Baltimore seizes control of AFC North with victory over Pittsburgh
It really doesn't matter to the Baltimore Ravens who starts at quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the mission remains the same. So do the results...
PITTSBURGH — It really doesn't matter to the Baltimore Ravens who starts at quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the mission remains the same. So do the results.
While injured starter Ben Roethlisberger watched from the sideline, Baltimore pounded backup Byron Leftwich during a 13-10 victory Sunday night that put the Ravens in complete control of the AFC North.
The Ravens (8-2) sacked Leftwich three times, intercepted him once and sent him crumbling to the Heinz Field turf on a handful of occasions as Baltimore built a two-game lead over the Steelers (6-4).
"We took the mentality as a team that we're going into a fistfight," Baltimore safety James Ihedigbo said.
And the Ravens have no trouble brawling. On a night the offense could get little going against the NFL's No. 1 defense, Jacoby Jones returned a punt for a touchdown and Justin Tucker kicked two field goals to help the Ravens win their 12th straight game in the division.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh wasn't exactly declaring the division race over.
"It's like halftime," Harbaugh said. "It's like we won the first half and the second half is coming up."
Leftwich, making his first start in more than three years, was 18 of 39 for 201 yards.
• New England tight end Rob Gronkowski left the game against Indianapolis after catching two touchdown passes.
According to a report on Comcast SportsNet, Gronkowski has a broken forearm.
"He left the game with an arm injury," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said. "There was no update to that."
Gronkowski walked to the tunnel that heads to the locker room with about four minutes left in the Patriots' 59-24 victory over the Colts.
The Patriots (7-3) won their fourth straight game and extended their lead in the AFC East to three games over the other three teams. The 59 points equals the team mark set in a 59-0 win over the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 18, 2009.
• Andre Johnson had the game of his life to save the Houston Texans.
Johnson finished off a career day by turning a screen pass from Matt Schaub into a 48-yard sprint for the winning touchdown as the Texans rallied to beat Jacksonville 43-37 in overtime.
"All the good teams find a way to win, no matter if it's ugly, pretty or whatever," Johnson said. "In the win column, it either says 'W' or 'L.' They don't ask how you got it done."
Schaub threw a career-high five touchdown passes, completed a franchise-record 43 passes and finished with 527 yards passing, second most in NFL history. Former Seahawk Warren Moon also threw for 527 yards for the Houston Oilers in December 1990 in Kansas City. Norm Van Brocklin holds the record with 554 for the Rams in 1951.
Johnson caught 14 passes for 273 yards, both career highs.