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hawaiiansteel
11-29-2010, 01:36 PM
Ravens: 'All boils down to this'

November, 28, 2010
By James Walker


BALTIMORE -- Ravens Pro Bowl tailback Ray Rice could barely contain himself.

Following Baltimore's 17-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, the always-energetic Rice was already looking forward to next Sunday's AFC North showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"It all boils down to this," Rice said. "When you have the Steelers coming in here, it's all set up to be a big game. The records are what they are, we're both 8-3, and it's no excuses."

The Ravens (8-3), who are playing great football, beat the Steelers at Heinz Field last month while Ben Roethlisberger served his four-game suspension. If the Ravens are truly the best team in the division, they must prove it by pulling off a rare season sweep over the Steelers. Since 2000, the Ravens have swept the Steelers only once, in 2006.

For the Steelers (8-3), it's fair to say they weren't at full strength in their first meeting with Baltimore. But if Pittsburgh is really the dominant team in the AFC North, it must do what no opponent has done at M&T Bank Stadium this season: win. The Ravens are 5-0 at home.

May the smartest and most physical team win.

"We just don't like them, but we respect them," Ravens defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs said of Pittsburgh. "It's going to be championship football."

The Steelers are winning, but they didn't look impressive in their overtime victory over the lowly Buffalo Bills (2-9) on Sunday. Pittsburgh survived 10 penalties and a dropped touchdown pass by Buffalo's Steve Johnson in the extra period.

Meanwhile, the Ravens believe they have momentum.

"We wanted to take care of business to get to this game," said Rice, who rushed for 85 yards on 20 carries against Tampa Bay. "The season was set up the way it was supposed to be. I'm just glad we took care of business against everybody else for it to be set up like this."

Here are other observations from Baltimore's win over the Bucs:

Ravens' D peaking at the right time: Baltimore's defense is playing its best football of the season. The Ravens rattled Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who completed 17 of 37 passes for just 162 yards. He padded his stats with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter as the Bucs tried to rally. Baltimore also held Tampa Bay tailback LeGarrett Blount to 55 yards rushing. Since giving up a late touchdown in the loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 11, the Ravens have played inspired on defense. They've allowed only 23 points in their past two games.

Derrick Mason gets it going: There was a lot of discussion in Baltimore last week about Mason's heated sideline altercation with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Both players said they quickly moved past their differences and proved it against the Bucs. Flacco made a concerted effort to get Mason involved. The veteran receiver led Baltimore with eight receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted 13 times and was effective.

"We've got so many guys that are able to catch the ball that defenses just have to try to pick and choose what they're going to stop," Mason said. "They were playing me one-on-one or off-coverage a lot, so Joe looked my way today."

Injury concerns: Two key players to watch for the Ravens this week will be Ravens starting left tackle Michael Oher (knee sprain) and safety Dawan Landry (concussion). Both players were hurt in the second half and didn't return, but each believes he'll be ready to play against the Steelers.

Offense has tale of two halves: Baltimore's offense was explosive in the first half and stalled in the second half. The Ravens scored 17 points in the second quarter points to give them a lead they would never relinquish. Flacco put up good numbers, throwing for 289 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He had a passer rating of 103.2. But with the defense performing well, Baltimore appeared content to playing it safe in the second half and didn't do too much on offense. The Ravens' offense will need four strong quarters against Pittsburgh. "The second quarter was huge for us," Flacco said.
"Without that, we weren't able to accomplish too much."

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... r-steelers (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/21089/ravens-say-theyre-ready-for-steelers)

hawaiiansteel
11-29-2010, 01:46 PM
Harbaugh on Steelers smack talk: “What are you talking about?”

BY ZACH WILT, ON NOVEMBER 29TH, 2010


John Harbaugh was asked about the hype surrounding the Steelers coming into Baltimore in his post game press conference on Sunday and his answer was dismissive, or “bush league” and “uncalled for” according to a reporter at WNST.

“All the hype and all the talk, what are you talking about,” Harbaugh asked. “Last time we played them, was there talk? Or was there mutual respect exchanged?” The Ravens head coach went on to say that he didn’t want history to be changed, “If I remember all the stories, that’s exactly what I read, so let’s not be changing history here. We respect them.”

The war of words is always exchanged between the Ravens and Steelers. Harbaugh acknowledged the trash talk back in September. He was quoted in Press Box saying, “They won’t talk as much as is going to be said throughout the week. We’ve played them too much and they’ve played us too much. If something gets said, it gets said.”

Ryan Clark spoke of the Ravens a bit disrespectfully back in October. After Terrell Suggs said that the Ravens do respect the Steelers, but don’t like them, Clark fired back saying “To me, the Ravens are just another football team.” He went on, “I am not scared they are going to take my lunch money.”

Clark alluded to dirty play by the Ravens,“It’s funny, you hear a lot of things coming out of there that certain people take cheap shots and this and that, but when Ray does it or when Ray hits a guy coming across the middle, it’s cool,” Clark said.

http://baltimoresportsreport.com/harbau ... king-about (http://baltimoresportsreport.com/harbaugh-on-steelers-smack-talk-what-are-you-talking-about-10017.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=harbaugh-on-steelers-smack-talk-what-are-you-talking-about)

hawaiiansteel
11-29-2010, 02:50 PM
Attention turns to Ravens

By Mike Prisuta -- WDVE-FM


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – One of the theories being discussed in the visitor’s locker room at Ralph Wilson Stadium had that surviving the Bills the way the Steelers did would help prepare them for this Sunday night’s showdown in Baltimore.

Linebacker James Farrior wasn’t buying it.

“Nothing gets you ready for Baltimore except Baltimore,” Farrior insisted following last Sunday’s 19-16 escape in overtime. “This game is always different from any other game.

“It’s gonna be one of those types of games. No other game can prepare you for this one.”

The game against the Bills almost defied description given all the twists and turns and controversial calls (the Steelers were penalized 10 times, including three holding penalties that were accepted against guard Chris Kemoeatuand another roughing the passer flag against linebacker James Harrison).

The game against the Ravens figures to play out in a much more conventional fashion, at least in terms of what’s accepted as conventional as it relates to Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

“This will be all-out war come Sunday night,” wide receiver Hines Wardpredicted. “You don’t want to miss this one.

“This is the one you circle.”

That’s especially true for the Steelers after letting a late lead slip away and falling to the Ravens, 17-14, at Heinz Field, in the first meeting between the teams.

The rematch pits a couple of 8-3 teams against one another in a late-season battle for AFC North supremacy.

The Steelers appeared to be breezing their way toward their 8-3 half of that equation before letting a 13-0 second-half lead slip away.

They wound up requiring 12:36 of overtime before they were finally able to put the Bills away.

“We feel good because we got out of here with a win,” Ward said. “We’re starting to make strides in the right direction.

“We’re not playing good football, our best football, but what we had to overcome and go through (against the Bills), we can learn from it. I like the direction this team’s headed, especially in the month of December.”

Safety Ryan Clark took the Buffalo game for what it was worth _ a much-needed “W” _ heading into Baltimore.

“A game like this, winning it is what you have to do to make the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not always going to be pretty. We’re not going to dominate every team.

“But in order to get to the playoffs, in order to stack enough wins to get in the tournament, you have to come out on top in this one.”

Farrior was still chewing on how the last one against Baltimore had gotten away in the wake of the victory over Buffalo.

“We gave up a touchdown at the end, man,” he said about the 18-yard touchdown pass Joe Flacco threw to T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 32 seconds left in that game. “We’re definitely disappointed in that.”

Sunday’s rematch offers a chance to make amends, as well as assume control of the race for first place in the division.

“We’ll be ready,” Farrior said. “We’ll definitely be ready. And we know they’re gonna be ready.

“We’ll see what happens.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 62e51a78b2 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Attention-turns-to-Ravens/24ae3f6a-7045-4714-9d12-e162e51a78b2)

Crash
11-29-2010, 02:56 PM
2nd and 10.

Stay out of that, and we'll win.

EASY!

hawaiiansteel
11-29-2010, 02:57 PM
remind me to never use Verizon... :Hater


Ravens To Create 'Purple Out'

Fans To Receive Purple Rally Towels For Sunday Night Game

POSTED: 12:21 pm EST November 29, 2010


BALTIMORE -- Prior to this Sunday’s Ravens-Steelers game, the Baltimore Ravens and Verizon Wireless will provide over 71,000 fans with purple rally towels as they enter the gates of M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens are encouraging fans to wear all purple and wave their towel for the nationally-televised NBC Sunday Night Football broadcast, which you can see right here on WBAL-TV 11.

“Verizon Wireless joins Baltimore Ravens fans with this great show of team support, and we encourage all to display these towels to cheer our team on during Sunday’s game,” said Mike Maiorana, regional president of Verizon Wireless.

“Our fans are dedicated and extremely passionate – especially when it comes to playing the rival Steelers,” Ravens vice president of corporate sales and partnerships Mark Burdett stated. “M&T Bank Stadium boasts one of the NFL’s premier home-field advantages, and our players feed off our fans’ energy. We’re excited to see everyone wave their towel proudly, so a sea of purple will be on display for the national audience.”

Fans are encouraged to arrive in their seats at least 10 minutes prior to the 8:20 p.m. kickoff. “When our players are introduced, it will be a great scene at the stadium and on NBC-TV. We’ll have that ‘wall of purple’ Coach [John] Harbaugh brags about,” Burdett added.

http://www.wbaltv.com/r/25948229/detail.html

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-29-2010, 03:03 PM
I'm sure Vegas has us as big underdogs. And, based on each team's play so far this season, I can't argue strongly with that.

But I do know that as we began our last drive in the last two minutes of Superbowl XLIII, the odds of the Steelers winning were pretty close to zero. But this team showed then it had the ability to beat any other at any given time. And that wasn't the last time they did that.

