy feeling in M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens have seen this story too many times.

Roethlisberger converted with strikes on third-and-7, third-and-9 and again on fourth-and-8 on a dump-off to Ray-Ray McCloud that put Pittsburgh in field-goal range. A 15-yard run by Najee Harris after that essentially sealed the Ravens' fate.

"As I stepped up, big Calais [Campbell] was right there, and he reminded me how close he came to batting it down, and I just fit it right in to Ray-Ray," Roethlisberger said.

"You know, you have to pay respect where respect is due. We made it hard on him," Campbell said. "We definitely made it hard on him, and he just kept coming. You have to respect the competitor. He's a Hall of Fame player for that very reason, because when the game is on the line, that's when his best football comes out. He made the plays he needed to."

It was especially hard for Campbell to watch the Steelers and Roethlisberger party on his field. Campbell will debate whether to retire this offseason. Meanwhile, Roethlisberger's career was extended into the playoffs, so long as the Raiders and Chargers don't tie.

"I think they have a chance to continue playing football, so it won't be his last game after all," Campbell said. "He's a warrior. Much respect to him."

While Campbell sat on the Ravens' bench for a long time after the game ended, just taking it all in and alone with his thoughts, Roethlisberger savored the moment in a raucous Steelers locker room after another wild win in Baltimore that he'll remember forever.

"People always ask me where is my least favorite place to come and play? It's always Baltimore, and it's for a couple of reasons," Roethlisberger said. "It's because of how good the team is and its defense. And this place is always crazy loud. The fans are ruthless, which I think is a compliment to this place and how hard it is to play here. So, it's pretty special to get this win."

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