PITTSBURGH — The Baltimore Ravens shut down Byron Leftwich, and Jacoby Jones supplied the offense they needed to grab control of the AFC North.
Jones returned a punt for a touchdown, Justin Tucker kicked two field goals and Baltimore beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-10 on Sunday night in another slugfest between two of the NFL’s biggest rivals.
The Ravens (8-2) moved two games in front of the Steelers (6-4) by shutting down Pittsburgh’s offense, which sputtered without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Leftwich, making his first start in more than three years, completed 18 of 39 passes for 201 yards and an interception. He ran for a score but was also sacked three times.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco wasn’t much better, completing 20 of 32 passes for 164 yards, but the Ravens didn’t need Flacco to dominate to beat the Steelers for the third straight time at Heinz Field.
The Steelers fell to 0-5 against the Ravens since 2005 when Roethlisberger doesn’t start. The two-time Super Bowl winner is out indefinitely with a sprained right shoulder and a dislocated rib.
Leftwich was looking for his first win as a starter since Oct. 8, 2008, a span of 2,234 days. He’ll have to wait at least seven more after the Ravens pounded him relentlessly in the second half.
The 32-year-old Leftwich took a series of shots, none more painful than a blindside sack by James Ihedigbo that forced Pittsburgh doctors to check him out for a rib injury.
Baltimore’s offense struggled against the NFL’s No. 1 ranked defense. Ray Rice finished with just 40 yards on 20 carries but it didn’t matter. He also had 53 yards receiving on five catches.
The Ravens ran out most of the final 4:33 behind Rice and a pair of Pittsburgh penalties. The Steelers could do little to stop the clock after Leftwich burned two timeouts in the span of two plays during a late third quarter drive.