I think this Sunday night will be just like that. Vegas odds, common sense be dam*ed. The winner of this game will be the one that can be like we were on "The Drive" in that Superbowl. And, I think it will be us!!

Go STEELERS!!

proudpittsburgher
11-29-2010, 03:19 PM
The Steelers are winning, but they didn't look impressive in their overtime victory over the lowly Buffalo Bills (2-9) on Sunday. Pittsburgh survived 10 penalties and a dropped touchdown pass by Buffalo's Steve Johnson in the extra period.


Yea, great comparison and all, because the Ravens never had to come from behind this season and win in overtime against that Bills team. :roll:

And go ahead and ask the fans to wear purple (who in the hell actually has to ask their fans to dress in team colors for a game). It'll just make all of the Steelers fans and our Terrible Towels stand out better.

:tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1

costanza2k1
11-29-2010, 03:28 PM
Great thread, thanks for bunching up the articles!

papillon
11-29-2010, 03:40 PM
The Steelers are winning, but they didn't look impressive in their overtime victory over the lowly Buffalo Bills (2-9) on Sunday. Pittsburgh survived 10 penalties and a dropped touchdown pass by Buffalo's Steve Johnson in the extra period.


Yea, great comparison and all, because the Ravens never had to come from behind this season and win in overtime against that Bills team. :roll:

And go ahead and ask the fans to wear purple (who in the hell actually has to ask their fans to dress in team colors for a game). It'll just make all of the Steelers fans and our Terrible Towels stand out better.

:tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1

And, the Steelers don't have any starters missing due to injury or anything... :roll: Evidently, only Oher's and Landry's injuries are of any significance.

Pappy

proudpittsburgher
11-29-2010, 06:45 PM
The Steelers are winning, but they didn't look impressive in their overtime victory over the lowly Buffalo Bills (2-9) on Sunday. Pittsburgh survived 10 penalties and a dropped touchdown pass by Buffalo's Steve Johnson in the extra period.


Yea, great comparison and all, because the Ravens never had to come from behind this season and win in overtime against that Bills team. :roll:

And go ahead and ask the fans to wear purple (who in the hell actually has to ask their fans to dress in team colors for a game). It'll just make all of the Steelers fans and our Terrible Towels stand out better.

:tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1 :tt2 :tt1

And, the Steelers don't have any starters missing due to injury or anything... :roll: Evidently, only Oher's and Landry's injuries are of any significance.

Pappy

Maybe they are happy abou that in Ravens land. Oher was a turnstile at times the first time around.

skyhawk
11-29-2010, 09:51 PM
2nd and 10.

Stay out of that, and we'll win.

EASY!

Ha. They will be in that situation most of the game with RUTM on 1st down.

Chadman
11-29-2010, 10:04 PM
Get Tomlin in Kemo's ear all week, get him riled up after his poor performance against the Bills..

then run the first play under Kemo's butt & get Kemo to destroy whoever might be in front of him.

Set the tone early- Steelers-Ravens games are won by whoever doesn't flinch.

hawaiiansteel
11-30-2010, 12:39 AM
Great thread, thanks for bunching up the articles!

thanks, it makes more sense to do it this way instead of having a bunch of different threads all about the same subject.



No love lost in this rivalry

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com


There is no beating around the bush on this one. It’s a well-known fact. When the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens take the field, there is no love lost between the two teams.

“It’s one of the best rivalries,” said guard Chris Kemoeatu. “It has a lot of history to it. I don’t know if hate is the word to use, but I think there is a lot of hate involved. It makes it that much more physical and competitive.”

And come Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium, with first place in the AFC North on the line, look for the intensity to reach another level.

“It’s always a big game when we play them,” said nose tackle Casey Hampton. “We are both physical teams, we our good defensive teams. We like to shut people down. It’s always a physical game. As a football player that’s the kind of game you want to play.

“They feel like they are more physical than us. We feel like we are more physical than them. Both teams have a bully type of attitude. Whoever hits the hardest and is more physical is going to win.”

The two teams have identical 8-3 records, but the Ravens sit atop the AFC North having defeated the Steelers 17-14 at Heinz Field on Oct. 3.

“We definitely owe them one,” said Kemoeatu. “They came in to our house and took that win. We have to go in there and get that victory. It’s a big one for us.

“It’s a dogfight; guys will be getting after each other. It’s going to be like the Raiders game, a lot of things are going to be said afterwards. There is going to be a lot going on.”

For Hampton it’s not about paybacks, it’s just about winning regardless of past results.
“We just want to beat them because they are our rival,” said Hampton. “Even if we would have beaten them the last game, we would feel the same way, period. They don’t like us and we don’t like them on the field. You want to always beat them.”

The game will be the marquee match-up, played on Sunday Night Football on NBC with a national television audience watching.

“Sunday Night Football, in Baltimore, road game,” said Hampton just thinking about it. “You know the crowd is going to be fired up. As a player that is the type of environment you want to be in.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 22d831dc4f (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/No-love-lost-in-this-rivalry/6bce6d89-2bca-4b12-8a52-f722d831dc4f)

fordfixer
11-30-2010, 01:18 AM
Ravens’ Lewis not going anywhere anytime soon
Les Carpenter

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... ewis112810 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Ajqyb5rF_iTra4wgrW3tlu5DubYF?slug=lc-raylewis112810)

BALTIMORE – In those moments before a football game, when a strange calm fills the Baltimore Ravens locker room, Ray Lewis(notes) sits quiet. He does not stomp or scream or wave his arms the way he does for those three hours that the game is played. Rather his teammates notice, it is as if he is building a storm inside, a fury that grows hotter and hotter until he reaches the edge of the field …

“And it all just explodes,” as receiver Derrick Mason(notes) says.

It blows up in a frenzy of jumps and kicks, with head thrown back, hands spread wide and flames from the team’s pyrotechnic display shooting all around him.

Ray Lewis is ready to play football.

So it has been for 15 years in Baltimore.

So it will continue to be.

Last week an odd controversy arose around the Ravens. Since Ray Lewis at 35 years old has shown no sign of being anything but Ray Lewis, someone asked Ravens coach John Harbaugh if perhaps he could even fathom a day when Lewis was no longer the team’s soul, its most relentless player – a human pile-driver pounding opposing offenses without a hint of breaking. Harbaugh chuckled and said that some time ago he asked Lewis if there was a time when the linebacker might want to be on the field for fewer plays.

Lewis apparently didn’t think much of the suggestion, if it could even be called that. He politely said something about letting the coach know if he ever felt that way but later told reporters that such a moment would probably be his last in football.

On Sunday the very thought of cutting back plays made him laugh as he walked out of the Ravens locker room following yet another game in which he led the team in tackles – this time with seven, assisting on five others during a 17-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Give up a moment of football? His voice boomed off the cinder block walls.

“You’ve got to think it is like your first game in the league,” he said as he headed toward an M&T Bank Stadium exit.

He stopped. He was wearing a suit, carrying a bag, his fingers were taped. He is every bit a football mercenary trapped in a game he loves too much to cheat of whatever energy he possesses. His eyes grew wide. There are so many new, young players, he said. They need to understand.

Understand what?

“These moments will never be again,” he said. He was shaking his hands now, pleading. Don’t you see?

Football moments?

“No!” he shouted. “Moments in life! The time clock stops for no one. Every moment of our life keeps ticking down. If you don’t approach this opportunity we have right now you’ll never have it back again.”

This, he said, is why he plays the way he does.

And this is what every new Ravens player encounters upon his arrival.

Safety Ken Hamlin(notes), known himself for a certain ferocity in a near decade as a player, was asked on Sunday if he could even compare the intensity of Lewis to that of anyone he encountered in the league. He paused before suggesting John Randle, a Hall of Fame defensive end who worked himself into such a pregame rage he dabbed huge globs of eye-black across his face. And yet even Randle, Hamilin said, was nothing like Lewis.

No one, he said, was like Lewis.

“We newcomers inherit that boldness,” said defensive end Cory Redding(notes) who arrived this year after several seasons in Detroit and Seattle.

This team has come to be Lewis’ now. As the older players who rode with him to the Super Bowl have drifted away, he has remained; bellowing in the faces of new teammates, screaming about clocks ticking and moments that can not be squandered.

“I will credit the organization for keeping me here so long,” he said as he stood in the hallway outside the locker room. “Every coach that has come in has told me ‘you control it, we put in the game plan but you control it.’ ”

It’s an order he has never hesitated to carry out. One that lived again on Sunday as he danced his pregame dance, then raced across the field bellowing at men who can never match his frenzy and yet feel compelled to nonetheless try. He chased Tampa Bay’s quarterback Josh Freeman(notes), a man 5 inches taller and 13 years younger, leaping with arms outraised every time Freeman threw, just in case a finger happened to touch a pass. Several times the Buccaneers ran their bruising, young running back LeGarrette Blount(notes), all 247 pounds of him, at Lewis. The runs went nowhere. Blount went to the turf. Lewis twirled in the late day chill.

It was a happy dance. And even without the pregame flames bursting all around him, it was all the fire the Ravens needed.

Sit out a few plays?

Never Ray Lewis. Never at all.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-30-2010, 01:23 AM
Ravens’ Lewis not going anywhere anytime soon
Les Carpenter

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... ewis112810 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Ajqyb5rF_iTra4wgrW3tlu5DubYF?slug=lc-raylewis112810)

BALTIMORE – In those moments before a football game, when a strange calm fills the Baltimore Ravens locker room, Ray Lewis(notes) sits quiet. He does not stomp or scream or wave his arms the way he does for those three hours that the game is played. Rather his teammates notice, it is as if he is building a storm inside, a fury that grows hotter and hotter until he reaches the edge of the field …

“And it all just explodes,” as receiver Derrick Mason(notes) says.

It blows up in a frenzy of jumps and kicks, with head thrown back, hands spread wide and flames from the team’s pyrotechnic display shooting all around him.

Ray Lewis is ready to play football.

