Ravens-Steelers Rematch Game Thread

Remember, people: the standard is the standard. And while you’re at it, play above the line.  It’s go time.

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  • Anonymous

    I had a nap this afternoon, so while waiting for the 3:20 AM kickoff at Heinz Field, I figure I’ll start with Jets-Bills on Audio Pass.  It’s also on TV, but my wife gets the TV for prime time.

    For the late game I can choose between Giants-Patriots on Fox and Packers-Chargers on Middle East TV (satellite from Cyprus). I figure I’ll start with the Giants on TV, changing the channel as events develop, with Packers-Chargers on Audio Pass, at least until the Steelers pregame show comes on.

    The Steelers are on TV, of course.

    • Anonymous

      Four changes of possession in 29th minute of the half – Fitzpatrick intercepted twice, one Sanchez fumble and one missed NY FG. LOL!

  • Cols714

    I’m worried about the Ravens running game the most. I’m not sure we can stop them with Harrison not 100% and Woodley out.

    • David

      Agreed. Also, didn’t Sepulveda hold for kicks?

  • Anonymous

    Kapinos has been on speed dial for two years now. Have the Steelers worked with anyone else the past few years?  I mean, if he goes down, who is out there?

    • Burghboy01

      Paul Ernster?

      • Randy Steele

        Kapinos looked more than adequate during pre-season. He knows the drill.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    I’m excited to see Worilds finally play. And love that it’ll mean Juan can move back inside where he’s actually pretty good. 

    (NOTE: Please, Jason, don’t make me regret writing these words. Thanks in advance.)

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      Worilds will be on Flacco’s blind side, right? As Troy showed last year, Unibrow doesn’t seemed to have very good peripheral vision.

  • Cols714

    Well Sepulveda is done, which means the Steelers will go to the Super Bowl again.

    His career is probably over. Can’t wait to hear Ed Bouchette whine.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      So I guess every year we should sign and Gilhooly him.

  • Drobviousso

    What’s the weather like in Pittsburgh tonight?

    • Randy Steele

      The weather is here. Wish you were beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    Holding or not, that’s not the way you want to start the game.

  • Anonymous

    Geez. Get pressure on 3rd down, force Flacco to lob one up there, and the guy catches it for a big gain.

  • Anonymous

    The defense hasn’t looked very good on this drive.

  • Anonymous

    Well, nice goal line stand.

  • Anonymous

    Dodged a bullet there.

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking a toss play against the Ravens is a low percentage play.

  • Anonymous

    They’ve really got to stop letting them convert these 3rd downs.

  • Anonymous

    And yet another 3rd down conversion.

  • Anonymous

    And Cundiff misses the FG.

    • Sarah

      Well could be 10-0 and its 3-0 so I guess we should look on the bright side.

      • Sarah

        It would be nice if we actually get in to this game.  A quarter’s gone already.

  • Anonymous

    Brown was absolutely wide open.

  • Anonymous

    Ray Lewis should have his paycheck lightened this week. Clear helmet to helmet hit.

  • Anonymous

    Can the officials retroactively call a penalty when reviewing a play?

  • DJAnyReason

    Ray Lewis concusses Hines Ward on an uncalled helmet-to-helmet hit, so let’s challenge the reception!

    Stay classy, John Harbaugh.

  • Anonymous

    Lovely. So the catch is negated. Time for Suisham to shank one

  • Anonymous

    Game tied.

  • Anonymous

    Damn. Almost a huge break for the Steelers.

  • Anonymous

    Once again, Baltimore converts a 3rd down.

  • Anonymous

    And another.

  • Anonymous

    I think Heath actually broke up that pass. It might not have been caught, but he didn’t help matters.

  • Anonymous

    Whew. That was a lucky catch by Cotchery off the deflection.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s get a TD, guys

  • Anonymous

    Does Ben take more sacks on 3rd down in field goal range than any other QB? The Steelers really need to figure out their red zone offense.

  • Anonymous

    The kick coverage has been shaky tonight.

  • Anonymous

    Sack!

  • Anonymous

    So Ray Lewis is allowed to helmet to helmet, but Ryan Clark isn’t. Lovely officiating.

    • DoonYaY

      total bs…  Not a new thing though.  Ryan Clark gets those calls against him all the time…

    • Mike L

      That hit was very similar to the hit Lewis had on Dustin Keller last season that the league sent to each team as textbook legal.  ???  Grazing helmets is not leading with your helmet.  Start the collection for Ryan Clark.

      • Jeaves5

        Mt FIL is trying to convince me that Ray will get fined for that.  i told him that no one gets fines for hits against the steelers.  they are fair game.

  • Anonymous

    That’s not a catch.

