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83-Steelers-43
10-29-2007, 09:34 PM
Ravens pose serious threat to Steelers
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 29, 2007

All that positive reinforcement for Mike Tomlin's task-at-hand mandate generated by the big win in Cincinnati couldn't have arrived at a better time.

The Ravens are coming.

Yeah, those guys.

The team that tattooed the Steelers twice a year ago, 27-0 and 31-7.

The team that sacked Ben Roethlisberger 14 times in two games.

The team that held Willie Parker to 51 yards rushing on 23 carries (no, Parker didn't miss a game; those were the two-game totals).

The team that went 13-3, while the Steelers were 8-8.

The team that was superior enough to dominate the Steelers twice even as the Steelers were compiling a We-Told-You-We-Weren't-This-Bad 6-2 second half of the 2006 campaign.

Tomlin was in Minnesota a year ago, so he'll have no first-hand recollection of the carnage.

But even had he suffered through those two Baltimore debacles with the rest of the Steelers, Tomlin's focus would no doubt remain locked on the here and now as the Steelers count down the days to Baltimore's Monday night invasion.

That's a good thing.

There is, after all, no sense rehashing ancient history.

The problem is, studying recent history as it relates to Baltimore might not be all that beneficial, either.

At 4-3, the Ravens already have matched last season's loss total, so the temptation exists to suspect that with the free-agent departure of Adalius Thomas, so went the Baltimore mystique.

But when factoring in how banged up the Ravens have been, and how head coach Brian Billick expects to have all of his starters available Monday night, that 4-3 record looks less like an indictment and more like a validation of the Ravens as a still-dangerous congregation.

Baltimore's problems started in the regular-season opener when it lost offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden and quarterback Steve McNair.

The offensive line was so patched together Oct. 7 at San Francisco that the Ravens relied on three rookies, a second-year pro and a third-year player for two-plus quarters.

The Ravens won that one somehow.

They won another round of "What's My Line?" the following week against St. Louis.

The 49ers and Rams, of course, are hardly the Patriots and Colts.

Still, imagine the Steelers' predicament should they find themselves without the services of Marvel Smith, Sean Mahan and Willie Colon, and with Kendall Simmons moving from guard to center for extended stretches.

The Ravens also have been without tight end Todd Heap, defensive lineman Trevor Pryce, and cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle much more than they'd prefer.

And they've been forced to deal with McNair being either unavailable or forced to leave early in five of their seven games.

Against such a backdrop, a 4-3 record doesn't look half bad. It's enough to have positioned the Ravens to within a victory over the Steelers of dramatically altering the landscape in the AFC North.

The Bengals had just such an opportunity last Sunday.

The difference between the Bengals and the Ravens is the Ravens will know what to do with it.

For the Steelers, that will make eliminating any and all potential distractions and focusing solely on the challenge at hand all the more critical.

This will be the most daunting one they've faced.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_535204.html

steelpride12
10-29-2007, 09:37 PM
Ya i know thats why im nervous, but also confident our steelers can pull through! We need to establish a run game first which means yes O-Line you must be there and play your best 2 games!

Then get play action going on deep balls to open up the secondary.

The denfese must watch out for quick slants play and fast passes and must get to the QB whoever its gonna be QUICK!

83-Steelers-43
10-29-2007, 09:39 PM
What I disagree with Prisuta on, bringing up last season. LAST season. It's in the past. It has absolutely nothing to do with this season. In the beginning of the year Baltimore made me nervous, but they are not the same team they were last season and neither are we.

At the same time and I hate to and apologize for stating the obvious, but if we take them lightly, we will lose. Just like we did against Arizona and Denver.

GBMelBlount
10-29-2007, 09:40 PM
What more to say? Our two most humiliating games last year. This game is crucial. Not only payback for last year, but proof that we are the team to beat in the AFC.

MasterOfPuppets
10-29-2007, 10:12 PM
What I disagree with Prisuta on, bringing up last season. LAST season. It's in the past. It has absolutely nothing to do with this season. In the beginning of the year Baltimore made me nervous, but they are not the same team they were last season and neither are we.

At the same time and I hate to and apologize for stating the obvious, but if we take them lightly, we will lose. Just like we did against Arizona and Denver.they may not be exactly the same, but thier stats say there close...

2nd in total defense
2nd rushing allowed
9th passing allowed

thier still gonna be the best D we've faced all year. pass protection may be a big issue.

Edman
10-29-2007, 10:24 PM
All teams pose serious threats.

The Steelers' manhood will be challenged next Monday on National TV. The players certainly remember last year's massacres. If that doesn't give them enough incentive to stand up to these Clowns, then they don't deserve to win the AFC North.

