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.

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