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Old 12-15-2008, 08:22 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Report Card: Game 13 vs. Ravens

Steelers Report Card: Game 13 vs. Ravens
Gerry Dulac grades the Steelers' effort in a 13-9 win against the Ravens yesterday:


Quarterback= A
Sometimes a drive can define a quarterback's career, let alone a game, and that was what Ben Roethlisberger did when it mattered most -- leading the Steelers on a 92-yard drive by completing 7 of 11 passes for 89 yards and throwing the winning TD with 43 seconds remaining. Even the touchdown was all Roethlisberger, keeping the play alive by running left and scrambling back right.

Running backs= C-
The yards came grudgingly against the league's No. 2 defense, but the Steelers were able to supplement their modest numbers -- 91 yards on 27 carries -- with 21 yards from Roethlisberger and another 6 on a reverse by Nate Washington. Willie Parker finished with 47 yards on 14 carries and his longest run was 10 yards. Mewelde Moore managed just 16 on seven carries.

Receivers= A-
A game of atonement for receivers, especially Washington and Holmes, who made the big catches on the winning TD drive despite earlier gaffes. Washington had two drops in the first half, but caught three passes for 49 yards on the final series. Holmes had a drop and a fumble that led to a field goal, but caught the winning TD. Hines Ward had three of his eight catches on the winning drive.

Offensive line= C
Considering they didn't have a run longer than 10 yards, the line actually did a decent job creating some seams, especially against the Ravens' No. 2-ranked run defense. Roethlisberger was sacked three times, the most significant when Terrrell Suggs blew up a third-and-1 play and forced a fumble with a sack. Nobody, though, picked up Ray Lewis or Ed Reed on the other sacks.

Defensive line= B-
The Ravens finished with 112 yards rushing -- 87 on 23 carries by Le'Ron McClain -- only the third time this season a team has rushed for more than 100 yards. McClain, who had 63 yards in the first meeting, had 40 of his yards in the first half, including 20 on three carries on the 15-play field-goal drive at the end of the half. DE Aaron Smith had a sack, two quarterback hurries and eight tackles.

Linebackers= B
It was only the third time this season James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley each failed to register a sack. But the biggest sack of all was by Lawrence Timmons, who got to Joe Flacco on third down at the Steelers' 27, knocking the Ravens from field-goal range when it was 9-6. ILB James Farrior finished with a game-high 12 tackles and the defense didn't allow a run longer than 10 yards.

Defensive backs= A
The job turned in by the secondary continues to be one of the surprising keys to the team's success. Flacco completed just 11 of 28 passes and was intercepted twice -- the ninth and 10th turnovers committed by the opposing quarterback in the past three games. Flacco passed for only 47 yards in the second half. His passer rating of 22.2 was Flacco's lowest of the season.

Special teams= D
It might have been the worst performance of the year for this unit, which has played exceedingly well -- and you can't even blame Mitch Berger. After one bad punt, he averaged 42 yards on six kicks, but the Ravens had 90 yards in returns, including a season-long 46-yarder to set up the field goal. The coverage units also allowed a 39-yard kick return to start the game.

Coaching= A
Winning five in a row and going 3-0 through this difficult stretch is testament to the job Mike Tomlin does each week to get his team ready to play. Doing it after an exhilarating victory in the final two minutes against Dallas is even more impressive. Dick LeBeau has been doing this all year: Allowing the Ravens to average just 3.3 yards per play.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08350/935213-66.stm
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 13 vs. Ravens

I'm starting to like our secondary more and more after they keep coming up big weekly. That's the biggest difference from this year to last year. They are doing such a great job covering the opposing players that it's allowing our blitzhounds to get to the QBs of the opposing teams.
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Report Card: Game 13 vs. Ravens

[QUOTE=lamberts-lost-tooth;498009]Steelers Report Card: Game 13 vs. Ravens

Coaching= A
Winning five in a row and going 3-0 through this difficult stretch is testament to the job Mike Tomlin does each week to get his team ready to play. Doing it after an exhilarating victory in the final two minutes against Dallas is even more impressive. Dick LeBeau has been doing this all year: Allowing the Ravens to average just 3.3 yards per play.

I hope Tomlin and Lebeau coach together for the next fifty years....Lebeau isnt human anyway, he can live to be 130
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