So it has been for 15 years in Baltimore.

So it will continue to be.

Last week an odd controversy arose around the Ravens. Since Ray Lewis at 35 years old has shown no sign of being anything but Ray Lewis, someone asked Ravens coach John Harbaugh if perhaps he could even fathom a day when Lewis was no longer the team’s soul, its most relentless player – a human pile-driver pounding opposing offenses without a hint of breaking. Harbaugh chuckled and said that some time ago he asked Lewis if there was a time when the linebacker might want to be on the field for fewer plays.

Lewis apparently didn’t think much of the suggestion, if it could even be called that. He politely said something about letting the coach know if he ever felt that way but later told reporters that such a moment would probably be his last in football.

On Sunday the very thought of cutting back plays made him laugh as he walked out of the Ravens locker room following yet another game in which he led the team in tackles – this time with seven, assisting on five others during a 17-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Give up a moment of football? His voice boomed off the cinder block walls.

“You’ve got to think it is like your first game in the league,” he said as he headed toward an M&T Bank Stadium exit.

He stopped. He was wearing a suit, carrying a bag, his fingers were taped. He is every bit a football mercenary trapped in a game he loves too much to cheat of whatever energy he possesses. His eyes grew wide. There are so many new, young players, he said. They need to understand.

Understand what?

“These moments will never be again,” he said. He was shaking his hands now, pleading. Don’t you see?

Football moments?

“No!” he shouted. “Moments in life! The time clock stops for no one. Every moment of our life keeps ticking down. If you don’t approach this opportunity we have right now you’ll never have it back again.”

This, he said, is why he plays the way he does.

And this is what every new Ravens player encounters upon his arrival.

Safety Ken Hamlin(notes), known himself for a certain ferocity in a near decade as a player, was asked on Sunday if he could even compare the intensity of Lewis to that of anyone he encountered in the league. He paused before suggesting John Randle, a Hall of Fame defensive end who worked himself into such a pregame rage he dabbed huge globs of eye-black across his face. And yet even Randle, Hamilin said, was nothing like Lewis.

No one, he said, was like Lewis.

“We newcomers inherit that boldness,” said defensive end Cory Redding(notes) who arrived this year after several seasons in Detroit and Seattle.

This team has come to be Lewis’ now. As the older players who rode with him to the Super Bowl have drifted away, he has remained; bellowing in the faces of new teammates, screaming about clocks ticking and moments that can not be squandered.

“I will credit the organization for keeping me here so long,” he said as he stood in the hallway outside the locker room. “Every coach that has come in has told me ‘you control it, we put in the game plan but you control it.’ ”

It’s an order he has never hesitated to carry out. One that lived again on Sunday as he danced his pregame dance, then raced across the field bellowing at men who can never match his frenzy and yet feel compelled to nonetheless try. He chased Tampa Bay’s quarterback Josh Freeman(notes), a man 5 inches taller and 13 years younger, leaping with arms outraised every time Freeman threw, just in case a finger happened to touch a pass. Several times the Buccaneers ran their bruising, young running back LeGarrette Blount(notes), all 247 pounds of him, at Lewis. The runs went nowhere. Blount went to the turf. Lewis twirled in the late day chill.

It was a happy dance. And even without the pregame flames bursting all around him, it was all the fire the Ravens needed.

Sit out a few plays?

Never Ray Lewis. Never at all.


http://planetsmilies.net/vomit-smiley-9532.gif

hawaiiansteel
11-30-2010, 02:36 PM
On the Steelers: Another feather in cap for Ben?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Ben Roethlisberger, Ravens Killer?

As a rookie, Roethlisberger played his first NFL game in Baltimore, off the bench in relief of Tommy Maddox, who was injured during the game. It was the second game of the 2004 season and the Steelers lost.

Roethlisberger hasn't experienced much failure against the Ravens since then. He carries a 7-2 record into Sunday night's game against Baltimore as a starting quarterback, including his past five starts against the Ravens.

Of course, that does not include the fourth game of this season when Roethlisberger served the last of his four-game suspension to start the season and the Steelers and Charlie Batch lost at Heinz Field to the Ravens, 17-14.

Roethlisberger played the entire game in Sunday's overtime victory in Buffalo despite having what Mike Tomlin called a sprained foot.

"We have our quarterback back and usually we have a lot of success when Ben starts against Baltimore," Hines Ward declared.

All true. His winning streak stretches from the 2007 season and includes three victories against Baltimore in the '08 season, when he and the Steelers also beat the Ravens in the playoffs on their way to the Super Bowl.

During his career, Roethlisberger has missed three games against the Ravens because of injuries and the Steelers have lost them all, including '09 at Baltimore when he missed his only game that season because of a concussion.

Roethlisberger hasn't necessarily been at his best against the Ravens, statistically. With a career passer rating of more than 92, Roethlisberger had ratings of 75.2 against Baltimore last season, and 80.4 and 81.9 and 84.8 in 2008, all Steelers victories.

His only two losses against Baltimore came during the Steelers' 8-8 season of 2006.

Winner takes all?
It always seems to come down to this in the AFC North, Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore, winner takes all and the other takes the wild-card route to the playoffs.

"We're playing for the same thing every year," tight end Heath Miller said. "There's usually a lot on the line when we play each other. That usually adds to the games."

Except, that's not the way it has been at all. This season, in fact, is the exception to the rule as the co-leaders in the division clash in Baltimore with 8-3 records. The winner will hold the edge for the AFC North title and the loser still will look good for a wild-card playoff berth.

But the thought that these two bitter rivals always fight to the bitter end for supremacy in the AFC North is false. Since the Cleveland Browns morphed into the Baltimore Ravens for the 1996 season, only twice have both teams made the playoffs simultaneously, in 2001 and '08. Most of those 14 seasons one or the other team has been hopelessly out of the playoffs.

Last season, the teams tied with 9-7 records but Baltimore made it as a wild-card team and the Steelers did not.

Ward said the narrow victory Sunday might actually help them as they head to Baltimore.

"It's great to be out of here with this, to be 8-3. I don't know how we would have responded had we lost the ballgame. But I think the way we won, on the road, I think it's something we can build on and be ready when we go down to Baltimore.

"It's a big game but it's not going to make or break us. Both teams will have their opportunities to get in the playoffs."

Should Baltimore win, however, the Steelers would be hard-pressed to win the division. Because the Ravens would have the tiebreaker by virtue of their two victories against the Steelers, they would have to split their final four games and the Steelers would have to sweep their remaining four.

"We know what type of game it's going to be going into Baltimore," LaMarr Woodley said, "what type of offensive weapons they have. We just have to go out and play our game."

The Steelers play three of their final four games at home, finishing up Jan. 2 in Cleveland.

Losing his appeals
James Harrison, who might face yet another fine after another roughing the passer penalty against him Sunday, learned Monday that his appeals of two fines totaling $95,000 were rejected by the NFL.

Bill Parise, the agent for the Steelers' Pro Bowl linebacker, received an e-mail from the league office Monday afternoon telling him about the rejection of the appeal.

Three weeks ago, Harrison appealed a $75,000 fine the NFL issued him for what it called an illegal hit on Cleveland wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi Oct. 17, and for another $20,000 fine for a hit on New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees Oct. 31.

"They did not reduce it," Parise said. "They said it was multiple occurrences and called it an egregious act -- that's a big word isn't it?"

Harrison was penalized 15 yards Sunday for a hit to Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in which the officials ruled he had led with his helmet.

Kick start
Shaun Suisham became the only Steelers kicker since at least the 1970 NFL merger to go 4 for 4 on field-goal tries from 40 yards or more. However, it was the second time Suisham has done it. He was 5 for 5 in 2007 for the Washington Redskins against the New York Giants, making kicks from 46, 40, 40, 46 and 22.

Jeff Reed has gone 4 for 4 five times but always had some under 40. In fact, in the past four times in which he went 4 for 4 -- including the second game this season at Tennessee -- not a kick came from 40 yards or more.

Reed, though, did something few other kickers in the NFL ever did and it came in his second game with the Steelers. Reed went 6 for 6 at Jacksonville, tying for the third-most kicks in a game in NFL history. Two came beyond 40, including the winner from 50.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10334/11 ... z16n9U2HtP (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10334/1107093-66.stm#ixzz16n9U2HtP)

hawaiiansteel
11-30-2010, 08:29 PM
Ravens sign FB McKie

ProFootballWeekly.com


The Ravens have signed FB Jason McKie and waived FS Ken Hamlin.

With starting FB Le'Ron McClain recovering from an ankle injury, the team felt it needed to add more depth in the backfield. McKie, a seven-year vet, played the past six seasons for the Bears. He was cut by the Saints in training camp.

Hamlin played in seven games this season but made a minimal impact, recording only three tackles and one interception.

The way we see it

McKie may not be on the roster long, depending on how quickly McClain can heal from the injury. The Ravens have a huge game vs. the Steelers on Sunday and didn't want to be without a key blocker to protect QB Joe Flacco.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=p ... n_fb_mckie (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=pfw-20101130_ravens_sign_fb_mckie)

RuthlessBurgher
11-30-2010, 10:07 PM
Ravens sign FB McKie

ProFootballWeekly.com


The Ravens have signed FB Jason McKie and waived FS Ken Hamlin.

With starting FB Le'Ron McClain recovering from an ankle injury, the team felt it needed to add more depth in the backfield. McKie, a seven-year vet, played the past six seasons for the Bears. He was cut by the Saints in training camp.

Hamlin played in seven games this season but made a minimal impact, recording only three tackles and one interception.

The way we see it

McKie may not be on the roster long, depending on how quickly McClain can heal from the injury. The Ravens have a huge game vs. the Steelers on Sunday and didn't want to be without a key blocker to protect QB Joe Flacco.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=p ... n_fb_mckie (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=pfw-20101130_ravens_sign_fb_mckie)

I thought fullbacks were extinct in this league? Guess not after all...

hawaiiansteel
12-01-2010, 12:16 AM
Steelers _ with Ben _ rarely lose to Ravens

Nov 29, 7:49 pm EST
By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer


PITTSBURGH(AP)—Ben Roethlisberger is the great equalizer in the Steelers-Ravens rivalry.

