Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh Steelers

09
Dec
10

Ravens Update

By Jesse Jones

Sorry for not blogging recently, but with finals and everything, life has been very stressful.

The Baltimore Ravens are going into their Monday night matchup against the Houston Texans with an 8-4 record.  Let’s take a look at how they got there.

The Ravens entered Week 12 against the Buccaneers with the same records, standing at 7-3.  The game was a fairly dominating game for the Ravens, as they cruised to a 17-10 win (score did not indicate what the game was like) to improve to 8-3.  However, Le’Ron McClain sprained his ankle and his status for the next game was uncertain.

The following Sunday night, the Ravens hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers, and with Le’Ron McClain injured, they had no fullback on the roster.  As you would expect, it was a defensive game.  Heading into the fourth quarter, the Ravens held a 10-3 lead, but as in previous games this season, the Ravens blew it.  The offense became very conservative and stopped taking shots down the field, after converting two plays over 60 yards in the first half.  The poor offensive play hurt them, as a strip by Troy Polamalu on Joe Flacco set the Steelers up at the 10-yard line, leading to their 13-10 lead.  On a fourth-and-two from the Steelers’ 31-yard line, the Ravens opted out of a 48-yard field goal because of the wind and went for it.  The result was a pass into the ground from Flacco that was intended for an open Ed Dickson, which would have been a first down.  Pittsburgh won the game 13-10, and dropped the Ravens to 8-4, and one game out of the lead for first place in the AFC North.

Now the Ravens have to travel to Houston, who has struggled of late.  The defense has allowed 13 or fewer points in their last three games, and now have to face a high-potent offense led by Matt Shaub and Andre Johnson, who is arguably one of the best receivers in the game.  However, the Texans have the worst pass defense in the league, so look for the offense to take full advantage of that.

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04
Oct
10

Ravens Finally Win In Pittsburgh

By Jesse Jones

Housh Says Bye To Pittsburgh After Grabbing The Game-Winning Touchdown

It should have been done last year, but self-inflicted penalties and mistakes prevented the Baltimore Ravens from winning in Pittsburgh.  So heading into Pittsburgh Sunday being 0-3 in Pittsburgh under John Harbaugh and behind Joe Flacco, the Ravens needed a win in Pittsburgh to prove to themselves that it can be done.

The Ravens fell behind in the first quarter 7-0 thanks to a one-yard run by Rashard Mendenhall, but quickly tied the game up on their next drive on a nine-yard touchdown run by Willis McGahee.  Then Billy Cundiff put the team ahead 10-7 heading into half with a 33 yard field goal as time expired, after missing a field goal earlier in the quarter.  In the third quarter, no points were scored, but the Steelers missed two field goals that would have given them the lead.  The fourth quarter was a thriller.  Rashard Mendenhall scored another touchdown to give Pittsburgh a 14-10 lead with seven minutes left in the game.  Baltimore drove the ball down the field, but got stopped at the goal line on fourth down with just under three minutes and one timeout left.  Game over, right?  Wrong.  The Baltimore defense stopped the Steelers to a three-and-out and with 55 seconds left, and Flacco drove the ball down the field with two completions to Anquan Boldin, followed by a completion to TJ Houshmandzadeh.  The very next play, Flacco froze the Steeler defense with a pump fake and found Housh in the end zone for an 18 yard touchdown that gave the Ravens a 17-14 lead with 32 seconds left.  Ofcourse, Pittsburgh tried to throw the ball down the field to get into field goal range, but Charlie Batch’s first pass was intercepted by who else, but Ray Lewis.  The Baltimore Ravens finally won a game in Pittsburgh under John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco.

Baltimore played an all-around very solid game.  The offense had 22 first downs compared to Pittsburgh’s 14, and had a total of 320 yards compared to Pittsburgh’s 210.  Joe Flacco showed a lot of maturity yesterday, not making mistakes (besides his one interception that was just a bad throw) and went 24-37 for 256 yards overall.  The Ravens ran the ball relatively well (70 total yards), considering that they were playing one of the best defenses in the league and having an injured Ray Rice.

Yes, the Steelers were without Ben Roethlisberger, but the Ravens were without Ed Reed.  Without those two stars, the game was still a thriller and a classic matchup between the two rivals.  Baltimore improved to 3-1 and are now in first place in the AFC North ahead of Pittsburgh, who fell to 3-1.

Baltimore heads home to face the 2-2 Denver Broncos, while Pittsburgh will have a bye week and prepare to face the Cleveland Browns, who beat the Cincinnati Bengals, in Roethlisberger’s return.

29
Dec
09

Their Own Worst Enemy

Derrick Mason Dropped A Wide Open Go-Ahead Touchdown

By Jesse Jones

Going into Sunday’s rivalry matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Ravens were in control of their own playoff destiny, sitting in fifth place in the East with a chance to clinch a playoff birth.

The game started off slow for both teams, with a 6-3 score before the Steelers scored a touchdown putting them ahead 13-3.  Soon after Todd Heap grabbed in a diving touchdown and put Baltimore within three.  With around two minutes left in the first half, Terrell Suggs dropped an interception at the three yard line that would have given Baltimore a 17-13 lead.  This drop, followed by an offsides call lead to a Pittsburgh touchdown, giving them the 20-10 lead at half.

In the third quarter, where the Ravens have been their best this year, Baltimore scored a quick touchdown and Dominique Foxworth intercepted a pass to Santonio Holmes and returned it to the house.  The catch?  Terrell Suggs was called for a block in the back.  The drive ended in a field goal.  With another stop by the defense, the offense got the ball back and Willis McGahee ran for a long touchdown run.  But wait!  Kelley Washington was called for holding.  A few plays later, the reliable Derrick Mason dropped a wide open touchdown that would’ve put the Ravens up 27-20.

The fourth quarter only showed three points, and that went to the Steelers, who won 23-20.  Baltimore was driving late and entered Pittsburgh territory, but the offensive line failed miserably and Flacco was sacked and ended up fumbling the ball, which bounced off a helmet into the hands of the Steelers.

Baltimore also committed 11 penalties to go along with the three touchdowns that should have been.

The Ravens are now 8-7, tied with Pittsburgh, New York, Denver,  and Houston for the 5th and 6th seeds in the playoffs.  If the Ravens and Jets win, they’re in.  With a loss, the season is over.

After a 3-0 start, how did it come to all this?  So many close losses and key mistakes.  Baltimore is lucky to have a team that can still make the playoffs, but the mental mistakes need to change.  Hopefully things turn around with a make-or-break trip to Oakland.

Other NFL Notes

  • Bengals clinched AFC North
  • Patriots clinched AFC East
  • Colts lost to the Jets for the first time this season
  • Titans were eliminated from playoff contention



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