AFC Divisional Recap: Ravens Eat Crow

Hines Ward said it best in the post-game press conference:  “They keep asking for us.  We keep knocking them out of the tournament.”  Some day, the Baltimore Ravens and their obnoxious fanbase will learn when you call down the thunder, you reap the whirlwind.  For once again, the Pittsburgh Steelers humbled the Ratbirds when it mattered most, overcoming a putrid first half to pull off a convincing 31-24 victory.  As someone who has watched every minute of every game this season, I can confidently say the first half was about the worst half of football the Steelers have played all season while the second half may have been the best.

Hopefully this game will be the last of the “Joe Flacco is a great young quarterback” talk for awhile.  He’s a game manager at best and wouldn’t even be the back up on the Steelers. Here was the Ratbirds game plan:  Screen, dumpoff, screen, run, checkdown, screen, run, screen, checkdown, run…   All Bert does is throw five yard dink and dunk passes.  Of his thirty attempts, maybe a handful were deep down field and the closest he came to completing one was when Anthony Madison got called for pass interference on a ball that hit him in the shin.  When the game was on the line and the pressure was on, well, it’s a good thing the Ravens wear black pants so we didn’t see the stains from Flacco crapping himself in fear.

Since the Ravens’ laughable offense wasn’t much of a threat, the only danger was shooting ourselves in the foot.  While the Black and Gold foot may still be intact, a few toes are surely missing (no doubt disappointing Rex Ryan).  Backed up in our own end, Ben Roethlisberger dropped back, pumped once, pumped twice, pumped…  THROW THE DAMN BALL!  No, he tried a third pump which got knocked out of his hands for a fumble.  Instead of falling on the fumble, everybody stood around with thumbs up their asses until Chris Redding decided to pick it up and score.  Why Mike Tomlin challenged what was on obvious fumble, I do not know.  Whoever sits in the booth and calls for challenges needs to be fired immediately because this was a huge gaffe which could’ve come back to bite the Steelers.  Hey, I have 20/20 vision and work cheap.

Shortly thereafter, Rashard Mendenhall fumbled the ball when Chris Kemoeatu’s left cheek brushed his hand.  The defense, who played man-sized all game, almost held them to a field goal but Troy Polamalu missed an open-field tackle on Ray Rice on third down.  On Rice’s earlier rushing touchdown, Troy was the last line of defense but tried to knock his block off instead of, you know, TACKLING him.  I don’t know if it was rust or he’s more injured than we know but this was a pathetic effort from Polamalu.

With that terrible first half behind them, the Steelers came out staring at a 21-7 deficit.  Somebody needed to make a play and when the Black and Gold need a spark, they usually find it on defense.  Quick, if I told you a Steeler safety would turn the game around, who would you think I was talking about?   If you said, “Ryan Clark,” purchase a lottery ticket immediately because you clearly have some freaky Nostradamus thing going on.

After yet another screen to Rice, Clark punched the ball free for a momentum changing turnover.  Mendy bulled over useless Ray Lewis, who was knocked around like a bowling pin convicted of murder all afternoon, for 14 yards to set up a beautiful TD pass to Heath Miller in the corner of the end zone.  Then “Renegade” played on the scoreboard and James Harrison went after Flacco like he was shot out of cannon for one of his three sacks on the afternoon.  On their next drive, Bert actually attempted a long pass but overthrew it by five yards right into Clark’s waiting mitts.

The Steelers converted that miscue into a touchdown thanks to tough running by Mendy and a bullet to Hines Ward.  At this point, dribbles of piss were running down Flacco’s leg which made his hands so slippy, he had trouble holding on to the QB-Center exchange.  Bret Keisel pounced on the fumble and what was a two touchdown deficit had become a three point lead.

By this time, I was confident the Steelers were going to win.  My only concern was trying to figure out which play the whiny Ravens and their crybaby fans will use as incontestable evidence that the league has rigged things for Pittsburgh.  I soon had my answer as Webb ran a poor punt back for a touchdown which was called back on a clear and obvious holding penalty.  And this is what we’ll be hearing about, Steeler Nation.  Never mind the Ratbirds got away with a clip on the play before the Todd Heap TD catch.  Never mind the Steelers were actually penalized nine times for almost 100 yards by the horrible officiating crew.   And never mind that Anquan Boldin dropped a ball off his chest in the end zone three plays later.   Always blame others for your overrated team’s predictable choking.  IT’S THE BALTIMORE WAY!

So we had a tie game with four minutes left.  You can have your Bradys and your Mannings.  When faced with that situation, nobody is more clutch than Big Ben.  NOBODY.

