And, how will this final score of 13-12 be achieved? Simple - I'll pretend to be an oracle and use my (probably non-existent) psychic abilities to give you an "accurate" portrayal of how the game will unfold. Think of it as being a different sort of "fantasy football". Here's what my visions are telling me:
- Ravens will get the kickoff and from there, both teams will have a slow start, but after a handful of punts, and with a few minutes left in the first quarter, the Ravens will be first to score...from deep in Steelers territory, on a breakaway rushing TD from Ray Rice.
+With the time winding down, the scoreless Steelers will end the first quarter trailing by seven (Balt 7 - Pitt 0)+
- At some point during the Steelers next offensive drive, and after getting the ball nearly to midfield, Batch will get sacked on a third and long...the result of which will be an unfortunate turnover on a forced fumble. But after a handful of short plays and a Raven's penalty, the Steelers D will force the Ravens to settle for an early 2nd quarter FG attempt by Tucker from 20 yards out.
+This successful FG will increase the Ravens lead to ten points over the still scoreless Steelers (Balt 10 - Pitt 0)+
After a plethora of punts filling out much of a mostly uneventful 2nd quarter, the Steelers offense will finally get a break. Aided by a penalty, the Batch-led offense will march down the field with a small arsenal of short passes, a handful of rushes, and a few 3rd down conversions the Steelers will stall out on back-to-back offensive penalties...still, with 20 seconds left on the clock, the Steelers will end up walking away with 3 points from a successful 37 yard FG attempt by Shaun Suisham.
+After an uneventful kickoff, the Steelers will head back to the locker room still trailing the Ravens (Balt 10 - Pitt 3)+
Halftime Score: Ravens 10, Steelers 3
- The Steelers will get an excellent start the second half with a long return from Rainey, which will put the Steelers into Ravens territory from the outset. On first down, Batch will be given an opportunity to throw it deep to an open Mike Wallace, who will actually catch the ball AND run with it. Seconds later, Wallace will get tripped up just four yards short of the goal. After two unsuccessful attempts to run the ball in, Batch will fake a hand off to Dwyer, and after a near sack, scramble to the right...seconds later, an open Sanders will catch a short and wobbly lateral pass in what probably should have been a broken play. Fortunately Sanders will make a catch and run it in for a one yard TD pass.
+The Steelers are finally tied the Ravens (Balt 10 - Pitt 10)+
After kicking off, Baltimore will be aided by a predictable penalty committed by the hapless Steelers ST. Feeling the need to answer, the Ravens will go into no-huddle. The Steelers D will seemingly regress, going offsides and allowing the offense to put together an 8 play drive to the Pittsburgh 23. With a sense of urgency, Flacco will unexpectedly attempt to throw a deep pass into the endzone...and right into the hands of Ike Taylor...who will get tackled a few yards from the Steelers' goal line. Two unsuccessful plays later and pinned down at his own 2, Batch will end up taking a sack in the endzone. Steelers fan will be screaming at the screen - not just because of the sack/safety - but also because the officiating crew will have somehow missed a blatantly unflagged defensive penalty that should have negated the Raven's score. Regardless, the Ravens will come away with a two point lead over a shaken up Steelers, and for the remainder of the 3rd quarter, both teams will struggle offensively.
+The Steelers will emerge from the third quarter trailing Baltimore by two (Balt 12 - Pitt 10)+
- The last quarter will begin much like it how the first one started - with a plethora of uneventful plays - penalty stalling drives - deep punts - and effective defensive play from both teams. But with three minutes left on the clock, Troy forces a fumble on a short pass from Flacco that was caught, but nevertheless fumbled. After pulling numerous players off of the ball, the Steelers get the ball back on their own 45. Thus begins what will be the final drive of the game...a slow and steady march that will take the Steelers to the two minute warning. Still trailing by two, and with the clock having wound down to about 1:30...the Steelers will fail to convert a third down, forcing a second Suisham FG attempt...this time, from 45 yards out. The kick is good.
+With Suisham's second FG, the Steelers will finally pull ahead by one (Pitt 13 - Balt 12)+
With the game coming down to the final minute, Baltimore...with one TO remaining and only trailing by only one point...will receive the ball once more. Their return man narrowly escapes a few tackles, and will get 30 yards on the return, giving Steelers fans everywhere heart palpitations. With time running down, Flacco's offense will make a dash for the FG range...and what might have been the win...but, on 2nd and 10, standing at the Steelers 41...and with less than 30 seconds remaining, Flacco will attempt to make a pass down the center, but before he can release the ball, Jason Worilds will force another turnover, knocking the ball loose. The Steelers will recover, and once the dust has settled, the Pittsburgh Steelers will take the knee. And the win.
Final Score: Steelers 13 - Ravens 12
Box Score | 1stQ | 2ndQ | 3rdQ | 4thQ | Final |
Steelers --------- 0 ----- 3 ------- 7 ------ 3 ------ 13
Ravens----------- 7------ 3 ------- 2 ------ 0 ------ 12
Of course, as fun as that was the write and imagine, I'm fully aware that the likelihood of the game playing out in the manner in which I described is about as likely as winning the Powerball (of course - some of the Steelers almost did, so who knows!?) If it does happen as I described...then I guess I should start betting! If not...then I guess I have no life!