Of the last eight games between the division rivals, the Steelers have won five - all with Roethlisberger at quarterback. The three he didn’t play, they lost.

Detect a pattern?

Despite spraining his right foot against the Bills, Roethlisberger is expected to be in the lineup when the teams meet Sunday night in Baltimore for first place in the AFC North. Roethlisberger was suspended when the Ravens beat the Steelers 17-14 on a last-minute Joe Flacco to T.J. Houshmandzadeh touchdown pass Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh. He was out with a concussion during Pittsburgh’s 20-17 overtime loss in Baltimore last season.

Roethlisberger is 7-2 as a starter against the Ravens, with both losses occurring in 2006. He is 162 of 287 for 2,104 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 10 career game against them, including his NFL debut as an injury replacement for Tommy Maddox in 2004.

No doubt the Steelers (8-3) want Roethlisberger ready to go for what could be their biggest game of the season. Win, and they’re a game up on the Ravens (8-3) with four games to play. Lose, and they’re effectively down two games because Baltimore would own a one-game lead and the tiebreaker should the teams finish with the same record.

The Ravens have won their last eight at home.

“You don’t want to miss that one,” wide receiver Hines Ward said. “This is going to be a heavyweight fight, champs for our division. It always is, every year, regardless if one team’s struggling or the other team is having success. This is the one you circle.”

The importance of having Roethlisberger when the Steelers play their biggest rival was illustrated in 2008. Then, the Steelers won three tight games against the Ravens by scores of 23-20 in overtime at home, 13-9 in Baltimore and 23-14 again in Pittsburgh in the AFC championship game.

During the 13-9 game, he drove the Steelers nearly the length of the field during a decisive 12-play drive that ended with his 4-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds remaining. He was 7 of 11 for 89 yards on that drive alone. He also found Holmes on a 65-yard touchdown pass play in the AFC championship game, which preceded the Steelers’ win over Arizona in the Super Bowl.

Despite his sore foot, Roethlisberger led his 22nd career game-winning scoring drive in the fourth quarter or overtime as the Steelers beat Buffalo 19-16 in overtime on Sunday. Roethlisberger stayed in the game despite the sore foot.

“My foot was in the ground and someone was driving me backward, and my foot couldn’t get out of the ground, so my knee just got bent sideways,” Roethlisberger said of an injury that didn’t prevent him for breaking off an 18-yard run for a first down.

While Roethlisberger remained in the game, the Steelers finished it without injured defensive ends Brett Keisel (hamstring, calf), who has played only a handful of snaps in six games, and Nick Eason (sprained medial collateral ligament in left knee). If Keisel isn’t ready to go against Baltimore, the Steelers may have to start 2009 first-round draft pick Ziggy Hood and Steve McLendon(notes), who wasn’t on their roster for part of the season.

Cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring) also couldn’t finish a game in which they Steelers drew 107 yards in penalties. They have 270 yards in penalties in their last two games after having 383 yards in their first nine games.

“When you eliminate those, you’re going to go out and win games,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. “The last two weeks, we’ve been kind of killing ourselves with penalties here and there and keeping teams alive. Once we cut that out, we’ll be pretty good.”

The Steelers should be better against the Ravens, if only because Roethlisberger’s history suggests they will be.

“We’re not playing good football, our best football, but I think from what we had to overcome and go through (in Buffalo), we can learn from it,” Ward said. “I like the direction this team is headed, especially in the month of December.”

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=t ... tterwithbe (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=txsteelersbetterwithbe)

hawaiiansteel
12-01-2010, 02:34 AM
Keisel, Eason, McFadden expected to play Sunday

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2010-11-30/mcfadden-a.jpg

Bryant McFadden
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

• Defensive ends Brett Keisel and Nick Eason and cornerback Bryant McFadden are expected to play Sunday in an AFC North showdown in Baltimore.

Keisel has missed five games since the middle of October with hamstring and calf problems. McFadden (hamstring) and Eason (sprained knee) were each knocked out of the Steelers’ 19-16 overtime win last Sunday with injuries.

McFadden could be limited in practice this week but is on track to play against the Ravens.“When you’re dealing with a hamstring, it can be a little more problematic,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. Wide receiver Antonio Brown, who did not play last Sunday because of a bad knee, is also expected to be available Sunday. Tomlin said tight end Matt Spaeth, who was out last Sunday because of a concussion, will take a battery of post-concussion tests today.

• If Brown is healthy, both he and Emmanuel Sanders could dress against the Ravens. The two have competed weekly for one game-day roster spot for most of the season. Both played against the Raiders two weeks ago when the Steelers dressed six wide receivers. “There very well may be two dogs and two bones,” Tomlin said about the possibility of Brown and Sanders both playing against the Ravens.

• The Steelers have been penalized 24 times for 270 yards in their past two games but Tomlin declined to discuss what concerns he may have voiced with the NFL in regard to penalties. “I want to leave the official evaluation process that goes on in every city around the league between myself and the league,” Tomlin said.

TOMLIN'S TAKE

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on ...

Sunday night's game in Baltimore, with first place in the AFC North on the line:

"If you want to be a division winner, you've got to go on the road and win division games. They did earlier in the year to us. The secret in this thing is that there's no secrets. If you want to be a dominant team, if you want to be a good team, you've got to take your show on the road in hostile environments, against known opponents, against familiar opponents and make the significant plays that are necessary to win."

The Ravens having All-Pro safety Ed Reed, who didn't play against the Steelers on Oct. 3 because of a hip injury:

"We all know what Ed Reed means: proceed with caution when attacking them vertically down the field because time and time again he shows he's capable of making plays. He surveys that field, but he's a sideline-to-sideline capable guy. We didn't have (quarterback) Ben (Roethlisberger) last game, they didn't have Ed Reed. Those two things probably cancel each other out."

Cornerback William Gay, who was credited with four passes defended and a forced fumble in the Steelers' 19-16 overtime win over the Bills:

"I thought William Gay specifically responded to the challenge. He was competitive, he was combative. He made plays, he challenged throws. His play was as significant as Troy's on Troy's interception because he made the initial breakup. William Gay stepped up and made some significant plays."

Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson's dropped touchdown pass in overtime:

"It was a really good route and an even better throw, and thankfully he didn't catch it. But I don't worry about those things. I thought (Steelers wide receiver) Emmanuel Sanders had an opportunity to catch and run and score and in regulation, where no one of those (overtime) plays even exist. I'm not going to cry about our drop. I hope they don't cry about theirs."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 11684.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_711684.html)

StarSpangledSteeler
12-01-2010, 03:15 AM
Im not denying the mental toughness or physicality, but this game is going to come down to our WR's. Our D will be solid. Our run game will be limited. But the teams that consistently beat the Ravens (like the Bengals) have learned that you beat them by passing. Their secondary is average, and their LB's are poor in coverage. Our WR's have to run crisp clean routes and catch the dam ball when it's thrown to them. No drops. Also, Arians must have his anti-blitz packages in top form. The Ravens will be blitzing and we must make them pay for that. PASS. PASS. PASS.

hawaiiansteel
12-02-2010, 12:59 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) At Baltimore Ravens (8-3): NFL Week 13 Game Capsules

by Michael Bean on Dec 1, 2010 10:07 PM EST

http://cdn1.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/737555/71798_ravens_steelers_football.jpg

about 1 month ago: Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward (86) makes a second-quarter catch during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010. At right is Ravens' Jarret Johnson (95). (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)
I've already outlined why I couldn't be more excited for Sunday night's matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. Let's take a look at a few trends, facts and figures about the two teams' series history, as well as other preview notes and up-to-date season stats for both squads.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-3) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-3)

SERIES



STEELERS - RAVENS

SERIES LEADER

17-12



STREAKS

3 of past 5 overall

6 of past 7 at home

COACHES VS. OPP.

Tomlin: 5-3

Harbaugh: 2-4

LAST WEEK

W 19-16 at Bills (OT)

W 17-10 vs. Buccaneers

LAST GAME

10/3/10: Ravens 17 at Steelers 14. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco completes game-winning 18-yard TD pass to WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 32 seconds remaining in 4th quarter.

LAST GAME AT SITE

11/29/09: Ravens 20, Steelers 17 (OT). Flacco passes for 289 yards & throws 10-yard TD pass to WR Derrick Mason as Baltimore outlasts Pittsburgh in OT.

BROADCAST

NBC (8:20 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Andrea Kremer (Field reporter). Westwood One Radio: Dave Sims, James Lofton, Sean Landeta (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 127 (WW1), 125 (Pit.), 126 (Bal.). XM: 104 (WW1), 102 (Pit.), 103 (Bal.).



STATS

PASSING

Roethlisberger: 137-220-1,825-12-4-99.1

Flacco: 231-365-2,722-18-8-93.2

RUSHING

Mendenhall: 238-962-4.0-9 (T3L)

Rice: 204-815-4.0-3

RECEIVING

Ward: 40-510-12.8-4

Boldin: 51-652-12.8-6

OFFENSE

334.5

348.3

TAKE/GIVE

+11 (T1C)

-2

DEFENSE

304.5 (3C)

307.4

SACKS

Harrison: 10 (T3L)

Suggs: 7.5

INTs

Polamalu: 4 (T2C)

E. Reed: 4 (T2C)

PUNTING

Sepulveda: 45.6 (3C)

Koch: 43.5

KICKING

Suisham: 18 (6/6 PAT; 4/4 FG)

Cundiff: 82 (28/28 PAT; 18/21 FG)



STEELERS

Club aims for 3rd consecutive win against Ravens in Dec...Steelers are 5-1 on road this season

Including postseason play, QB Ben Roethlisberger is 7-2 against Bal. & has 14 TDs vs. 8 INTs & 84.0 passer rating. Leads NFL w/ 122.2 4th-quarter passer rating this season.

