View Full Version : NEWS: Steelers beat Ravens; Titans await

12-15-2008, 01:58 AM
Steelers beat Ravens; No. 1 Titans await
Monday, December 15, 2008

BALTIMORE - The Steelers were roundly booed by the record crowd at M&T Stadium when they ran onto the field Sunday afternoon.

What followed was just as predictable.

Bitter rivals engaged in a knock-down defensive struggle in front of the largest crowd ever to see a Ravens game in Baltimore. In the end, the Steelers used a familiar formula to pull out another improbable victory and clinch a division title.

A superlative defensive effort kept the Steelers in the game, and the offense put together a late drive to win it, 13-9.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger marched the Steelers 92 yards and capped a 12-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter. After producing the only touchdown of the game and then weathering a late push by the Ravens' offense, the Steelers wrapped up the AFC North and assured themselves of no worse than the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, which comes with a bye in the first round of postseason play and at least one home game in January.

The Steelers (11-3) visit the Tennessee Titans next Sunday, and the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs will be up for grabs.

"That's what we're fighting for, the No. 1 seed," Steelers linebacker James Farrior said. "It's right there in front of us."

The Steelers get a couple of days to savor their first victory in Baltimore since 2002 before turning their attention to the Titans (12-2).

No one could say they didn't earn the gray hats that proclaimed the Steelers 2008 AFC North champions and were nearly as prevalent in the visiting locker room as satisfied smiles.

Nothing came easy in what turned out to be a typical Steelers-Ravens game, including the final touchdown.

Flushed out of the pocket on third down, Roethlisberger kept the play alive long enough to fire a bullet to Holmes in a shallow part of the end zone.

Ed Reed quickly shoved Holmes back across the goal line and officials initially ruled Holmes down at the 1-yard line. They changed the call to a touchdown after an official review.

Afterward, referee Walt Coleman said the pass broke the plane of the end zone and that Holmes established both feet in the end zone before Reed pushed him out.

"I was very confident that I stayed far enough across the (goal) line," Holmes said.

Holmes atoned for a fumble that led to a Matt Stover field goal and gave the Ravens (9-5) a 9-3 lead midway through the third quarter. Baltimore appeared to be in control after taking the six-point lead, given the way its defense had kept the Steelers under wraps.

The Steelers, however, whittled the lead to three points on a Jeff Reed field goal early in the fourth quarter. They got the ball back on their 8-yard line with 3 minutes and 36 seconds left in the game following a Lawrence Timmons sack that knocked the Ravens out of field-goal position.

Roethlisberger completed 7 of 11 passes on the final drive and spread the ball among his wide receivers. He finished with 246 yards on 22-of-40 passing, and his late-game heroics made up for an earlier fumble that cost the Steelers at least three points.

Hines Ward finished with a game-high 107 receiving yards on eight catches while Nate Washington had five catches for 76 yards. Holmes had just 21 yards receiving, but he made as big a catch as the Steelers have had this season, and his reception capped another stirring fourth-quarter rally by a team that seems to thrive while living on the edge.

"There were several instances where the faint of heart could have let go of the rope in that football game," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "One thing that's consistent, when we need plays, when we have to move the ball, we have.

"These guys believe. They believe in themselves, they believe in each other."

12-15-2008, 02:27 AM
We win this game, it'll be sweet. I am just loving the thought of watching Lendale White cry when we shut their run game down to nill.

12-15-2008, 02:31 AM
We win this game, it'll be sweet. I am just loving the thought of watching Lendale White cry when we shut their run game down to nill.

I just hope we shut up the radio people down here.

12-15-2008, 02:33 AM
Prolly won't shut 'em up, they'll just cry like all dogs do when you kick 'em!