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Old 12-19-2006, 04:19 AM   #1
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Default Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers feel pretty good about themselves after running away with their third consecutive victory and their fifth in six games. They're playing their best football of the season and are among the hottest teams in the NFL.

"We're still Super Bowl champions," receiver Hines Ward declared. "Right now we're playing good football. We just have to continue doing it. What better way than winning five out of six games."

Unfortunately, they needed to win six of their past six to have a more realistic chance to make the playoffs, and the team that prevented them from doing so appears in Heinz Field Sunday.

"We definitely have to avenge a tough loss against Baltimore next week," linebacker Joey Porter said.

The Baltimore Ravens are the AFC North Division rulers. They have won seven of their past eight and sit atop the division at 11-3, in the lead for one of the top two seeds in the AFC and a first-round playoff bye. Their victories include a 27-0 spanking of the Steelers in Baltimore Nov. 26 that was not as close as the score might indicate.

Coach Bill Cowher called it "a very pitiful performance."

The Steelers used some choice words to describe that game, "embarrassing" the most prominent as the Ravens sacked Ben Roethlisberger nine times and were firmly in control by the half when they led in total yards, 215-36. The Steelers' 21 yards rushing that day were their fewest in the past 34 years.

"Now we're a totally different ballclub from that team," Ward insisted. "We're playing with confidence and this, for us, is kind of like get-back. We really want to face them again."

Ward played that day even though he had an hyperextended knee the previous week in Cleveland. He left the game in Baltimore and had knee surgery the next day. He missed two games but returned to start Sunday in Carolina, where he led Steelers receivers with four receptions for 59 yards.

After the game Sunday, he thought about the team's next two games against division foes, games the Steelers could win and still not make the playoffs.

"Yes, there are games we could have had back, but that's the past," Ward said. "We can only look forward. What better way than to have Baltimore and Cincinnati next? This is kind of our get-back game. We didn't play particularly well in the first meeting, so guys are really going to get up for this game.

"There's no need to have any bulletin-board talk. We know what's at stake. We finish the year out with two divisional games and that's what's important. I think all the guys realize that."

Ward was wrong last week when he predicted safety Troy Polamalu would return to play in Carolina, where he missed his third game in a row because of a sprained knee ligament.

"Troy will come back healthy, I'll be healthy," Ward said again after the Steelers whacked Carolina, 37-3. "We'll play with a lot of confidence, and we got them at home. Our crowd will be behind us. It'll be an exciting game. You won't want to miss this one."

The Steelers must defeat the Ravens to keep their playoff hopes alive, and that might not even do it, depending on what else happens around the AFC.

"It's hard," defensive end Brett Keisel acknowledged. "You look back and you see the games we let slip away. But we're on a roll right now and we're not thinking about that, we're thinking about the future and winning these last two games and hopefully getting a shot."

Even if the Steelers do not make it, they'd like to send the Baltimore Ravens into the playoffs with a loss they might remember and return the favor handed to them over the Thanksgiving weekend.

"It's going to be a great game," Keisel said. "They did take a big bite out of us down there and I think we all taste that a little bit. Yeah, Sunday's going to be a big game."
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

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"We'll play with a lot of confidence, and we got them at home. Our crowd will be behind us. It'll be an exciting game. You won't want to miss this one."
That's the spirit, Hines! Time to stick a pin in that huge ego bubble the Rats have enclosed themselves in. It's PAYBACK TIME, Ratfinks!
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

The Ravens are just seem to be one of those teams, even when we have a better squad they just seem t beat us. I wouldn't count ya chickens! To be brutally honest I reackon low scoring game 17-10 to the Ravens.
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

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The Ravens are just seem to be one of those teams, even when we have a better squad they just seem t beat us. I wouldn't count ya chickens! To be brutally honest I reackon low scoring game 17-10 to the Ravens.
I agree that it will be a low-scoring game, but my money is on the Steelers. This is going to be their most important game of the season thus far and they're going to bring it - I have no doubt about that. They have played some darned good football since their last loss to the Rats and I don't see that changing. It's going to be one helluva game, no doubt about it, especially since it appears McNair is going to play after all. Ja-Inmate isn't going to go anywhere on the ground, so McNair is going to have to try to beat the Steelers through the air - they're going to be ready for him. I agree with your score, but turned around in favor of the Steelers - 17-10.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

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The Ravens are just seem to be one of those teams, even when we have a better squad they just seem t beat us. I wouldn't count ya chickens! To be brutally honest I reackon low scoring game 17-10 to the Ravens.
Four weeks ago I would agree. While I do feel it will be a very close game, I think being at home (5-2) while taking in some of the momentum from these last three games that we will pull it off. We always seem to split with Baltimore, even during the 2003 season.

IMO, McNair and Co. are due for a Steeler beating.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
That's the spirit, Hines! Time to stick a pin in that huge ego bubble the Rats have enclosed themselves in. It's PAYBACK TIME, Ratfinks!
lol Ratfinks I like that
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

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IMO, McNair and Co. are due for a Steeler beating.
Thats if McNair plays. I havent seen how his hand is doing, I would much rather see Boller in there though.
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

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Thats if McNair plays. I havent seen how his hand is doing, I would much rather see Boller in there though.
McNair is starting
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

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Thats if McNair plays. I havent seen how his hand is doing, I would much rather see Boller in there though.
QB McNair to start vs. Steelers despite injured hand: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...air.ravens.ap/
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers looking for some 'get-back' vs. Ravens

I hope the Steelers shut the Ravens out this time around. I hate the Ravens so much and I'm extra pissed when the Ravens beat the Steelers. I just hope the Oline shows up this time. The Steelers can't have Ben sacked 9 times again and Willie needs some holes.
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