RB Rashard Mendenhall (9) needs rush TD to become 5th RB in Steelers history to have 10+ rush TDs in single season. Mendenhall (962) needs 38 rush yards to reach 1,000 in consecutive seasons. Tied career-high w/ 2 rush TDs in last game vs. Bal.

WR Hines Ward posted 3rd 100-yard receiving game of season last week (107). Since '09, Pit. has 7-1 record when Ward has 100+ rec. yards.

WR Mike Wallace averages 21.4 yards per catch vs. Ravens (5 rec., 107 rec. yards).
Defense is allowing league-low 64.0 rush yards per game this year.

S Troy Polamalu aims for 3rd straight game w/ INT & Pit. has 20-3 record (.870) when Polamalu has INT.

LB James Harrison (10) is 1st Steeler to have 3 consecutive seasons w/ 10+ sacks.


RAVENS:

Club aims for 9th consecutive win at M&T Bank Stadium.

At home in '10, QB Joe Flacco has 10 TDs vs. 1 INT & 111.2 passer rating. Flacco has franchise record 53 career TD passes.

RB Ray Rice (158) needs 3 rec. to surpass Jamal Lewis (160) for most career rec. by Ravens RB in franchise history. Ranks 2nd in AFC among RBs w/ 47 catches (Arian Foster, 48) this season. Rice averages 90.6 rush yards per game at home in '10 (453 total).

WR Derrick Mason led team w/ 80 rec. yards in last game vs. Pit.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught game-winning 18-yard TD pass in last game vs. Steelers.

TE Todd Heap has TD rec. in 2 of past 3 games.

Incl. postseason, LB Terrell Suggs has 11 career sacks against Steelers.

LB Ray Lewis had INT in last game against Pit.

There ya have it. Back at you here in a bit this evening.

Go Steelers!

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... ?ref=yahoo (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2010/12/1/1849989/pittsburgh-steelers-8-3-at-baltimore-ravens-8-3-nfl-week-13-game?ref=yahoo)

hawaiiansteel
12-02-2010, 02:45 AM
Ravens Impressed With Mendenhall

DECEMBER 01, 2010, 08:04 PM EST

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1124941/32921423E.jpg

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Rashard Mendenhall has bulled past unsuspecting linebackers, steamrolling them with his deceptive power.

Lowering a shoulder and driving ahead with his low center of gravity, Mendenhall has emerged as a legitimate threat in short yardage situations

He has displayed an uncanny ability to elude tacklers with adept moves in the open field, displaying impressive speed.

He outran everyone during an overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons on his 50-yard touchdown run, scampering away from pursuit.

In his third NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back has come a long way since his days as a battered rookie who got his shoulder broken on a devastating hit by Baltimore Ravens All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

“Rashard is the kind of back he was all along,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “You saw him in college, and he had the potential to be a premier back. He’s become a premier back.

“He got hurt for one year, I guess, and that probably held him back, but he’s really good. He’s the key to their running game. They have a very physical offensive line, and he just picks his way through that next play.”

Heading into Sunday night’s AFC North battle royale at M&T Bank Stadium, Mendenhall ranks fifth in the AFC and seventh in the NFL with 962 rushing yards.

He has scored a career-high nine rushing touchdowns.

In last week’s overtime win over the Buffalo Bills, he carried it a career-high 36 times and gained a season-high 151 yards.

“He’s getting better as a back,” Ravens nose guard Kelly Gregg said. “Some of the runs he was making as a rookie he was looking to get down. Now, he’s a top back. It’s going to be a fun game.”

Mendenhall scored both of the Steelers’ touchdowns during a 17-14 loss at Heinz Field earlier this season, grinding out 79 yards on 25 carries.

Although he wasn’t ultra-productive in terms of yards per carry against the Ravens, Mendenhall did command their respect.

“He’s starting to get more comfortable,” defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said. “His first couple of years, he was trying to learn the offense, learn himself. He’s a very good running back. He hits the holes real fast.”

In terms of durability, strength and speed, Mendenhall grades out extremely high on NFL scouting reports.
He’s averaging four yards per carry.

And his carries against Buffalo represents the heaviest workload for a Steelers back since Willie Parker four years ago.

One year removed from gaining a career-high 1,108 yards, Mendenhall has rushed for 100 yards three times this season.

He has also caught 16 passes for 97 yards.

“He’s definitely a very elusive and explosive back and this productivity shows he’s definitely a good player,” inside linebacker Jameel McClain said. “He’s an overall running back. He can do it all. He can catch out of the backfield. He can break tackles and he can beat you to the corner.”

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Rav ... um=twitter (http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Ravens-impressed-with-Rashard-Mendenhall.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)

fordfixer
12-02-2010, 08:18 AM
Ravens Conference Calls

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... fecd158acf (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Ravens-Conference-Calls/e46dbdcb-2b2e-46ab-892b-2afecd158acf)

HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH

How do you prepare for the Steelers differently if Ben (Roethlisberger) is in or not?

I think the main thing you do is you try to prepare for their offense. They essentially run the same offense and they just kind of lean it in certain directions, like you would for any player that plays in any position if they were to replace someone else that was in there. It was obviously tough last year because we prepared for Ben all week and then we got Dennis (Dixon). That was different and he got us on a couple but we are prepared for Ben. We assume he is going to be in there. Everything I have read, mainly from your media, is that it looks like he is going to play and we are just going to take it that way. That’s what we expect.



What does this rivalry mean to your team and your city?

I think it is great for our team and great for our city. Two great football towns, two pro football towns with a lot of history and tradition. The two franchises go back even more years if you look at the old Browns so there is tremendous tradition here. From a perspective of now, I think our players just really appreciate playing those guys. It is a team we follow, obviously. We know them, they know us. It is a team that we really like to play because we think so much of them and there is just so much to say.



Best rivalry in the NFL?

Without question, I am probably biased but I don’t think you need to be biased to think that. I don’t think there is another one that is in the ball park.



Ben’s record against Baltimore is 7-2 as a starter and the Steelers are 0-5 without him. What does that say about him?

I would guess that his record is probably better against all teams then their record without him. That means a lot to him. He is a play-maker. He is one of the premier quarterbacks in the league. He has very unique style. I think they do a great job of building their offense around his style. The players he plays with understand him very well. They know how to make plays around him. I think they are built well together.



Will the game be dulled at all with concerns of avoiding big hits?

No, I’ve never looked at it that way. I don’t think it will be any fewer big hits, it will just be lower hits. I am in support of players’ safety and I think I have heard Mike (Tomlin) say the same thing. So no, I don’t think it will be any less physical by any stretch.



Re: Ed Reed and how you got by without him and how good you are with him:

We played good pass defense the first few weeks. I think we played disciplined football back there and that really doesn’t change with who we have back there but Ed brings an element that very few players bring to the table. He has tremendous athletic ability. He has really really special hands and body control so he can make plays that most guys can’t make, he covers more ground, but really more than any he really understands the game, understands the defenses and understands the scheme he is up against. He is a future Hall of Famer and that makes a big difference.



What do you think about the crack down on hits and did you have a hard time with the transition?

No, we were dealing with it last year because we got hit with a couple last year. I think we understand the rule. The thing that I am for is consistency. That is the main thing, consistency of the calls. There is no question that they will be consistent in the fine system because they have a chance to go back and look at the tape and they make those determinations. But on the field I have seen a lot of inconsistency and obviously it is tough because it happens fast, but that is the main thing you hope for as a coach or a player.



Are you satisfied with (Joe) Flacco’s development to this point?

I don’t think we are ever satisfied with anything. We are content, we are pleased and excited about him as a player and he makes a big difference for us. He is our quarterback and we need him to play well and he has played well but obviously he knows that he can play better and better and that is what we are striving for.



Do you hope be becomes the leader of the team even with his low-key guy?

Yeah, he is a leader with his personality. If you talk to our guys they really respect him and Joe runs our offense. He is a young guy, but he is a smart guy, a hard working guy and they respect him and he leads within his own personality.



(Terrell) Suggs said that James Harrison is being red-flagged by the refs and do you feel like any of your guys have been marked or red flagged in any way?

Well you know if I did I sure wouldn’t say so and I don’t think consciously that happens. I really don’t believe that. I think everybody does the best they can, including the officials. I guess that is just the way it’s got to be and I don’t know how much better you can do than that.



The thoughts on how well your brother (Jim Harbaugh) has done at Stanford and do you think there will be a day where both of you are coaching in the NFL?

Wow, I hope so. I am excited. I am so proud of Jim and what he has done at Stanford. Really to look at what he has done there is absolutely incredible. Nobody would have predicted it. Not just the fact that they are number four in the country, but hey, they may be the best team in the country and if we had a playoff we may find out. So I am an advocate of the playoff system. Whether he is in the NFL or stays at Stanford, I am proud of him. I know one thing, it would be a heck of a game. We wouldn’t be playing against each other, thank God, it would be some real players playing against each other. He’s got a little better playing career than I ever had so I would probably be in trouble if that was the case.



Re: College playoff system and will we ever see one and how do you go about it:

I don’t know, it’s like they talk about opening the books and the CBA and these others things or whatever, and I want to open the books and they keep talking well it’s money, money, well I want to know who is getting the money. I am sure a playoff system would generate huge revenues for college athletic programs. It wouldn’t be cutting the men’s wrestling team and the women’s swimming team, we would have a great advantage and the money would be going where it belongs. It would be going to the colleges and not to whoever is running these bowl games. Let’s do that, let’s file the money and find out what the heck is going on because it is a joke. It is hypocritical. The fact that they are going to talk about the student athlete and yet we have basketball players taking a week and going to Alaska or playing at 3 o’clock in the morning, come on. A football team plays on the weekend. I just think it is comical that they don’t have a playoff in college football.



