Since Gretz is a season-ticket holder, he’s going to take a look at the debauchery and insanity that takes place in the Heinz Field stands after every home game he attends.
The Steelers said there was no panic in the locker room at halftime on Saturday night when they were down by two touchdowns. The same couldn’t have been said for the stands (mostly due to me, I imagine).
Even after two quarters of football that saw the Steelers offense hand out points like it was their job, I said that it was only going to take one play to turn everything around. It couldn’t have been more than two plays later when Ryan Clark forced a fumble that bounced right into the waiting hands of LaMarr Woodley.
– First things first, Steeler Nation simply brought it on Saturday. I’ve been disappointed with the noise level quite a bit over the past couple of years, but this game was simply deafening at times. The loudest moment was probably after the Steelers made it 21-14 on the Ben Roethlisberger-to-Heath Miller touchdown, which resulted in the playing of the Renegade video (first of three times on the night). The crowd never stopped on that series. Usually, everyone gets psyched up for the play, then once the play ends there’s a bit of a lull while the teams are in the huddle, and then everyone gets amped up again for the next play. Not this time. The noise never stopped, and when James Harrison recorded one of his three sacks on the first play, that just sent everyone into an even bigger frenzy.
Here’s a video I found of that sequence (note: Not my video and, thus, not The View From 522)…
The announced attendance was only 64,000-plus, which just doesn’t seem right. For one, Heinz Field capacity is just a little over 65,000, and they had the added luxury of around 1,400 extra seats that were still in place from the Winter Classic. And from what I could see, there wasn’t an empty seat anywhere in the stadium.
– Say what you want about Terrell Suggs, but the guy can play. If he were a Steeler, Steelers fans would love him for the same reason they loved Greg Lloyd and Joey Porter. Players like him make rivalries fun, and even more fun when they’re on the other team and you beat them. And for all of the talk, he typically backs it up on the field, as he did on Saturday with three sacks.
– During the preview Podcast Ryan asked me my thoughts on how many Ravens fans would be in attendance, and I wasn’t quite sure how to answer because it always seems to change on a game-to-game basis. On Saturday, there were quite a few; probably the most I’ve ever seen at Heinz Field, including a huge pocket to our left in the upper deck. For the most part, I didn’t see any problems, and most altercations in the stands involved Steeler fan vs. Steeler fan (as they usually do), including a brawl directly in front of us after the Steelers tied the game. It all started over somebody getting bumped and innocently spilling part of their beer on the guy and front of him, who was convinced it was done on purpose. Bad things happened.
– I mentioned this on the post-game Podcast, and I’ll mention it again here: When John Harbaugh threw the challenge flag early in the fourth quarter as the Steelers attempted to hurry up and run a play before the Ravens could get set, I don’t for one second believe Harbaugh didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to challenge the play (by rule, the only spots that are allowed to be challenged are first downs). He wanted to stop the Steelers momentum, give his defense a chance to get set, and do so without burning an extremely important timeout.
Honestly, I thought it was a great move and one that I would have made if in that same situation simply because it’s allowed by the rules. The question I brought up: Should it be?
If you challenge a play and lose, you’re punished by losing a challenge, and if it’s your second challenge, not being able to challenge another play. Why, then, are you allowed to throw the flag on a play that is not reviewable and not be punished? You’re still stopping the game (delaying it), the play is not overturned. Shouldn’t the coach know the rules enough to know what is and what isn’t reviewable? In this example, that’s a pretty large loophole in the rule. But I certainly don’t begrudge Harbaugh for taking advantage of it.
– This matchup was an interesting look at two different approaches to building a passing game. On one side, you had the Ravens approach: Good — but not great — quarterback that is surrounded by a bunch of big, big name, big money wide receivers (Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh) to elevate the quarterback. On the other side, you have a franchise quarterback that is surrounded by a bunch of young, athletic, fast game-breakers. The Ravens group, while physically imposing, lacked explosiveness and speed. Something the Steelers group has plenty of, along with the ability to run away from coverage and defenders and gain separation.
The Steelers passing game made huge plays when needed. The Ravens passing game did not.
– Quick jersey watch: Saw the second No. 44 Dick LeBeau Detroit Lions jersey of the season, and also saw this guy sporting a Pittsburgh Penguins No. 22 Rick Tocchet jersey (diagonal “Pittsburgh” style).