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Old 12-05-2010, 10:44 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Rapid Reaction: Steelers 13, Ravens 10

Rapid Reaction: Steelers 13, Ravens 10
December, 5, 2010
Dec 5
11:41 PM ET

By James Walker
Here are some early thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers' come-from-behind victory over the Baltimore Ravens:

What it means: The Steelers (9-3) gained a one-game lead over Baltimore (8-4) with four games to go and avoided the season sweep to their biggest rival. Pittsburgh has the inside track to win the AFC North with four games to go. The Steelers also have a shot at home field advantage throughout the playoffs depending on what happens between the New England Patriots (9-2) and New York Jets (9-2) down the stretch.

What I liked: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, despite an injured foot, took a beating but made enough key plays to improve to 8-2 in his career against the Ravens. His touchdown pass to running back Isaac Redman put the Steelers ahead for good. Both teams played hard-nose defense in a game where yards were hard to come by. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu caused a huge fumble on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to set up Pittsburgh's final score.

What I didn't like: Baltimore collapsed in the fourth quarter. The Ravens seemed in control most of the game and took a touchdown lead into the fourth quarter. But Pittsburgh scored 10 unanswered points in the final period to escape with a win. Baltimore's defense allowed Pittsburgh to drive down the field for the first field goal, and Flacco's fumble set up Pittsburgh's game-winning touchdown. Flacco also short-armed a pass on fourth down that could have set up a field goal. It will be debated whether the Ravens should have tried a field goal with kicker Billy Cundiff to force overtime from Pittsburgh's 32 yardline.

Injuries aplenty: There were plenty of injuries throughout the game, which is typical of this physical rivalry. Roethlisberger suffered a busted nose in the first quarter but played through it. Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda also had a knee injury in the first half and couldn’t punt, and tight end Heath Miller (concussion) was knocked out of the game in the third quarter after a brutal hit by Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain that may be subject to review by the league. For Baltimore, starting tight end Todd Heap had a hamstring injury and was knocked out of the game.

What's next: After another physically taxing game, both teams will try to recuperate and get healthy for next week. Pittsburgh will host the Cincinnati Bengals, who are on an NFL-high nine-game losing streak. The Ravens will travel to play the Houston Texans on "Monday Night Football." It will be the second consecutive week Baltimore plays in primetime.
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