Running back Najee Harris stole the show in the 16-13 victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17. Then Harris stole a microphone from NBC sideline reporter Melissa Stark.
Stark had already asked Harris and Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett several questions after the game Sunday night, and it looked like the interview was finished. But then Harris snatched the microphone right out of Stark’s hand to deliver one final message.
“Shoutout to the O-line,” Harris said. “Shoutout to Kenny P. right here. You all see this rookie serving man. He’s saying have a good composure. He’s doing his Dougie. Shoutout to my man Kenny.
“Shoutout to Mike T, man. Shoutout to The Bay.”
Stark, who initially didn’t seem pleased she lost her microphone, then told Harris to also give a shoutout to her co-worker.
“And Cris Collinsworth.”
It’s a little odd that Stark told Harris to give a shoutout to Collinsworth and not play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico, but perhaps Stark considered Harris’ shoutout to “Mike T” covered both Tirico and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
Regardless, it’s clear Harris was in a great mood after the Steelers beat the Ravens. He had reason to be.
Harris rushed for a season-high 111 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in the final minute of regulation.
Harris Leads Steelers to Second Straight Last-Minute Victory
It was pretty clear what Pittsburgh’s game plan was in the rematch against Baltimore — establish the ground game and stop the run.
In the first showdown between the AFC North rivals in Week 14, the Ravens outgained the Steelers on the ground, 215-65.
The entire Pittsburgh organization seemed to take that personally. In Weeks 15 and 16, the Steelers averaged 131 rushing yards. They also gave up under 60 yards on the ground in both contests.
That running game domination continued for the Steelers in Baltimore, as the Steelers out-rushed the Ravens, 198-120. Pittsburgh stuck with the ground game despite trailing in the second half until the final minute of regulation.
The Steelers had 41 rushing attempts, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. There’s only been one other game this season that Pickett started where Pittsburgh called more running plays.
Harris was the star, averaging 5.0 yards per rush 22 carries. He also caught 2 passes for 12 yards, including the game-winning 10-yard reception with 56 seconds remaining.
Rookie Jaylen Warren didn’t do badly either. He gained 76 rushing yards, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
Steelers Keep Playoff Hopes Alive Entering Week 18
Early on January 1, the Steelers received the results they needed to stay in the playoff hunt. First, the Miami Dolphins lost to the New England Patriots. Then, the New York Jets fell to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Steelers still need more help to make the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the AFC. But their playoff chances rose to 15% after the results on January 1. The team’s playoff chances sat at 0.3% just three weeks ago.
The victory also improved the Steelers to 8-8. If they beat the Cleveland Browns at home in the season finale, Tomlin’s non-losing season streak will be extended to 16 years.
To make the playoffs, the Steelers must win and hope the Patriots and Dolphins both lose. The Patriots will face the Buffalo Bills, who have won the AFC East but could be playing for the No. 1 seed in the conference in Week 18.
The Dolphins will host the Jets next week. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the Jets will have nothing to play for, having been eliminated from the playoffs on January 1. But the Dolphins could be down to their third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson, who finished the game against the Patriots in Week 17.
Steelers fans, though, can worry about that another day. For now, they should just be excited about the win against the Ravens, as Harris was.