SteelersMongol
10-29-2007, 10:30 PM
Nice article. I think we need all those negative stats from the last year before we play against the Ratbirds. So we can get fired up and all. Cuz overconfidence and careless moves cost us 2 games this season already, remember?

redzone79
10-29-2007, 10:52 PM
Agreed we need to step up and protect the QB and RUN the ball. Plus Ben needs to not hold the ball as long as he does. Yeah there is the risk of an interception but a sack is bad also (I knnow, not as bad as an interception).

Lord Stiller
10-29-2007, 10:56 PM
they may not be exactly the same, but thier stats say there close...

2nd in total defense
2nd rushing allowed
9th passing allowed

thier still gonna be the best D we've faced all year. pass protection may be a big issue.

The only reason their pass defense is ranked so high is because they have mostly faced inexperienced backup QBs. Their secondary can be exploited

The Duke
10-29-2007, 11:05 PM
The only reason their pass defense is ranked so high is because they have mostly faced inexperienced backup QBs. Their secondary can be exploited

yeah, but come on, Ed Reed and Chris McAllister alone make that secondary pretty good and one to be careful with

redzone79
10-29-2007, 11:05 PM
Inexperienced? well I hope the steelers luck continues, but to my dismay i'm afraid that our luck has to end someday:shake01::mad::hunch::hope::doh::jawdrop:

Edman
10-29-2007, 11:06 PM
The Rats will likely try what they used last year: Throw lots of blitzes at Ben. Ben, like he said himself, has to get the ball out and quickly. He's the X-factor for the Steelers in this game.

One thing that worries me is the O-Line. They really need a spectacular game. Unfortunately, with Kendoll Simmons lining up. I can only hope for an above-average game from them.

BurghZ0n3
10-30-2007, 08:49 AM
...and make Billick's laughter & cynical gesture into TEARS!!! :tt02::banging::banging::banging::tt02:

revefsreleets
10-30-2007, 09:54 AM
Last year is last year, but I'd show parts of those two games during every team meeting this week to keep that awful taste in the players mouths. There is no better motivator then revenge.

memphissteelergirl
10-30-2007, 10:12 AM
Last year is last year, but I'd show parts of those two games during every team meeting this week to keep that awful taste in the players mouths. There is no better motivator then revenge.


Hey...worked in the '05 playoffs...:wink02:

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-30-2007, 10:42 AM
My Bettis Jersey is now 5-0...the Lambert Jersey is 0-2...Guess which one I'm wearing???!!!!!
Already told the wife to buy the making for sub sandwiches....and since we lost the last time she watched a game with me.....she needs to find something to do on Monday Night. I love her with all my heart but.......:wink02:

klick81
10-30-2007, 10:44 AM
All games are crucial, but this one is huge. Let's take it to them baby.

Atlanta Dan
10-30-2007, 10:47 AM
The Rats will likely try what they used last year: Throw lots of blitzes at Ben. Ben, like he said himself, has to get the ball out and quickly. He's the X-factor for the Steelers in this game.

One thing that worries me is the O-Line. They really need a spectacular game. Unfortunately, with Kendoll Simmons lining up. I can only hope for an above-average game from them.

Ben needs to work on hitting the hot receiver rather than scramble and try to out run the pass rush -at this point I am not expecting great strides by tehe O-line.

While watching NFL Replay of the game last night there were 2 points of maximum danger on the drive for the FG in the 4th quarter - when Ben scrambled and got hit around the Steelers 40 on what was ruled an incomplete pass & later on that drive when Ben threw across his body across the field to Holmes (a great result buta dangerous play).

And the D cannot play soft like it did on the Bengals last drive
Against the Ravens those sorts of acts will lead to turnovers.

steel striker
10-30-2007, 06:19 PM
:tt02:I agree this is going to be a tough game for us and, As long as Ben takes of the ball we should do fine. Plus last year we played like crap against them but, the things that worries me this year is that are not beating the teams we should beat. We should beat both the cards & broncos. Even though the bengals have a very good offense there defense is not that good. If we can play our brand of football which is a balance mix we should win this game. I know the ravens always seem to play pretty good against us. Ben is really playing well this year but, he can't get crazy against the ratbirds. Take the check downs if nothings else is open or just throw it away. You know Willie Parker kind of reminds me of Barry Sanders a little bit you may stop him most of the time but he seems to break a big one almost every game. I know it way too early to compare.

Here we Go Steelers!! :tt02:

PalmerSteel
10-30-2007, 06:40 PM
imo, this game by far will be our biggest challenge. throw stats and our records out the door on this one. just like the article said, they have had a lot of injuries and have had 2 weeks to get healthier and prepare for us. they are the team to beat until we beat them. PLEASE protect ben decent in this one! my biggest worry.....