  • Randy Steele

    One good sign: For the most part, Ben is getting time to throw.

  • Anonymous

    Geez. Terrible interception by Ben.

  • Anonymous

    Great drive completely wasted. And I’m really tired of those stupid bubble screens. Even when they are caught, they almost never get much yardage.

  • Anonymous

    And Baltimore’s back to converting 3rd downs

  • Anonymous

    How the heck do the Steelers completely shut down Tom Brady, then let Joe Flacco repeatedly move the chains on them?

  • Anonymous

    I understand the challenge, but it sucks to lose a timeout in this game.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, the Ravens easily convert the 3rd down.

  • Anonymous

    And there you go. Ike gets flagged for DPI. The Steelers aren’t winning this game.

  • Anonymous

    Rice scores.

    • Joel Miller

      Unfortunate that he did…the Steelers really won that play initially with penetration.  Clark or Keisel should have been filling that gap and never got there.

  • Joel Miller

    Nice for the Ravens to get that Black and White checkered push, eh?  For once, I’d love to watch a game that didn’t have a heavy dose of the officials.

    • Jeaves5

      Officials r fine if they would call the penalties consistently. Why does Clark get a pf but not Ray Ray? Why does Bildin get a PI call but not Brown?

  • Rob D

    Joel. you’ll have to stop watching the NFL then..I watched parts of 4 games today and every one of them had bizarre or just downright idiotic calls. IT’s a shame how we’ve let committee’s take over the sport.

    • Joel Miller

      Unfortunately…Pitt football doesn’t quite cut it yet so I’m stuck with the other Pittsburgh team ;)

  • Anonymous

    Great catch by Brown to convert 3rd and long

  • Anonymous

    Alright guys. Now get a friggin TD!

  • Anonymous

    They are totally going settle for a FG again.

    • Joel Miller

      Nah…Ben gets to go for a TD again.  QB Sneak for TD on 1st play.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that’s a TD. He should be down at the goal line.

  • Anonymous

    It is a first down, though.

    • Cols714

      That was on the dreaded empty set too.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and if anyone reads the Audibles at the Line column by Football Outsiders, I can guarantee that at least one of their writers(probably one of the 2 Seahawks’ fans) will make a snarky comment about Ben Roethlisberger and TD plays at the goal line.

  • Anonymous

    TD, Mendenhall!!

    Ok, now get a turnover guys

  • Anonymous

    Sack!!

  • Anonymous

    Now would be a good time to NOT give up a 3rd and long conversion…

  • Anonymous

    Sigh…

  • Anonymous

    And once again, the Ravens convert 3rd down.

    For having allowed only 16 points, the defense has really disappointed in this game.

  • Anonymous

    Fumble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Harrison forced it, Gay recovered it.

    Now go take the lead!

  • Anonymous

    That’s the second time Cotchery has caught a deflected pass.

  • Randy Steele

    I want Redman in here. Now.

  • Anonymous

    Wallace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hah! Wallace stepped right in front of Antonio Brown to catch that TD.

    Ok, how about another turnover, defense?

    • Randy Steele

      I’ll settle for a three-and-out.

  • Anonymous

    Is it me, or does the Ravens’ O-line move around a lot before the snap? How is that legal?

    • Joel Miller

      Their RG definitely looks like he is doing something illegal by settling back on his haunches every play.

  • Anonymous

    How about a Brown runback

    • Randy Steele

      I’ll settle for a couple first downs.

  • Anonymous

    Johnson has to catch that pass.

  • Anonymous

    Cotchery with the 1st down!

  • Anonymous

    Damn. There’s no chance that Suisham makes this kick.

  • Anonymous

    Especially since he won’t get to try it. Good punt by Kapinos.

    • Gaygilmore

      Anyone at the game know why they got the delay of game? That was weird.

  • Anonymous

    How about a safety; that would be nice

  • Anonymous

    Or, you could let them complete a pass out to the 30…

  • Anonymous

    4th and 1…

  • Anonymous

    And converted. Why is Gay covering Boldin?

  • Anonymous

    Whew…. Torrey Smith drops a TD

    • Cols714

      That was on Taylor too.

  • Anonymous

    And they convert another 3rd down…

  • Anonymous

    I’m shocked that Taylor didn’t get flagged.

  • Anonymous

    Good time for a 3rd down stop, guys…

  • Anonymous

    Of course not. TD Ravens.

  • Anonymous

    The defense completely failed in this game.

  • Cols714

    Awful defense.

    Hey Steelers fans, this is why they don’t play press coverage all of the time. I think I’m going to be sick. Awful awful defense on that last drive. I’m sure someone will blame Arians for this.

