PITTSBURGH — The clock ticking and a season filled with promise evaporating, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took the snap, turned to his left and put the AFC North title in the hands of wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Brown caught the ball at the Baltimore 1 and waited for the hit he knew was coming. When it arrived from Ravens safety Eric Weddle and linebacker C.J. Mosley, Brown ducked his head and stretched the ball across the goal line for a playoff-clinching touchdown that symbolized his team’s considerable resilience.

Reeling in November. Heck, reeling early in the fourth quarter at home on Christmas against an archrival that’s more than had their number in recent years, the Steelers are heading to the playoffs anyway.

Brown’s lunging 4-yard score with nine seconds left lifted Pittsburgh to a gripping 31-27 victory and a second division title in three years, delivering just as Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell predicted Brown would.

“Over there by the heaters before the final drive, he said ‘AB, you’ve got to go down there and get the game winner,” Brown said.

It was a play Brown’s teammates have seen many times, just never with so much on the line.

“That’s AB,” wide receiver Damarcus Ayers said. “He does it so much in practice, it doesn’t wow you in a game. In this particular moment it’s like, ‘he’s done it again.’ “

Baltimore (8-7) was eliminated from contention.

Brown finished with 10 receptions for 96 yards to join Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison as the only players with four straight 100-catch seasons. Roethlisberger shook off a pair of third-quarter interceptions to finish with 279 yards passing and three touchdowns. Bell ran for 122 yards and a score, and hauled in another on an ad-libbed play by Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh rallied from a 10-point deficit to win its sixth straight.

The Steelers (10-5) host during wild-card weekend on Jan. 7 or 8, heady territory considering they were 4-5 after falling to Dallas on Nov. 13. As New Year’s nears, they haven’t lost again.

“I think today showed some resolve,” Roethlisberger said. “I think we showed some fight, no quit.”

The Ravens took the lead on Kyle Juszczyk’s 10-yard burst up the middle with 1:18 remaining. But Roethlisberger led the Steelers 75 yards in 10 plays to eliminate Baltimore, the last 4 yards on a play that could live on in team history, depending on how far Pittsburgh’s momentum can carry it.

Joe Flacco passed for 262 yards, including a pretty 18-yard dart to Steve Smith that put Baltimore up 14-10 early in the third quarter. Smith ended with seven receptions for 79 yards, but the Ravens crumbled late. Their defense put up little resistance as Roethlisberger clinically got his team in position to get back to the playoffs.

“We didn’t want (Roethlisberger) to have a good game,” Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “We didn’t want (Brown) and (Bell) to kind of put their imprint on the game, or their stamp on the game, and they did that. They’re a good team. They’re well deserving. They won the division, we’ll applaud them, but we’ll be back.”