BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens finally got a quick-strike, game-changing play that is an intregal part of their offense this season.
The moment came early in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers and set the tone the rest of the way.
Baltimore's Mike Wallace had a 95-yard touchdown reception and the Ravens took over first place in the AFC North with a 21-14 victory over the Steelers on Sunday. The Ravens (4-4) won their fourth consecutive game against Pittsburgh, also snapping a four-game losing streak in the process.
"It was just a great team win," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We found a way to play winning football. We just kept the faith, which I am really proud of. It's just a great win against the Steelers. It's always a great win."
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to the lineup after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left meniscus on Oct. 17. He was out of sync for most of the game before leading two scoring drives in the fourth quarter.
Roethlisberger's 4-yard run pulled Pittsburgh (4-4) within 21-14 with 48 seconds left in the game. However, Steelers kicker Chris Boswell flubbed the onside the kick and the Ravens held on for the win.
"It's frustrating," Roethlisberger said. "We didn't make plays. I didn't make plays. I didn't convert third downs. I turned the ball over. It's frustrating because you hold myself to a higher standard."
In the last 24 Ravens-Steelers games, 22 have been decided by eight points or fewer. Pittsburgh has lost its past three matchups on the season.
Wallace, who played for the Steelers from 2009 to 2012, caught four passes for 124 yards. None was bigger than the 95-yard strike late in the first quarter from Joe Flacco. That was the Ravens' longest play from scrimmage in regular-season history.
"It was great," Wallace said. "I thought I was going to be a little over-excited, but I wasn't. I played with those guys for a long time. I have a lot of love for them and a lot of respect. But I am on this side ... we're trying to win. We control the division right now."
A tip by Brandon Williams at the line was caught out of the air by Timmy Jernigan that gave the Ravens the ball on the Steelers' 32. That set up a 42-yard field goal by Justin Tucker and the Ravens led 13-0 with 4:50 left in the third quarter.
Baltimore then managed a comfortable margin when Buck Allen blocked a punt and Chris Moore picked up the loose ball and ran 14 yards for the score. Flacco found Steve Smith for a two-point conversion and the Ravens led 20-0 with 13:36 remaining in the game.
Roethlisberger responded on the ensuing drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. Roethlisberger completed 23 of 45 passes for 264 yards.
The Steelers were hampered by mistakes and were penalized 13 times for 99 yards.
"We came up short today," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "The bottom line is we put ourselves in a hole with some adversity, some of which was created by us. Largely, we were a highly penalized group."
It had been 42 days since Baltimore won a game (Sept. 25 against Jacksonville). The Steelers lost more yards with penalties (84) than they gained on offense (66) in the opening half.
"We'll take the win, but we're not satisfied," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. "We have a tremendous amount of work to do."
Flacco had an improved performance and was 18 of 30 for 241 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
NOTES: Ravens WR Steve Smith (ankle) ran without any problems about two hours prior to kickoff and got the start. Smith, 37, missed the past two games after suffering the injury Oct. 16 against the Washington Redskins. ... Steelers DE Cam Heyward (hamstring) was back in the lineup after missing the past two games. ... Ravens rookie LT Ronnie Stanley (foot) returned to action after missing the past four games. Stanley showed some rust and was penalized four times. ... Rookie CB Artie Burns got the first interception by a Steelers defensive back this season with a pick in the opening quarter.