    • GlennW

      You have to blame LeBeau.  You absoutely have to have both safeties (or more) deep at the goal line in that situation.  We caught a break on Smith’s first drop in the endzone, and then it happens AGAIN?  Ridiculous. Absurd.

    • GlennW

      You have to blame LeBeau.  You absoutely have to have both safeties (or more) deep at the goal line in that situation.  We caught a break on Smith’s first drop in the endzone, and then it happens AGAIN?  Ridiculous. Absurd.

      • Cols714

        Yep. LeBeau always gets away without criticism, but he’s mostly to blame here. Clark should’ve been over more.

        I never want to hear anyone complain about prevent defense. Maybe if the Steelers had played some prevent this would not have happened.

        That was terrible.

  • Cols714

    Words cannot describe how terrible it is to let Joe “I’ll throw it up for pass interference” Flacco go 92 yards in 2 minutes or so. What a complete failure by the defense.

  • Cols714

    I’m so mad now. Sunday night losses suck. Yay work tomorrow.

  • ErikH

    That was miserable. I actually wanted them to punt at the end because there was no way we got that field goal. Hindsight tells me that mIght not have so bad after all.

    Total defensive collapse. Unbelievable.

  • David

    Well, yes, the D lost the game for us. Raisins: 14-21 on 3rd D.

    And here’s my gripe: how in the hell can the Raisins WR be so wide open not once, but twice in the end zone?

    Glass is half full #1:  We’re still 6-3 with a favorable schedule remaining. A lot of things can happen to us and the Raisins in 7 games. It’s the halfway point, not the end. Also, we’ll see if the Bungels are for real.

    But we have some secondary issues to work out. After the Patsies game, I felt a little better about our ability to play the Packers in XLVI. Now, well, back to square one.

    Glass is half full #2: I thought we would go 1-1 in these last two games. We did (but not like I thought).

    So vent now, including how we got a delay penalty and how our O played their hearts out and how our D is proving Warren Sapp correct.

    By Tuesday, let’s start thinking about the Bungels.

    • Cols714

      Good points. The defense was good on 1st and 2nd down, just could not get off the field. That last drive was torture.

  • Anonymous

    Gah. That last drive was awful.

    Negative storyline of this game: Steelers D unable to get off the field on 3rd down. Steelers corners able to handle NE’s receivers, but not a deep threat like Smith. 

    Profootball Focus before this game had a negative grade on Ike Taylor, noting that he got lucky on several deep passes that were dropped in Arizona and Indy. Looks like they were a bit more right than wrong – he got burned by Smith and Boldin a few times.

    Positives to take away: Steelers OL largely neutralized Baltimore’s pass rush and opened up some decent holes for Mendenhall. Probably their best game in years against Suggs and Baltimore. Young Money continues to impress.

    The Return of Deebo. Guess his back is back at full strength. It’ll be awesome when both Harrison and Woodley are on the field.

    This one hurts, but we’ve got Cincy coming up now. Gotta show the world what the Bengals are really made of.

  • Rich

    Season after season, we have to watch William Gay be a sub-pay player. Yet, season after season, he continues to start. At what point do we actually replace the guy? I mean, he was getting burned all night by a rookie WR who has bricks for hands.

    • Cols714

      Whatever. Taylor was burned the play before for a TD but Smith dropped it. Smith is just fast. The real culprit on the play was Clark who should’ve been deeper or more toward the sideline. He didn’t get over in time.

      • Rich

        Which gets to the next point…why are we playing press coverage with 20 seconds or so to go? Especially when one corner has proven over and over again he can’t cover speed guys down the field.

        And still, even then, William Gay should be able to hang with a rookie WR (who wasn’t good in college mind you) who has poor hands. I mean, he ran a go route..nothing fancy, and he goes right by Gay.

        • Cols714

          Quit blaming Gay. Taylor was burned the play before hand. The real problem is the stupid coverage call and Clark being no where near where he should have been.

          I hate the Ravens and their throw it  up for grabs or pass interference offense so much.

    • Anonymous

      Not even Darelle Revis can defend a receiver who is permitted to shove him away a second before the ball arrives.

  • ted

    This loss is entirely on the coaching staff. Yes, if Woodley plays, the Steelers probably win, because Worilds was invisible as a 3-4 OLB. Chris Carter is a better pass rusher, although Worilds is the better all-around player at this point. Neither is any good at this point, though. But the delay of game on the FG was inexcusable. Second, the # of third-down conversions on short dump-offs to the tight ends was absurd.

