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Ravens up 10-0 over Steelers after 1st half
By: Staff  Writer - AP
Published: 11/28/2013  at  9:31:56 PM
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BALTIMORE (AP) - Joe Flacco found Torrey Smith for a 7-yard touchdown pass Thursday night, Justin Tucker kicked a 43-yard field goal, and the Baltimore Ravens limited the Pittsburgh Steelers to 98 total yards in the first two quarters to take a 10-0 halftime lead in the first Thanksgiving meeting between the AFC North rivals.

The Ravens held Le'Veon Bell to 21 yards on nine carries, while Ben Roethlisberger completed 11 of 18 passes for just 78 yards. The closest the Steelers came to scoring was when they lined up for a 50-yard field goal attempt that was aborted, with the ball ending up in kicker Shaun Suisham's hands for a 12-yard loss. It was unclear whether the play was a deliberate fake or if Suisham mistimed the snap and arrived at the ball too early.

A Steelers-Ravens game is always intense, especially when there are playoff implications, and there were three post-whistle scuffles in the opening quarter alone. Baltimore lost receiver Brandon Stokley for the game with a sprained left knee, sustained while he was running a route early in the second quarter, while linebacker Elvis Dumervil left with a sprained left ankle late in the second quarter. The Ravens said Dumervil's return was questionable.

Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel injured his left foot in the first half. His return was also announced as questionable.

Despite their losing records, the Steelers (5-6) and Ravens (5-6) began the game in a six-way tie for the AFC's second wild-card berth. Both were also two games back of the Cincinnati Bengals, each with one game remaining against the division leaders.

On the Ravens' opening drive, Flacco had plenty of time to find Smith on a deep post pattern for a 54-yard completion, falling just short of a touchdown when Smith was dragged down by Cortez Allen at the 1-yard line.

Flacco took a sack two plays later, but then connected again with Smith, who was wide open over the middle. Flacco completed 4 of 5 passes for 74 yards on the drive and was 10 for 16 for 118 yards at the half.

While the Ravens came out throwing, the Steelers gave the ball to rookie running back Bell for their first five offensive plays, including a three-and-out on their opening drive.

When Roethlisberger started passing, his first five completions went to five different receivers in a slow march downfield. But the drive into Baltimore territory stalled, and Pittsburgh opted to punt on fourth-and-6 at Baltimore's 37. A drive in the second quarter advanced the ball to Baltimore's 32 before the field goal attempt that went awry.

The Ravens took advantage of the miscue. Given good field position at their own 44, they moved the ball with the help of a 26-yard pass interference call on Ike Taylor to set up the field goal that made the score 10-0.

The game had figured to be another Steelers-Ravens nail-biter - nine of the previous 11 regular-season games between the teams were decided by three points, including a Pittsburgh win last month on a field goal as time expired.

The Steelers had won three straight after a 2-6 start, while the Ravens were trying to put together a winning streak for the first time since September.

Neither team is accustomed to playing on Thanksgiving. The Ravers are 1-0 all-time on the holiday, while the Steelers were hoping for their first turkey day win since a 28-17 triumph over Chicago Cardinals in 1950.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org


Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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