Is it worth your brother pursuing?

I think he loves college football and he wants what is best. I don’t know. You will have to ask him. I am pretty sure he goes for the playoff. We haven’t had that conversation lately. But line it up. Can you imagine Stanford playing Boise State in the first round? It would be great.



Is he planning on staying at Stanford for a long time?

I really don’t know. I don’t think he knows, but you aren’t going to get me to comment on that.



LINEBACKER TERRELL SUGGS

Re: Facing the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger playing versus not playing:

When he’s playing they are definitely one of the best teams in the NFL, the things he’s capable of doing, his knowledge of the game. The guy has won two Super Bowls. He is a great quarterback. When he’s not in there they tend to shorten their tactics. When you’re preparing for him you are going to get certain things and you’re not going to get certain things. If it was up to me on whether he sits this one out, just let his boys handle this one.



Re: Playing the Steelers last year with Dennis Dixon as quarterback:

I didn’t play that game. I was hurt. But I do remember the mindset. We knew he was capable of making plays with his feet. We knew he was a faster quarterback than Ben. He broke a long one on us last year. That’s what the big difference is between Dixon and Ben. But both of those guys can play quarterback.



Re: The way the league is handling the personal foul penalties:

I think they are treating some quarterbacks different than others. Some quarterbacks get the call right away. Some quarterbacks, they don’t care. Carson Palmer got hit in his knee in 2005 by you guys. It was an accidental hit. But there was no rule made. Then Tom Brady got hit in 2008. All of a sudden there is a rule and possible suspensions and excessive fines. It is just getting ridiculous. You got this guy, number 92 over there. I think he’s kind of red-flagged. Referees are kind of looking for him to see if he breathes on the quarterback wrong. He might get a flag. I think there is definitely some injustice and I think that’s where the game has went.



Do you feel sorry for James Harrison?

I don’t feel sorry for anybody. I do know they are looking at him more closely than they are looking at anybody else in the league. I think in the referee world they kind of red-flagged him.



Can you band together with your defense and say this is getting out of hand?

Definitely, me as a defender, if you ever played this game you know this game goes 200 miles an hour. You’re not thinking about, oh, I can’t hit a guy here. I better not lead with my helmet then. You’re just playing football. In playing football there is two things, getting it done and there’s not getting it done. Great defensive guys get the job done by any means necessary. I really don’t care about the fines. I think they’re stupid and I think there is injustice and it’s fairing to the offensive side of the ball, but I don’t care. I’m always going to play my way.



Re: Playing against Hines Ward:

I remember, I think it was last year or two years ago he caught me switching, and he hit me. I was running to the ball. So I think I owe him one, but as far as this game goes, people can say these two teams hate each other. I think it’s just a strong respect, kind of a dislike. We respect that this is the most physical game of the year. We are the two most physical teams in the NFL. And we are the only two that play this style of football. So that’s why the stakes are so high. We really love to go and get after each other.



Is this Steelers’ offensive line as good as ones in the past?

I am not sure. That’s something for you all to assess. I don’t really like getting into all of that. I just know you guys are a great team. You can whatever you want. You’re 8-3. Their personnel, when I line up I see black and gold, Pittsburgh Steelers. I know it’s that pack-a-lunch type thing.





Re: Max Starks:

I think he’s solid. I think he is a premier left tackle in this league. I think he gets overlooked. I think he’s a really strong and solid left tackle. He won two Super Bowls, so you can’t take anything from that.



Re: The hard hits being less likely this week because the NFL is cracking down on hits:

It’s going to be 200 miles an hour. It’s December football, and it’s Ravens versus Steelers. It doesn’t matter what the two teams’ record was in the past. It is always a bar fight. It was always a gang fight. I think the two teams love that especially when you got a receiver that does all the fighting and all the scrapping. That says a lot. You don’t see a lot of that out of receivers today.



Re: Ben and Ed Reed being out for the first matchup:

Any time you lose your starting quarterback, had it been different if they lost Ben and we lost Joe Flacco or they lost Troy Polamalu, who knows? They play two different positions. You can’t really account for Ben Roethlisberger. He’s a great quarterback. He’s won two Super Bowls. He’s capable of making plays when a play can’t be made. Regardless of what happens he’s going to be in there on Sunday and I am looking forward to seeing him. And we are both going to play some football.



Where does Ben fit in the quarterbacks that get calls and those that don’t?

I don’t know. I hope he doesn’t get the calls. You know the league has their favorites. One being in Indianapolis, one being up north. I think besides those two anybody is fair game.



Do you think because of Ben’s size he is less inclined to get the calls?

Maybe because he is so big and it takes a little bit more to get him down, maybe.



Re: Steelers and Ravens rivalry:

This could be the biggest rivalry in sports. I think in a couple years we passed the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in baseball. It’s definitely the biggest rivalry in sports because this is football at its best. It’s December and it’s going to be cold with two great teams, two teams with great defenses. This rivalry is what everybody is looking for. Then you have it on primetime T.V. so the world can see. And everybody is going to be looking forward to it.



Does the winner of this game win the division?

I think so. I think so because both of us are going to handle our business. It’s fair to say the winner of this game is going to win the division.

fordfixer
12-02-2010, 08:27 AM
Sack-happy Suggs expects to chase Roethlisberger

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/f ... uggs.0812/ (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/nfl/wires/12/02/2020.ap.fbn.ravens.suggs.0812/)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs smiled when asked if he expected injured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to start Sunday in Baltimore.

"We know he's going to play. This is championship football,'' Suggs said Wednesday. "We're expecting to see 7-Up. Don't feed into that.''

Roethlisberger sprained his right foot in Pittsburgh's overtime win in Buffalo last week. Although Suggs has no way of knowing the severity of the injury, he does know the importance of this particular Steelers-Ravens game.

That's why he has no doubt about Roethlisberger's availability.

As if to illustrate a point, Suggs brought up the time he injured his right shoulder in a 2008 playoff game against Tennessee and was listed as questionable the following week for Baltimore's game in Pittsburgh for the AFC championship.

"Remember I came out with the (sling) on my shoulder and I'm like, 'Uh, I'm not sure if I'm going to play?''' Suggs said.

He then made a face that made it clear he had no intention of missing that game. Not only did Suggs play, but he had two sacks in a 23-14 defeat.

That's how it is when Baltimore faces Pittsburgh. Watching from the sideline is more painful than playing with an injury, which explains why injured Ravens Le'Ron McClain (ankle sprain), Michael Oher (sprained knee) and Dawan Landry (concussion) are diligently working to maintain their places in the starting lineup.

"The hairs on your back grow when you get a Baltimore-Steelers type of game,'' Suggs said. "Whoever the best is in November and December usually gets the candy.''

This one is for first place in the AFC North. Baltimore (8-3) won the first meeting, but that was when Roethlisberger was serving a suspension, leaving Pittsburgh (8-3) to rely on backup Charlie Batch.

In the rematch, Roethlisberger will do his best to stay out of Suggs' grasp.

"You always have to have your head on a swivel when he's coming,'' the quarterback said.

Suggs had sacks in three straight games - his longest run since 2007 - before being held without one in Sunday's 17-10 win over Tampa Bay. But he has a team-high 7 1/2 sacks for the season and is a disruptive force even when he doesn't snag the quarterback.

"We didn't get the sacks in the last game and yet we got a lot of pressures and he was really a part of that,'' coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm hoping more of those come. Sometimes it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, but he's been rushing well.''

Suggs' ability to race around the corner and tackle the quarterback is the main reason why he received a six-year, $63 million contract in July 2009. But his game is more than just sacks. Suggs ranks third in Ravens history with 575 tackles, is the team career leader in forced fumbles (21) and has five career interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.

"When I first got here, that's all I wanted, was sacks,'' Suggs said. "But then a certain defensive coordinator (Rex Ryan) and a couple of guys said, 'You don't want to be labeled as just a pass rusher. You want to do everything - you want to stop the run, you want to drop (back), you want to have all that on your resume.''

Eight seasons and three Pro Bowls later, Suggs says, "I can do all things.''

And teammate Ray Lewis agreed.

"I just think Sizzle has always been Sizzle, whether you're counting sacks or not,'' Lewis said. "That's somebody, no matter how many sacks he's got, he's going to give you everything he has regardless. What he does for us in the run game is unbelievable. He just gets after people.''

This week more than ever.

"The game is already started. The chess match is already being played - trying to feel your opponent out, what they're going to do,'' Suggs said. "We love it. That's why this is the biggest rivalry in sports. It's just going to be fun.''


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/f ... z16xNQB6Mr (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/nfl/wires/12/02/2020.ap.fbn.ravens.suggs.0812/index.html#ixzz16xNQB6Mr)

fordfixer
12-02-2010, 08:39 AM
Ben Roethlisberger, Ed Reed add drama to Steelers-Ravens


By Gary Graves, USA TODAY

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football ... over_N.htm (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2010-12-01-ravens-steelers-cover_N.htm)

Two of the key figures in the fierce rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves out of the action when the AFC North combatants met in Pittsburgh in Week 4.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Ravens safety Ed Reed discovered that watching that showdown, a 17-14 Ravens victory, was tougher than playing in it.

Roethlisberger, nursing a sore foot, and Reed are expected to be on the field Sunday night in Baltimore. But it was a different story Oct. 3.

At least Reed, on the sideline while recovering from offseason hip surgery at the time, had a closer view than Roethlisberger, who watched from his suburban Pittsburgh home while serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. They watched Baltimore rally late to earn a share of the AFC North lead with Pittsburgh and set up a rematch of the 8-3 teams with deep playoff implications.

"Unfortunately, it didn't go in our favor, but I thought it was a heck of a game," Roethlisberger recalled Wednesday during a conference call.

Veteran backup Charlie Batch started that game. Asked whether he could have made a difference, Roethlisberger, the two-time Super Bowl champion said, "it's too hard to tell."

