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lamberts-lost-tooth
10-02-2006, 11:40 AM
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 2, 2006


BALTIMORE -- Bye-week impressions of the Steelers' next opponent (the Chargers) and of the one they'll battle twice in a five-week span (the Ravens), beginning on Nov. 26 in Baltimore:
? After producing next to nothing for three-plus quarters, Ravens quarterback Steve McNair used his head and his legs to help Baltimore steal a 16-13 decision from San Diego on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

McNair went 4-for-5 passing for 43 yards and ran once for 12 yards on a six-play, 60-yard march that concluded with the game-winning TD with 34 seconds remaining. Prior to desperation time, McNair had been reluctant to move in the pocket or throw the ball downfield.

"In the fourth quarter, the quarterback started moving around, and he bought himself time to make plays," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, advised recently by coach Bill Cowher to run more when opportunities present themselves, should use McNair's performance as a blueprint.

Big Ben needs to get outside the pocket this Sunday night in San Diego.

? The Chargers' confidence in third-year pro and first-year starter Philip Rivers is situational.

Facing a third-and-19 from the Baltimore 34-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, Rivers was trusted to try to beat the Ravens' defense deep (an incompletion resulted).

On the previous series, which began at the Chargers' 20, San Diego went run-run-pass, with Rivers' third-and-8 attempt traveling sideways to tight end Antonio Gates rather than past the sticks (a 5-yard gain resulted).

On their second-to-last series, the Chargers ran three consecutive times after back-to-back false start penalties set up a first-and-17 from the San Diego 2.

A first down or two there, and the Chargers might have run out the clock.

Schottenheimer was bold enough to risk field position and try a 54-yard field goal late in the second quarter of a 10-7 game, but he'll get too conservative eventually.

? The older he gets, the more easily Schottenheimer is apparently impressed.

"I've been doing this a long time. That's one of the best football teams I've seen," he said of the Ravens. "That's as good a defense as I've seen in a long time."

The Ravens are 4-0.

They're also the third-best team in the AFC North.

? LaDainian Tomlinson may or may not be the best running back in the NFL, but if there's a more patient ball-carrier in the league, he has yet to reveal himself.

Gap integrity will mean everything to the Steelers on Sunday night.

? This just in: Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman can be blocked. Ravens left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden obliterated the 2005 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year repeatedly. Right offensive tackle Tony Pashos also held more than his own on pass protection against Merriman, who flops from side to side and generates his best push on twists into the middle.

He's more about burst than brute force, and he provides nothing in pass coverage.

tony hipchest
10-02-2006, 11:49 AM
• The older he gets, the more easily Schottenheimer is apparently impressed.

"I've been doing this a long time. That's one of the best football teams I've seen," he said of the Ravens. "That's as good a defense as I've seen in a long time."

The Ravens are 4-0.

They're also the third-best team in the AFC North.

:chuckle: good stuff right there!

Atlanta Dan
10-02-2006, 12:39 PM
:chuckle: good stuff right there!

They may be the third best team in the AFC North but they have a 2 & 1/2 game lead on the Steelers. Yesterday's win made me begin to realize the Ravens are going to be tough to shake this year.

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-02-2006, 12:54 PM
They may be the third best team in the AFC North but they have a 2 & 1/2 game lead on the Steelers. Yesterday's win made me begin to realize the Ravens are going to be tough to shake this year.

Look at their upcoming schedule...they will come back down to earth before we see them!!:tt02:

19ward86
10-02-2006, 02:22 PM
i said it before and ill say it again, the ravens are right now the most OVERRATED team in the NFL, the second is the bengals. the ravens opponents havent been top of the line until the chargers game and everyone knows that if u stop LT then the game is yours, i say this because they dont have a good passing game. philup rivers is good but the recievers suck, their RB and TE are their best recievers.