    Finally, I understand the desire and need to play more press coverage this year, which has mostly been a good change. But why would you do that with William Gay on third-and-long from more than 25 yards away with less than 15 seconds in the game? That was just an absolute idiotic call by the best DC in modern history. No other way to describe that but a mental breakdown by Carnell Lake and/or Dick LeBeau. Gay was absued all night long. He was and is who we thought he was, and has been for most of his career – a guy who cannot cover man to man down the field, particularly against a WR with world-class speed. But on that play, he should have never been put in that situation. The Steelers should have used another timeout before that third down and gone cover three. Let them get a first down over the middle to about the 12 with 8 seconds left and then be forced to use their last TO, which would have been the best they could have hoped for. Remember the play where Lewis was beat for a TD in press coverage when we had a huge lead against the Titans. It almost looks like the CBs are not being coached on when to play press or not. And this is two years in a row that below average talent starting at LCB cost the Steelers a home win against the Ravens. Good thing we kept BMac around for $2.5 million instead of signing Richard Marshall for the same amount in free agency, or cutting BMac and not signing Gay, and then bringing in Carlos Rogers, who is probably on his way to the Pro Bowl for San Fran. But the front office never mistakes, right?

    Unlikely that we win the division now, since Baltimore’s sked is at least as easy as ours for the rest of the way and they now own all tiebreakers.To be blunt, they are slightly a more complete football team. But Max Starks deserves a gameball nonetheless, since he completely shut down Suggs’ pass rush all game, and Suggs’ only big play came when he lined up way to the outside and Ben somehow threw it right to him on a hitch route. That was inexcusable as well. Ben made the one killer-mistake and Flacco never did. Flacco was the better QB of the two tonight in Pittsburgh, although I would still give us a decent chance in a playoff third game even at Baltimore because of Roethlisberger.

    Oh, and why is it that Ray Lewis is about the only player in the league who always gets away with helmet to helmet hits? He already literaly got away with murder, and now is seemingly the only player in the league allowed to play old-school football in the concussion-conscious NFL.

    • ted

      Forgot that one reason for the delay of game is that the coaching staff hesitated to send in Suisham, who they clearly have no confidence in and may have been the worst re-signing (considering that we gave him $6.3 million and a $1.3 million signing bonus when he had no other offers and has never lasted two years with one team) in Pittsburgh history.

      • Cols714

        This is true. A 47 yarder to go up a full TD is usually a no brainer. They might as well call Jeff Reed if you have no faith at all in your kicker.

        Still though, 92 yards in Pittsburgh for Joe fucking Flacco is usually an easy win. Not so tonight.

    • David

      Yep, a quick look shows that the only contenders on their schedule are SF at home and at SD. I wouldn’t bet against them in either. We just have to take care of business first, and hope for two other JAX efforts by the Raisins.

    • ted

      One more complaint, D.J. Johnson is versatile in that he can play a lot of positions, but is not good at any of them. He is actually at his best as an under-sized in-line blocker in 2-TE sets, where he is rarely used. But he is a lousy H-back, an awful lead FB, and probably rivals Kemoteau for the worst hands on the offensive unit.

    • Cols714

      I’m really hesitant to scape goat Gay here. Taylor played awful as well and was burned on the play before. This one is really on the DC and head coach who had their corners up at the line when all they had to do was play back and not let an easy play beat them. Make them make plays, don’t give up the big one there. Two catches in the middle of the field and the game is over.

      Terrible. Just freaking terrible.

      The good news, 13-3 will still win the division. The bad news, 12-4 will probably just tie and we just blew the tie breaker. The worse news, the Steelers would have to win out to go 13-3.

      Freaking awful loss. To go out like that is really horrible. 92 yards in our house.

      • ted

        Taylor had a great first half and a poor second half, but he was nowhere near as bad as Gay, who had two pass interference calls in the end zone, including the game-winning catch for a TD! There are two things you cannot let happen in that situation: Let the WR get behind you or get a pass interference in the end zone, and he did both. That said, Gay should have never been put in that situation and Clark was too old and slow to help in cover 2; and we should have been in cover 3 on that play.

        In the first half, Taylor allowed one catch, while the Ravens (who have a huge drop-off at WR after Bolden, who was covered by Taylor most of the game) almost exclusively picked on Gay in the slot with their TEs. It reminded me of the Patriots game from last year. Like Taylor, Lewis gave up some catches, too, but neither was beat for any huge catches. Sure Taylor was beat for what should have been a game-winning catch by Smith, but it did not happen. I remember Ike saying a couple of years ago that he was told by Tomlin (to get his confidence up) that he can play press coverage whenever he wants. But that is just dumb. T. Smith is nothing but a pure speed guy, so to play press against him with no safety help at that time of the game from midfield was assanine.