With Roethlisberger reinstated and Reed healthy, the stage is set for each to not only answer that question but perhaps begin clarifying the playoff landscape. A Ravens victory would complete the season sweep and give Baltimore the edge in the head-to-head tiebreaker, used to determine the division champion.

The Ravens' remaining schedule of mostly sub-.500 teams creates the opportunity for them to run the table and try to claim at least the AFC's No. 2 seed behind the winner of Monday night's showdown between the New England Patriots and New York Jets, both 9-2.

The Steelers could also assume first place in the division with a win but face a final challenge in two weeks against the Jets. Either way, the bottom line is earning at least one home playoff game. As if beating a bitter division rival isn't rewarding enough.

The players will tell you the rivalry is no media creation.

"I just know that we hate 'em a lot," Ravens fifth-year defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said. "My first year coming here, I wasn't big into it because I didn't know what it was about. Now, I've been here a couple of years and it's just a game we look forward to.

"We're so alike, but we dislike each other that much. Our fans feel that way about them and their fans feel the same way about us. We love playing this game."

Personnel upgrades

Roethlisberger, who's wearing a protective boot on his right foot, sprained in an overtime win Sunday at the Buffalo Bills, loves this matchup, too. His participation was limited in practice on Wednesday, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin expects him to play.

Reed, who over the summer said he was considering retirement, has hit the ground running since returning in mid-October after starting the season on the physically unable to perform list. In five games since he's returned, Reed has grabbed four interceptions, including two in his season debut against Buffalo; and has helped move the Ravens from 13th in pass defense two weeks ago into a tie for seventh.

Reed, who is notoriously media-shy, expressed frustration at the suggestion the Ravens defense had slipped this season.

"So, you can say our defense isn't this, our defense isn't that, (but) look across the league. ... Every week is different. One minute the defense is not doing this, the next minute it's the offense not doing this. We're still a great defense. "

Coach John Harbaugh said the secondary seems more complete with Reed, the six-time Pro Bowler and Ravens career interceptions leader (50), back. They're eager to see how he affects the Steelers passing game now with Roethlisberger back.

"It's good to have Ed Reed back," said Harbaugh, adding that Roethlisberger's presence evens things out. "Ed Reed is obviously a guy who can make interceptions. He's my favorite guy.

"You talk about all these other premier players in the league. ... I'm partial to our guys and I'll take Reed any day of the week. He's a great player and leader. He's going to be big for us."

While Roethlisberger mentioned other challenges from the Ravens defense — such as 11-time Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis and three-timer Terrell Suggs— he didn't hold back in his praise of Reed, who has returned six interceptions for touchdowns in his career. He even went as far as correcting one questioner's assessment of the veteran safety's cover skills to something broader.

"Not almost cover, he can cover the whole field," said Roethlisberger, noting that preparing for Reed means watching lots and lots of tape. "Maybe one of the best players I've ever played against. ... His instincts are just uncanny. I have nothing but respect for that guy when he's on the field, and when he's out there it makes a big difference, especially in the passing game.

"You just have to hope he slips or makes a mistake, and that doesn't happen very often."

Roethlisberger is imposing

By the same token, Roethlisberger represents a similar challenge for the Ravens, who are 2-7 against him (he jokingly calls it "luck").

Though 6-6, 248-pound Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman provided Baltimore some preparation for Roethlisberger (6-5, 241) in terms of size, there's the obvious difference in experience — not to mention the variety of receiving options at Roethlisberger's disposal, including receivers Hines Ward and Mike Wallace and tight end Heath Miller.

Roethlisberger appears to have hit his stride on the field following a tumultuous offseason that culminated in his suspension by Commissioner Roger Goodell after a sexual-assault complaint was filed against him in Georgia. He was not prosecuted.

He enters the game with 12 touchdowns against four interceptions, a major upgrade from backups Batch and Dennis Dixon, who in their 3-1 combined win-loss record during Roethlisberger's absence had three touchdowns and four interceptions.

Roethlisberger said he doesn't feel any differently this season and just tries to continue learning from each game. But as an 18-yard run on third-and-16 Sunday against the Bills demonstrated, there's a lot to account for.

"He has a reputation for being at his best when plays break down," Tomlin said, "and I think that's an added component you have to worry about defensively."

Said Lewis, who has been known to text back-and-forth with Roethlisberger: "He is the guy that keeps moving when you think plays (should) be dead. That's the energy that he brings. I just think they are who they are with Ben Roethlisberger. And when they don't have him, you're going to see a lot that they don't like to do."

While Roethlisberger and Reed add more quality to Sunday's game than the previous episode in this series, intangibles could come into play that make the Ravens' triumph at Heinz Field — their first there in four years — even more important. Four of the last five games in this series have featured three-point victory margins with the other determined by four points. The Steelers have won 17 of the 29 meetings between the teams.

Other than a dominating win against the Cleveland Browns in Roethlisberger's debut and a thorough pasting of the Oakland Raiders two weeks ago, the Steelers have been less than smooth since their quarterback's return.

They lost to the New Orleans Saints and the Patriots, struggled to get past the Miami Dolphins and survived the Bills only after receiver Steve Johnson dropped a certain touchdown in overtime. Pittsburgh has even changed kickers, adding Shaun Suisham last month after nine-year veteran Jeff Reed struggled.

The Ravens, though 8-0 at home dating to last season, have been just as uneven since beating the Steelers. They've lost to the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, outlasted the Bills in overtime and held off the Bucs on Sunday with some late first downs after Tampa got within a touchdown.

Which is why both teams say they're not taking anything for granted after Sunday's game, well aware they could become part of this season's parity party. At the same time, they look forward to the boost this game could provide considering their smoldering rivalry.

"The hairs on your back grow when you get a (Ravens)-Steelers-type game," Suggs said. "It's December, so December football. ... Whoever is the best in November and December usually gets the candy."

hawaiiansteel
12-02-2010, 05:16 PM
Steelers' Keisel in line to play Sunday against Ravens

By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, December 2, 2010


• Brett Keisel appears ready to get back on the field, while Troy Polamalu is still a question mark. Keisel participated in a full practice Wednesday and is expected to be back on the field Sunday against Baltimore, while Polamalu sat out with an ankle injury. Keisel has missed five of the past six games with a hamstring injury. He did play four weeks ago in Cincinnati but managed to play only a couple of snaps before aggravating the injury.

• Tackle Flozell Adams (back), cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring) and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (foot) all were limited in practice. For Baltimore, left tackle Michael Oher (knee) was a full participant, while running back Le'Ron McClain (ankle) was out, and safety Dawan Landry (head) was limited.

• For the second time this year, defensive end Nick Eason was victim of friendly fire. Eason said yesterday that he will get a better gauge of where his injured right ankle/knee is at by the end of the week and if he will be able to play Sunday night against the Ravens. Eason tweaked his ankle and knee when teammate James Harrison rolled up on his leg during last week's Buffalo game. Eason also injured his ankle during a Week 6 game against Cleveland when Aaron Smith rolled on his leg. Eason started for the injured Keisel the next week in Miami.

• The Steelers have been called for 10 holding penalties over the past two games and now have 23 for the season. Against Buffalo, they were called for five holding penalties, while the Bills weren't called for any. However, the doesn't mean the Bills weren't holding. A poster-sized framed photo leading toward the Steelers locker room shows Buffalo tackle Demetrius Bell grabbing Harrison's jersey. "They can't see me getting held, but they can call me for other things," Harrison said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 11820.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_711820.html)

hawaiiansteel
12-02-2010, 10:03 PM
Ravens' blueprint for beating Steelers includes successful passing game

By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun
12:33 p.m. EST, December 2, 2010


The Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers two months ago on the arm of Joe Flacco. Based on how other teams have won against the Steelers, the Ravens probably need to do this again.

Since the Ravens delivered a comeback victory at Pittsburgh, the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots have provided some blueprints to upend the Steelers. Both involve attacking Pittsburgh's pass defense.

In a 20-10 win over the Steelers, the Saints spread out Pittsburgh with three wide receivers and quarterback Drew Brees threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns. In a 39-26 victory at Pittsburgh, New England used two tight ends against the Steelers linebackers, and quarterback Tom Brady passed for 350 yards and three touchdowns.

For the chance to win lunch with a Ravens player and other prizes, join us at Hightopps Backstage Grille on Sunday from 7-11:30 p.m. to watch the big game.

Even in Sunday's 19-16 overtime loss to the Steelers, the Bills also spread out Pittsburgh's defense with success (in fact, they had an empty backfield 16 times). Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was 23 of 45 for 265 yards, including 220 in the second half. And the Bills would have won if wide receiver Steve Johnson hadn't dropped that pass in the end zone in overtime.

In previous years, the Ravens didn't have the personnel to follow these game plans. But it's different this year.

Like the Saints and the Bills, the Ravens have depth at wide receiver to spread out Pittsburgh. They can line up Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Donte' Stallworth and even rookie David Reed. By putting three or four wide receivers on the field, it forces the Steelers' Troy Polamalu to play safety instead of another roving linebacker.

Like the Patriots, the Ravens can throw out of a two-tight end formation (normally a running alignment). They can get Todd Heap, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta open downfield by using play action. That makes pass-rushing linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley drop back in coverage.

There's always a risk-reward factor when taking this approach against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are second in the NFL in sacks, so they're going to hit the quarterback. But Pittsburgh has the 22nd-ranked pass defense in the league, which means the secondary gives up lots of yards.

Plus, the Ravens have already done it once. On Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh, Flacco lead the Ravens on a game-winning, 40-yard drive in the game's final minute by picking apart the Steelers.

In order to win on Sunday night, the Ravens probably need to do this again.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/r...0,172318.story

PSU_dropout43
12-03-2010, 12:46 PM
Ravens looking to contain Harrison, Woodley again


OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Joe Flacco(notes) stood calmly in the pocket, enjoying the luxury of time to make his decisions as he scanned downfield to locate his targets.

