BALTIMORE – Given their uneven performance against the Baltimore Ravens, the Washington Redskins must be glad they don't face their so-called rivals on a regular basis.
Ed Reed set up a touchdown with an interception and scored on a 22-yard fumble return, part of a stifling effort by the Baltimore defense in a 24-10 victory Sunday night.
With their seventh win in eight games, the Ravens (9-4) enhanced their stature in the wild-card race and remained one game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North. Baltimore hosts the Steelers next Sunday.
Washington (7-6) has lost four of five. The Redskins trailed 17-0 before scoring twice in the fourth quarter after Baltimore turnovers, but couldn't complete the comeback.
Jason Campbell threw two interceptions and was sacked twice; Clinton Portis had only 32 yards rushing and lost a fumble; and Shaun Suisham missed a 48-yard field goal.
The teams play their home games only 32 miles apart, but this was only the fourth meeting between the Redskins and Ravens — the first in Baltimore. The Ravens hold a 3-1 lead in the series.
PITTSBURGH — Tony Romo was one play into what he expected to be a game-winning scoring drive and, with Dallas trying to preserve time late in the fourth quarter, couldn't believe it when Pittsburgh called time out.
"He gave us that, 'Who called the time out? You called the time out?' " Steelers linebacker James Harrison said. "Yeah, we called the time out."
Like it has been nearly all season, Pittsburgh's league-leading defense was one play ahead of the opposing offense, even during a game in which the Steelers largely played from behind.
Deshea Townsend scored on a 25-yard interception return on the next play with 1:40 remaining as the Steelers scored their only two touchdowns 24 seconds apart, rallying from a 10-point deficit to deal the Cowboys a potentially damaging 20-13 loss on Sunday.
"Yeah, we called the time out," Harrison said, describing what the Steelers (10-3) perceived to be almost-smug confidence by Romo and the Cowboys even as they were surrendering a 10-point lead in the final 7 1/2 minutes. "And you're going to throw a pick to Deshea so we can win."
Afterward, the Cowboys (8-5) almost couldn't believe it: Not only that Pittsburgh's bold gamble paid off, but that they couldn't hold onto an apparently decisive lead in a game they badly needed to win to make the NFC playoffs as a wild card.