        But if I watch the replay (and I don’t thnk I can stand doing so), I would bet that Gay gave up more completions than Taylor and Lewis combined. Lewis did not play great by any stretch, but he now needs to start at outside CB and let Gay play the slot on passing downs, which is what we are already doing when we go nickle. Why was Gay on the outside on the last play and Lewis covering the slot? That was another coaching failure, which made no sense considering each player’s strengths and weaknesses. Dulac gave our secondary a grade of F last night, but that may have been too high.

        The Patriots win is now forgotten. WIth the Bengals winning at Tenn earlier and the Ravens’ schedule even easier than ours over the rest of the season, we are in serious danger of not making the postseason if we lose at Cincy this week. That was a big loss last night.

        After I checked out the Ravens’ schedule, the only way we could win the division is to win out. They play Indy at home, at Seattle and twice against Cleveland. Those are four wins. They play Cincy twice and might split those two, although we may be best off rooting for the Ravens in those games just to get a wild-card berth. Their other two include a road game against the under-achieving Chargers, who Baltimore matches up against better than us due to the Ravens’ better depth at CB. Finally, they get the 49ers at home on Thursday on a short week after the 49ers have to make a cross-country flight. San Fran plays at Arizona, comes home Sunday night and leaves on Wednesday for Baltimore. West-Coast teams usually struggle on cross-country trips, period, let alone doing so three days early. In conrast, we play at San Fran on a Monday night, and have a primetime game at KC compared to the Ravens’ home game against Indy. Even though they may be favored in every game, I think there is a 50-50 chance they lose twice, so I think winning out could get us the division. Going 7-1 gets us the No. 5 seed for sure, but I cannot see the Ravens’ going 5-3 with that schedule. In other words, we are likely a wild-card term if 12-4 or 11-5, and out of the playoffs at 10-6. At this point, Balimore looks like the No. 1 seed. That was a big loss last night and now the game at Cincy is huge. Lose this week and we are two games behind both teams in our division, losing all tiebreakers.

      • Jeffgretz

        Everyone is assuming that the division comes down to Steelers and Ravens, the sweep only matters in a tie breaker. The bengals could make that a moot point for the ravens. There are plenty of games for us to win and for baltimore to lose

    • Cols714

      And good point about last years home Baltimore loss. Really the same type of thing. Instead of making them make a play, they got burned on a deep route in the end zone.

      I think I’m going to be sick.

    • Rich

      Yea, no idea whatsoever why we were playing press coverage. Screamed at the TV the play before when we did it, and it made even less sense on the final play.

    • Mike L

      Not just Lewis, McClain hits Brown without drawing a flag.

    • JCRODRIGUEZ

      I agree on everything about the D, but my perspective is that we really let them live thanks to our Red Zone headaches, FG’s (and turnovers) instead of TD are not enough to kill Elite Teams. Regarding what’s ahead for the Top 3 on the North, honestly, I do not know what to expect, the Ravens have looked terrible against lowly competition (Cards, Jax, Tenn) so I can not say that they could drop some more “winnable” games, also the 4 games between Cin vs Bal/Pitt are going to be huge. The race is wide open, and we could be easily the Number One AFC seed or be out of the playoffs completely. Wow. Regardless, very hard loss to swallow, hopefully the team can get ready ASAP for the Bengals. 

  • Rich

    Oh..and playing press coverage with 25 seconds to go from the 40? Um….what in the world is Lebeau thinking there?

    • David

      Clark was way too late on that play. He just isn’t a good cover safety.

      • Rich

        That’s true, but it still doesn’t explain why you play press. We worried about them picking up a first down or something there?

  • David

    OK, last comment on how terrible I feel: the Raisins didn’t even have to use a TO on that last drive.

  • David

    I lied. A last, last comment is, to further blame Clark, he dropped that first INT on the 1st BAL drive that ended up in a FG. 3 points there, ladies and germs.

    • Rich

      Thank god we gave him that extension!!

  • ted

    While this loss was very frustrating and it is difficult to see this team going to the Super Bowl as the No. 5 seed (which you now have to project), there were some real positives tonight:

    1. The o-line played great in pass pro and did okay in the run game considering the opposition.

    2. Cotchery needs to play over Ward as the interior slot WR unless it is a short-yardage situation. Sad but true, Ward is now our No. 5 WR. Cotchery was solid all night in all phases.

    3. Antonio Brown has to be the No. 2 WR from this point forward. He is much better than Sanders, who gets far more praise on this forum than he has earned through his play.

    4. Mendenhall ran very hard and had a complete game, although he did not get enough touches, because our defense could not get Baltimore off the field on third down.