It was a relatively rare occurrence for the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback considering who was charging toward the line of scrimmage.

The Ravens absolutely stonewalled the Pittsburgh Steelers’ formidable pass rushing tandem of outside linebackers James Harrison(notes) and LaMarr Woodley(notes) during a 17-14 win earlier this season at Heinz Field, shutting them out with no sacks.

The Steelers recorded just one sack for the day, and it was from nose guard Casey Hampton(notes).

It was arguably one of the top performances by the offensive line in terms of pass protection in years.

“I don’t know if it was the best we’ve had all year, but it was up there with all the other ones that we’ve had that are pretty good,” Flacco said. “They did a great job, and this is a tough pass rush to do that against. Our guys went up there and fought really hard, and that’s why we were pretty successful during that game, is because it started up front and those guys did a good job pushing them off the ball and keeping them away from me.”

Flacco wound up throwing the game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute to T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes). He completed 24 of 37 passes for 256 yards.

“We just executed our game plan and did our best to get the job done,” right offensive tackle Marshal Yanda(notes) said. “They didn’t seem like they ran a lot of crazy stuff. They just relied on their guys to get there. They’ll probably change it up a little bit.

read more: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=n ... dley_again (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=nfp-20101203_ravens_looking_to_contain_harrison_woodle y_again)

hawaiiansteel
12-03-2010, 03:08 PM
December 3, 2010, 9:00 AM
Week 13 N.F.L. Matchups
By MIKE TANIER

Steelers (8-3) at Ravens (8-3)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Line: Ravens by 3

Joe Flacco threw his 52nd and 53rd career touchdown passes last week, moving him past Vinny Testaverde to become the Ravens’ e passing touchdown leader. The fact that a 25-year-old broke the Ravens’ career touchdown mark in his third season tells more about Ravens history than about Flacco. Testaverde left Baltimore in 1998, which means that the Ravens have been cycling through Trent Dilfer, Tony Banks, Elvis Grbac, Kyle Boller, the late-career Steve McNair and others for 13 seasons. Thanks to Ray Lewis and some great running backs, the Ravens have been good for much of that span, but 13 years is a long time to squeak out wins with rushing, defense and crossed fingers. Flacco is a cut above the quarterbacks who preceded him, but the Ravens’ offense still has problems. If you have seen their highlight reels, then you have seen their entire offense: once you get past the weekly bomb and Ray Rice’s shake-and-bake screens, there’s little else.

Ravens-Steelers games are almost always low-scoring affairs, which is no surprise. They are also usually close: the last three games have been decided by a field goal, six of the last seven by a touchdown or less. The Ravens’ 17-14 win in October had all the trappings of a classic Ravens-Steelers showdown except one: Ben Roethlisberger was suspended, and Charlie Batch completed only 12 passes in relief. Roethlisberger has been wearing a protective boot this week but is expected to start.

The Steelers look vulnerable after their close call against the Bills, and linebacker James Harrison (now earning a fine per week for increasingly dubious infractions) just hopes to break even financially every Sunday. But the Ravens haven’t beaten a good opponent with a healthy starting quarterback since the Jets in Week 1. Even with a record-setting quarterback, they are too one-dimensional to rank among the elite teams. Pick: Steelers

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2...ps/?ref=sports

fordfixer
12-04-2010, 02:41 AM
Ready for a physical game

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com
http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 1548075266 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Ready-for-a-physical-game/6c86297e-3d88-4b06-baeb-011548075266)

The last time the Steelers and Ravens played, wide receiver Mike Wallace felt the aches and pains the next day.

He doesn’t expect it to be much different this time around.

“Guys really hit hard out there,” said Wallace. “It’s a physical match, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, two names that self-define how physical the game is going to be. Guys on this team take it to another level. I am excited about it.”

Players have been asked all week about the rivalry, two teams with the same record going against each other, prime time slot, and playing for first place in the AFC North. Wallace loves it all.

“I don’t think it gets any better than this,” said Wallace. “This is what you want. It’s for everything. You wouldn’t want it any other way. You work every day to prepare for games like this. I am excited about it.

“Everybody knows the seriousness of the game and how much it means to us to stay ahead in this division. We need to win this ball game.”

One thing Wallace knows the offense will have to key on this week is the whereabouts of Ravens safety Ed Reed, who can be a game-changer. Reed didn’t play in the game earlier this season when the Ravens won 17-14, but will be on the field this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

“He is a ball hawk. You have to watch him,” said Wallace. “He knows where the ball is. He is waiting. When he picks it off he can take it all the way for six.

“You can’t take chances with a guy like that. It’s like us having Troy (Polamalu). When you have a guy that talented it makes their defense that much better. You have to watch him.”

hawaiiansteel
12-04-2010, 04:08 PM
http://www.baltimoresun.com/media/alternatethumbnails/photo/2010-07/55196475-27113815.gif

DECEMBER 4, 2010

NFL's Sharpe: Ravens can spread the field vs. Steelers


One of the few losses the Pittsburgh Steelers have absorbed this season took place on Nov. 14 when the New England Patriots left Heinz Field with a 39-26 rout.

The Patriots offense attacked the Steelers by spreading out the receivers and relying on quarterback Tom Brady to find gaps in the pass defense. Brady finished with 350 yards and three touchdowns on 30-of-43 passing, and eight different receivers caught at least one pass.

Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver and NFL Network analyst Sterling Sharpe said the Ravens could replicate that scheme against Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

“I believe that this game is why you have Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Derrick Mason,” Sharpe said in comments distributed by the network. “This is why you have all of them because you can spread Pittsburgh out.”

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/ ... elers.html (http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/blog/2010/12/nfls_sharpe_ravens_can_spread_the_field_vs_steeler s.html)

hawaiiansteel
12-05-2010, 05:12 PM
Starkey: Flacco, Big Ben the keys

By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 5, 2010


It's not news that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is a gifted orator. The man can turn hello into a memorable quote. And as with all great speakers, he saves his best work for the biggest moments.

Like any game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Leading off the week of the AFC title match two years ago, for example, Tomlin cleared the fences:

"Us and the Ravens — it'd be a big game if it was a scrimmage," he said. "It just happens to be the AFC Championship."

Earlier this week, Tomlin framed the latest installment of the NFL's fiercest rivalry, one that will play out tonight at M&T Bank Stadium with a pair of 8-3 teams tied atop the AFC North.

"The secret in this thing," Tomlin said, "is that there are no secrets."

He could have stopped there. He didn't ... "(If) you want to be a dominant team, you want to be a good team, you want to make a splash, you have to take your show on the road in hostile environments against known opponents and make the significant plays that are necessary to win."

That could be translated several ways — and perhaps should be, into several languages — but I see only one essential meaning: The better quarterback wins.

More to the point, the quarterback who makes plays or fails to do so down the stretch will decide the game. That has been the way of it when these teams collide.

Two years ago, in a de facto division title game at Baltimore, Ben Roethlisberger improbably marched the Steelers 92 yards in 13 plays for the game's only touchdown, a 4-yard pass to Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds left.

In the conference championship a month later, the other quarterback had the ball in his hands with a chance to win.

Joe Flacco was a rookie then, drawing frequent comparisons to Big Ben because of his large frame (6-foot-6, 235), his ability to keep plays alive and his early success in a league where first-year quarterbacks traditionally carried clipboards, not 80-plus passer ratings.

Flacco, however, was not ready to duplicate Roethlisberger's heroics. Needing only a field goal to win, the Ravens moved from their 12 to their 32 with more than four minutes left when Flacco unleashed a pass that will live forever in Steelers' lore. Safety Troy Polamalu snatched it and weaved his way 40 yards for a game-clinching score.

Since then, Flacco has twice beaten the Steelers with clutch play. On Oct. 3 at Heinz Field, he might have taken his largest stride.

After struggling most of the day, Flacco turned into Smokin' Joe. He got a final chance at the Steelers' 40 with 55 seconds left and no timeouts and did what Roethlisberger has so often done — turn an otherwise pedestrian performance into a golden memory by virtue of some late magic.

Flacco went 4 for 4 on that final drive, capping it with an 18-yard bullet to T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a play where the Steelers blitzed two of the most explosive athletes in the league — Polamalu and Lawrence Timmons — to the quarterback's left.

"We respect Flacco a lot," Steelers linebacker James Farrior says. "And we know he can make all the throws."

The Steelers, of course, were without Roethlisberger on Oct. 3. As he limps into the rematch with a foot injury, two numbers reflect his value in the rivalry: The Steelers are 5-0 against the Ravens in Roethlisberger's past five starts, 0-3 when he's out.

By this point, nobody should need evidence of the NFL being a quarterbacks' league, but just in case, these two franchises provide living proof.

From the Steelers' side, their quarter-century Super Bowl drought happened to mark their time between great quarterbacks — Terry Bradshaw and Roethlisberger. That was not a coincidence.

The Ravens, meanwhile, have squandered more great defenses in a decade's time than perhaps any team in NFL history, mostly on account of an underachieving passing game. In Baltimore's five playoff losses since winning it all in 2000, they have produced a grand total of three offensive touchdowns, one by air. To the tight end.

Last year, the Ravens managed a field goal in a playoff loss at Indianapolis. Flacco's two-game playoff passer rating was 39.3.

This year, on this night, the Ravens need the Flacco they saw at Heinz Field, the Flacco who is having his best season. They need a championship quarterback.

The Steelers need Roethlisberger to pay further dividends on that $102 million contract. He must make quick decisions and throw in rhythm, the way he did against Oakland two weeks ago. If that injured wheel prohibits drop backs, coordinator Bruce Arians must opt for the no-huddle attack. All shotgun.

One could conjure multiple scenarios. The likelihood is a tight defensive battle that boils down to a few significant plays at the end. And it's no secret which position will provide them.

Or fail to do so.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 12310.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_712310.html)