Once again, Big Ben came through with a drive for the ages.  Facing a third and ten deep in our own end, Ben drilled a pass to Hines for a first down.   Later, in a play which will long live in Steeler lore, Ben converted a 3rd and 19 with a 58 yard bomb to rookie Antonio Brown.  In the first meeting of the season, the Ravens won thanks to Bryant McFadden letting TJ Housadroppah run right by him.  This time, the Ratbird secondary let ‘Tone run free down the field and make a spectacular David Tyree-style helmet catch.  After an ill-conceived pass where I was ready to strangle Bruce Arians, Mendy finally powered in for a touchdown.

Baltimore still had a minute and a half left.  And they were gifted fantastic field position thanks to Kemo’s idiotic personal foul on the touchdown.  Kemo must really hate the Ravens because he was scuffling with them after every play.  His Tongan Temper might’ve cost us dearly if we were facing a team with a halfway decent offense.  However, Bert ran around like a scared little girl for three plays, then hit TJ Housyourdropsalot, who let the ball fall right between his hands.

Steeler receivers catch it with their helmets and Ravens can’t catch it when they are gifted with five yard cushions.  That pretty much sums up why we’ll always be better than them.

What a game.  What a win.  The Ratbirds can take Bert Unibrow, Stabby McStabberson, and the rest of that gang of dirty thugs and crawl back to their hellhole of a city.  Oh and attention Jay, Matt, Bmore Bob, and the rest of you obnoxious Raven fans who infested my blog.  When you sober up from that drunken stupor you no doubt went into after your team’s epic choke-job, I have a Terrible Towel here for you.  Feel free to use it to wipe away those sweet tears of defeat.

Tags: 2009 Nfl Playoffs Antonio Brown Baltimore Ratbirds Baltimore Ravens Ben Roethlisberger Bert Flacco Big Ben Black And Gold Black And Gold Blog Charlie Batch Dennis Dixon Fast Willie Parker Fwp Hines Ward Joe Flacco Lamarr Woodley Mike Tomlin Nfl Playoffs Nice Pick Cowher Nicepickcowher Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers Blog Rashard Mendenhall Ratbirds Ravens Ravens-Steelers Roethlisberger Roethlisberger Concussion Santonio Holmes Steeler Blog Steeler Nation Steelers Steelers Blog Steelers Nation Stillers Super Bowl Champions Troy Polamalu

  • Jim

    Bring on the Jets! Let’s show those New Yawkers how the Steelers do things in the Burgh.

  • Ram

    Hehe… that was a very sarcastic article Chris! I sure loved reading that.

    • chris

      Sarcastic? Moi?

      I was being serious. I’d take Dennis Dixon over Bert in a heartbeat. At least Dix or Batch can throw the ball more than 5 yards down the field.

  • RS

    You can say what you want about Polamalu and his weak effort this game, but I’ll take him – every time. You can count on him coming up big in big games, such as next week and the Super Bowl. I stand behind him and certainly won’t throw him under the bus now.

    • chris

      So Saturday wasn’t a big game? And who is throwing him under the bus? Look, I love Troy. He’s one of my favorite Steelers of all-time. But I still need to tell it like it is. He played a really really lousy game.

  • Menahuni2600

    Yeah, my brother (die-hard Steelers fan too) called me at half-time. “What the h*ll is going on here?” My reply… “Don’t worry, bro. We know the Steelers well enough.” They pulled together and pulled off yet another victory. GREAT GAME!!

  • Tom G

    What a weekend of football! First I got to watch a glorious comeback victory by the Steelers over the Ravens. (especially sweetened after all the shit-talking they did), then I get to watch Billy B and Farrah, er I mean Tom, bite the dust. Classic example of what being over confident will get ya…

    • chris

      Farrah is right. Did you see that play where he dropped back, saw a guy coming at him, and SPIKED THE BALL INTO THE GROUND? What a sissy. Run around and try to make a play, sissy.

      • Tom G

        I absolutely saw that play and thought the same thing. He’s is a big sissy. Maybe he needs some rubberbands to put that hair in pigtails…

  • Bill

    I don’t know Chris I’m as big a fan as anyone else but even I didn’t see holding on that return. Didn’t matter as you said the officiating was horrible all day. The only plus about the men in stripes was they sucked on both sides of the ball. But I digress.
    Great win. Proves that despite facing a quality team with a great defense we can prevail. Jets won’t be pushovers but they are very beatable.

    • chris

      You didn’t see the holding because the camera angle was bad. They only showed it from behind when the holding was from the front. But from the way Allen fell down, he either was held or should have won a Golden Globe last night for acting. As I said, doesn’t matter anyway since Boldin should’ve made that TD catch three plays later.

      I also expect the Jets game to be equally tough. I just like that match-up better because the Steelers struggle against explosive passing games like NE’s. This is a much better opponent for them.

  • Thirty3

    -Yes it was holding. correct call. HUGE KUDOS to will allen (buckeye). who knows, if 26 doesnt take that charge, maybe the refs dont blow the whistle. when you watch that play in real time, it looks like it could go either way. Throw those big white gloves up in the air and sell the call. gamesmanship at its best.

