PITTSBURGH - The Baltimore Ravens are better than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, you're busy on a Monday morning, but take an extra second or two and let that sentence rattle around a little bit.
It's painful. But here's the other thing:
It's not an opinion, it's a fact.
It became indisputable when the Ravens went on a 92-yard touchdown drive in the last 2:24 and beat the Steelers 23-20 at Heinz Field.
The Steelers rallied to build a four-point lead that required the Ravens to score a touchdown to win the game.
That's what they did.
Rookie Torrey Smith, who had let a potential touchdown pass bounce off his fingers earlier in the possession, made the decisive catch that did more than win a game on the first weekend of November.
Even if Smith hadn't caught the game-winning pass, the Steelers were in trouble. William Gay was called for pass interference on the play.
It was a sour ending to what had been a spirited second half for the Steelers.
The outcome gave the Ravens both games in the season series against the Steelers. That's the first tiebreaker for playoff position.
It also erased the idea that the Ravens can't win at Heinz Field.
It had been an albatross for quarterback Joe Flacco, but he stayed cool on the last drive, keeping his poise even when his receivers dropped two passes. (Veteran Anquan Boldin had the other drop).
The Steelers had opportunities to get off the field on the last drive, but the defense couldn't get it done.
Far be it from this novice to question defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, but it looked like Ravens receivers had a comfortable cushion against the Steelers secondary.
Despite the mistakes by his receivers, Flacco kept the team moving and stayed cool in the pocket.
The Steelers rushed hard but never seemed to get close enough to rattle him.
Linebacker James Harrison returned to the lineup, wearing a tinted shield to protect his eye after an orbital bone injury required surgery.
The shield gave Harrison an even more sinister look, and he embraced the chance to come back with a monster game.
If there was an injustice in the result, it was that coach John Harbaugh's timid approach didn't cost him.
Harbaugh elected to have the Ravens kick a field goal after they'd reached the Steelers' 1-yard line on the opening drive.
Harbaugh's reasoning: He didn't want to take a chance on being shut out in those circumstances, and he didn't want to risk losing a sure three points in what was likely to be a close game.
That sort of decision can take the wind out of a team, but it didn't seem to faze the Ravens. They weren't backpedaling until the fourth quarter.
The Steelers had gone ahead when Mike Wallace essentially intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass intended for Antonio Brown.
Little matter who got it, it was the touchdown that mattered.
At least it did until Flacco got back on the field and led his own charge.
He took them on the long drive and, like it or not, proved that the Ravens are better than the Steelers this season.
Mehno can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org