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Batch shines while pinch-hitting for Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch throws against the Baltimore Ravens defense during the second half of their NFL football game
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch throws against the Baltimore Ravens defense during the second half of their NFL football game

By Steve Ginsburg

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Pittsburgh quarterback Charlie Batch never doubted his ability despite his poor, three-interception performance a week ago in a shocking loss to the lowly Cleveland Browns.

"I've been in his league 15 years," he said after leading the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 23-20 upset victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. "I've been a starter in this league and one thing you can't do is dwell on the past.

"It's a long season and no matter what, all I can ask for is another opportunity. Being a back-up you don't know when that's going to happen."

With two-times Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger still sidelined with a sore shoulder and ribs, Batch made the most of his second chance as a starter.

The 15-year NFL veteran completed 25 of 36 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown, while engineering a game-winning, 12-play, 61-yard drive over the final six minutes.

Shaun Suisham kicked a 42-yard, game-winning field goal as time expired that put the Steelers (7-5) back in the hunt for a postseason berth.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin never doubted Batch despite his sloppy play in the 20-14 loss to Cleveland.

"Last week was what it was," said Tomlin. "It was on tape. Woulda, coulda, shoulda is not our business. He did the job tonight, along with his comrades, and that's most important."

The Steelers, whose playoff aspirations would have been dealt a severe blow with a loss to Baltimore, host San Diego next Sunday.

Roethlisberger, who was hurt on November 12 against Kansas City, might return for the Chargers game. But if he remains on the sidelines, the Steelers feel they are still in good shape.

"Charlie came in and played the game that we needed him to play today to win," linebacker James Harrison told reporters. "It's not surprising to us. It may be to you but not to us."

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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