    5. Although still rusty and not near his level, Harrison looked the best he has all and played with a vengeance.

    6. We did a great job of bottling up Ray Rice in the run and pass game, with Larry Foote playing well. Ziggy Hood also had some impressive plays in space.

    7. There was no drop-off at punter and probably more consistency with Kapinos.

    But the bad:

    1. We are still weat at CB after Ike considering how depleted the Ravens were at WR.

    2. We cannot stop teams with accurate QBs and two athletic TEs.

    3. The reason this team is one of the worst of any in NFL history at creating turnovers is beacuse it has failed to get much of a pass rush this year.

    4. We have no single dominant run blocker we can consistently run behind.

    5. D.J. Johnson is a below-average lead blocker.

    6. Suisham is a below-average NFL kicker.

     

    • Cols714

      Yes. Except for weak at CB. I think it was more of the lack of pass rush than CBs today. Although that was Taylor’s weakest game of the year.

      Sanders played better last year than this year. And yes, Cotchery over Ward is a no brainer at this point. Really Ward is only on the team because of past contributions. He’s not a starting caliber WR anymore.

      I don’t blame the Steelers keeping him around, he’s been a warrior, but it is time to move him down the depth chart.

      This is such a frustrating loss because we essentially had the Ravens beat and then let them go down the field with ease! to win it.

  • Cols714

    I”m out. Not reading any football sites this week. I just can’t handle it.

    The narrative is going to be that William Gay sucks and Arians sucks for not scoring more points. The reality is that Taylor played just as terrible as Gay and the defense was miserable on third downs. The inexplicable decision by Tomlin and Lebeau to play press man with the time running out was terrible.

    However, this team is most likely going back to the playoffs and they will have a decent shot at getting back to the Super Bowl still. They just will have to do it on the road instead.

  • DJAnyReason

    I see a lot of disappointment with the defense on the last drive.  I think I mostly agree, but it’s hard to pin it all on the D.  They forced a 3-and-out on the previous drive, and on the first play came damn close to a strip-sack and/or safety.  It wasn’t a good day by the D, but we were still in a position to win.  If Johnson doesn’t drop a pass on the last O drive then there’s 40 fewer seconds on the clock and the Ravens may not have time to get the TD.  If the offense can punch it in at 1st-and-goal from the 4 in the first half then we’re up enough that its not an issue. Same thing if the Refs call a more even game.  If Terrell Suggs is rushing instead of in the flat on his pick, then its not even close.

    It was a close game, we lost by 3,  a lot of little things bounced the wrong way.  It sucks to lose this close, and the standard is the standard, but this isn’t a bad loss like week 1 was.  Its a sucky loss, but it was a close loss against a good team who happened to have the last real possession in each half.  Nothing more to it.

  • Anonymous

    The fourth quarter defense looked very familiar. Remember the five losses two years ago?  They weren’t only on kick off returns.

    I am now very concerned about the Bengals.  They can save our season or eat our lunch or even take it all for themselves.

    Anyone know why there was no runoff of ten seconds after the false start at the end of the half?  Is that only on post-snap offensive penalties?  Or what?

    Blaming the coaches for punting at the end rather that trying a field goal at the risk of a miss and a short field is what people chided Belichek for last week – not trusting the defense to make a stop,  Ya can’t have it both ways.

    • DJAnyReason

      No runoff because the clock was stopped already.  There’s only a runoff when the clock is running.

  • SteelerBill

    I’ll just copy and paste what I said at SCI (yes because I’m lazy):

    Lots of credit has to go to an OL that protected the hell out of Ben all
    night.  And I noticed that Ben was not going with the 3 step rhythm
    throws instead going with longer drops  (could be the reason for being
    skittish)

    The Refs blew a lot of calls – the Lewis one was utterly ridiculous.

    I would have punted too – sorry, that’s not Jeff Reed…not a lot of
    confidence in Suisham.  And let’s face it 92 yard at Heinz for Flacco
    should have been a gimme for our D – this isn’t Brady – or did they
    reverse roles?

    Also, the DL looked beat at the end  – no pass rush whatsoever in that last drive.

    Cincy concerned me a couple of weeks ago – and they do again now – how
    emotionally drained is this team after the past two weeks?

  • David

    OK, now that I’ve slept on it, here are my questions:

    1. We are 6-3, the Raisins are 6-2. EB said it correctly, we win at CIN and they lose at SEA, we’re on top again. But, AFC WC looks like our destiny, if we take care of business. As Heath Ledger said on The Dark Knight, “Why so serious?”

    2. Did anyone else see the Gatorade bath for Harbaugh?

    3. Why wasn’t Ray Ray flagged?

    4. The ball bounced their way most of the game. We had two picks in our mitts (hello Gay and Clark). Guess the two who got beaten on the last play?