    - I like the fact that Troy had a sub-par game and we still won the game. the standard is the standard. look for 43 to rebound nicely.

    - Hines said it best “when i go into that huddle and see #7, i know we got a chance”

    - I love the matchup of our WRs against their DBs. yes Revis is a beast. Yes Cromartie is a solid #2. But Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, Kyle Wilson, and Drew Coleman cant stop our two young rooks. and just when they think they have everyone covered…The Champagne of Tight Ends comes into play.

    • chris

      Good call. If you saw that first meeting, Manny Sanders had a big game against their #3. And Spaeth was open all over the place but he dropped as many as he caught. Give me Manny, A-B, and Heath? Yeah, I like those odds.

  • Hennessy

    What…A…Game. And what a re-cap as well, bravo *Clapping*. I was also trying to foretell which call the Baltiwhore base was going to cry about and then Allen had to go and ruin it by making it obvious. I loved the “Renegade” video getting the big ketchup bottle back to standard volume. Even the announcers felt the need to state why the crowd kept flipping out during dead time on the field.
    My personal favorite was watching Stabby McStabberson run around the field in a purple shirt pretending he was having an impact on the game. Mendy crushing his face in with his shoulder goes down as highlight #1.
    As for Troy, he just seemed to be one step shy of a game changer, all game. Really though, you can’t take too much out of his hit on Rice – Ray Rice is a damn cannonball and nobody can be discredited for getting sidesmacked 5 yards for trying to bull him over. Though agreed – he might have had a better shot at wrapping him up than going flyin’ Hawaiian in that situation.
    Game ball goes to Tomlin for keeping the boys in black focused, presumably by walking into the locker room with an emotionless face, saying nothing, then walking back out. His ability to have one facial expression for 4 quarters is impeccable.
    Great job Black and Gold – now let’s show the little green feet smellers what Pittsburgh’s about and go get #7 for #7!

    • chris

      Now, now, Hennessy. Tomlin’s face did change once. He had a look of massive confusion after Redding picked up that fumble for a TD. I also liked his shadow boxing routine after Housabutterfingers dropped that pass. Nice left hook.

      As for Troy, I don’t know what “game changers” you saw that I didn’t. LeBeau clearly got sick of him missing tackles because in the 2nd half, he dropped back into coverage and they started using Timmons as the rover. If Clark or Gay whiffed on that third down play, everybody would be on their case.

      That said, Polamalu is a big game player and I can’t imagine him having two sub-par playoff games in a row. Sanchez should be afraid. Very afraid.

  • Moses Malone

    This is the first time, I couldn’t wait to read your blog. Well worth the wait. Great job.

    “Dribbles of piss”. Hahahaha!

  • Smoking Tire

    For those who say the holding call could have gone either way, here is the clip:

    At the :19 mark, the mugging takes place. Allen cannot free himself from the guy even by pushing him as he back pedals. The replays were from the back, so you can’t see the Raven defender’s left hand holding Allen too clearly. But you don’t need slow motion replay to see it. Just watch the clip full speed around the :18 to :19 mark. I saw it as it took place and screamed “Holding” at the top of my lungs.

    Clear holding. No question.

    Good post as usual. Flacco is 100% Bert. You nailed it.

  • BmoreDave

    I’d be remiss if I went into hiding without first congratulating you guys and wishing you well.

    My gf is a longtime Steelers fan and as unbearable as she’ll be if the Burgh gets a 7th ring, I’m just not comfortable with Rex Ryan winning the whole thing. He’s damned obnoxious now, I can’t imagine how he’d be with a ring. It just can’t happen.

    Besides, I’d rather we got beat by the SB Champs than the losers of the AFC title game.

    Still though …hate you SOBs.

    “Here we go, Steelers, Here we go. Pittsburgh’s going to the superbowl!”

    • chris

      Plus, when the Steelers win #7, she might be so happy you get lucky! Everybody wins!

      Actually, Bob, it took a big man to come here after your team’s embarrassing performance. So for that, you’ve earned my respect. I still wish nothing but failure and misery upon your obnoxious team but you are a credit to NFL fans everwhere.

      • Hennessy

        Agreed. Kudos to you BmoreDave… that took gusto. Personally, I am not certain I would be able to have done the same happened the alternative outcome of the game played out. You are a true fan of the game amongst a city full of obnoxious over-zealous die hards who fail to recognize the obvious victor in this rivalry. I do concede that had we lost the game, I would be rooting the Dirtbirds all the way to lombardi with a purple shirt on. Go Stees’!!!!!!!

        P.S.: A Pittsburgh-Baltimore household has to be one hell of a struggle. Hats off to you both!

  • Chaz

    Jets will win, remember this?

    And good luck filling all your Squeller needs with a draft with all those old guys… you should sign Favre as your backup. If the Steelers don’t win this year mark my words… 5 years before they are a contender.