    5. I thought the FG would have been around 50-51 yds. If 47, we should have tried it. Was it 47?

    6. Ole Unibrow was incredibly accurate last night. More than I’ve ever seen in him, ever. Is it b/c or our deficiencies at pass rush or secondary?

    7. Looking forward, since I’m no coach or player, if we get the WC, our probable opponent would be at BUF, NYJ, or CIN. Only NYJ concerns me.

    Both the 1 and 2 defenses in the NFL looked like 30th and 31st.
    Weird, strange game.
    Ben and Silverback brought us back.
    Brown is our #2 WR, maybe #1.
    Starks played great.
    Mendy played very well.

    I’m not worried about our O anymore.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

    I can’t decide if all the criticism of press coverage on the last drive is correct or just anger at losing a close game.  To me, the real story of the last drive is that the pass rush was non-existent.  Partly, this was due to personnel with Woodley out and Worilds being pushed into a bigger role.  Partly, I think it was due to fatigue.  I think they were just exhausted and couldn’t generate any pressure. 
    Our only real pass rush threat was Harrison and in his first game back
    he probably wore down by the fourth quarter.   The defense was on the field a lot last night because they couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down.  And they couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down because they couldn’t generate much pressure without blitzing.  When the blitz didn’t get there, guys were open.  So to me, I wonder whether press vs zone would have made much difference. 

    For the record, I hope we get a 3rd crack at them in the playoffs with a healthy defense.  After watching the offensive line last night, I really like their chances.  And is there anybody who doesn’t think knocking them out of the playoffs wouldn’t be delicious revenge?  Especially after watching their bush league celebration at the end of the game.  Clearly the Steelers were in their head if they felt the need to celebrate like that after a regular season win.  I don’t remember the Steelers acting like that after beating them.  It also makes me hope that they’ll have a let down next week because of their win.  Unfortunately, they play the Seahawks, so even if they do have a letdown, they’ll probably win by two touchdowns. 

    • GlennW

      Certainly there were other defensive problems on that last possession including the lack of a pass rush, but c’mon, with 14 seconds left and the Ravens 25 long yards away from the endzone you need to have your safeties deep.  I don’t care if the CBs “press” or not, but you’ve got to have deep protect on the back end.  If the Ravens hit something over the middle and make a great play by taking it all the way in, so be it.  But you just can’t be left with single man coverage on the deep stuff.  I know that Clark has taken responsibility for making a bad read and taking a bad angle, but it’s the coach’s responsibility to have the players in the optimal defense for the game situation.

      • Cols714

        Yep. They should’ve been playing back, let the Ravens complete a pass, even for a first down!, keep them in bounds and they have to use their TO. Then they get one play for the endzone.

        Dumb play call there by Tomlin and LeBeau.

        I don’t get all the criticism of the WR screens (not by you, but in this thread). The Steelers have been doing those all year long and they’ve been pretty successful.

        • GlennW

          > I don’t get all the criticism of the WR screens

          Agreed.  Mike Wallace in particular makes good yardage on those plays, as he did most recently in the Patriots game.  On the INT in this game Ben just has to make a better read, although that’s a hell of a play by Suggs to catch that ball at such short range.

  • Hoffstra323

    We had enough depth at line to play a hybrid 3-4 and we should have done that. Mike Tomlin has said about playing guys that are healthy, and not just anointing starters, especially guys that are coming off of injury. I dont think Jason Worilds earned his start. My main point is that on first or second down you cant have anyone up front who is a liability against the run when you play the ravens, and we had the guys to fill the voids. They should have moved Keisel around more as the 3-4 end/linebacker. with guys like ziggy, hampton, Mclendon, and Heyward we had the depth to do it. Worilds had not been in a game for weeks and they put him on the field to start? just does not seem like a responsible decision. 
    We should take this loss with a grain of salt thou, We got beat and the Ravens deserved the win. I still see a Pittsburgh team that is on the rise. We played a heck of a lot better than we did the first game. Look at how well the offensive line played, I thought they did a great job. Max Starks who I said may just be the teams savior played a great game. Also Antonio Brown has become Ben’s favorite target, and I think this will pay dividends. If teams double up on Wallace you will have guys like brown, sanders, and miller open all day. I have also been saying that we need to get Jerricho Cotchery involved more. I dont care how great our young guys are, Cotchery is a playmaker, and he showed some off his natural talents last night. Especially his ability to catch tipped balls. He has great awareness and body control and he possesses other skills that cant be taught. All of which are at the steelers disposal, needs to get off the bench more. Hines needs to get healthy and is still a great asset to our team. 
    One big negative thou… Bruce Arians needs to stop calling those stupid short passes out to the sidelines. That is the biggest amateur play ever. Those are plays that you dial up for rookie quarterbacks and guys that have no confidence. They are also a high risk play. But hey if you want to set other teams up for pick six’s then so be it. Big boys like Ben pass the ball down field.

  • Anonymous

    So quick question about league rules. The Steelers pick up and L for being behind on the scoreboard, but do the Ravens get the W or are they required to give it directly to the officials? Stat of the night, 0, for the number of points Baltimore scored without egregious help from the zebras (though to be fair they got a FG after getting help, but the help came when they were already in FG range).

    -Gay called for holding in the end zone when there was none.
    -Missed DPI in the end zone on early Steelers drive.
    -Ray Lewis goes helmet to helmet on Hines Ward with no call.
    -Harbaugh makes a ridiculous challenge where the is indisputable visual evidence that the catch, which was called a catch on the field, was made. It was overturned anyway.
    -Missed on intentional grounding.
    -Missed a facemask on a return.
    -Picked up a first down on a 2nd down play, but ball was spotted way short.
    -Suggs hit Ben quite late after a throw, no call.
    -Clark got called for a helmet to helmet that he could not have avoided since he went shoulder to chest and the receiver hit him.
    -A non-catch was called a catch.
    -The Ravens were earlier announced as having used their third and final timeout, they take another one in the 1st half anyway.
    -Missed false start.
    -A non-catch was called a catch. Tomlin challenged and you can clearly see it’s not a catch. Doesn’t matter.
    -A push off got called a defensive pass interference.
    -A big play was called back on a phantom hold.
    -Another missed late hit.
    -Another late hit high on a defenseless receiver.
    -Another missed false start.
    -Another push off called defensive pass interference. This one for a touchdown.

    That’s quite a massive laundry list, no? Astounding that they’ll completely get away with it too.

    • David

      The only one in my mind that had a major bearing in the game was the Ray Ray hit. We would have had it 1st & G at the 5, down 3-0.

      But that being said, we were up 20-16 with 2:16 remaining. I cannot  remember one time in the past 10 years where we gave up a 90+ yd game winning drive so late in the 4th. That’s what hurts–we’re not used to that.

      But again, our O is on the rise. We will move the ball (almost 400 yd total last night). Will our D be up to the task?

      • DJAnyReason

        Two others had major bearing – the no-call pass interference in the end zone immediately proceeding the Ray Ray hit, and the phantom DPI immediately proceeding the Ravens TD.

        • DJAnyReason

           Though, to be clear, the standard is the standard.  2008 Steelers had two games where the zebras were even worse (JAX and SD) and still won both.

        • GlennW

          The pass interference call on Ike covering Boldin?  I thought that was interference– Ike held up Boldin long enough to keep him from potentially making the catch.  But agreed, the no-call when Brown was hooked at the hip (preventing him from making a play in the endzone) was also pass interference.

    • GlennW

      Eh.  Certainly Walt Coleman (who needs to be put out to pasture) completely bungled two replay reviews, but neither of those calls were significant game-changers.  And there were indeed some other head-scratchers.  But the single biggest call or non-call of the night was the holding call on Torrey Smith on Rice’s long TD run.  While that call was perhaps technically correct to the most precise letter of the law, it’s not one I like to see made.  Smith had his man locked up straight-up from the front (not from the back or side) and was basically manhandling him albeit with some inside grasping of the CB’s arms, which I think is a good block.  Basically the ”they could call that on every play” scenario applies (which is the point that Collinsworth made and which I agree with)..

      I’m choosing to focus on our own deficiences (of which there were several) rather than pinning this loss on the officials.

    • WhoDey2113

      WaWaWa. Amazing how your vision ONLY allows you to see the calls they refs missed that may have hurt the Steelers, and not those that helped them. Even the TV announcers picked up on them, including the bogus hold call that brought back the Ray Rice opening drive touchdown. For that matter, Hines Ward has had a reputation around the league for illegal hits for years. Funny how he doesn’t deserve a mention. I guess your keen insight and 20/20 TV vision is better than the refs on the field, the announcers in the booth, the writers and analysts (including Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writers who aren’t crying Foul Foul Foul…), and millions of TV viewers. I’m not even a freakin’ Ravens fan and even I think you’re full of it.

      • David

        Yeah, but your name and prognostication of when the Bungels will win their 1st SB is freakin’ amazing.

      • Anonymous

        One can only see what’s there to see. You may think I’m “full of it,” but your impression of the statement doesn’t actually affect it’s veracity. It’s not like I made any of it up. They do tape those games. I invite you to find a recording and have a look. It’s all there.

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