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Old 01-13-2009, 08:47 AM   #1
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Default Tomlin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

Tomilin says previous matchups have no bearing on third
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


The legend has become so infamous that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin even gave it a nickname the other night: Hocus-pocus. As in, what do you mean a team can't beat another three times in one season?

"I personally don't subscribe to that hocus-pocus to be honest with you," Tomlin said.

It's a myth anyway; when a team has swept a division opponent in one season and then played it a third time in the postseason, it is more likely to win that third game. It has happened 18 times since the first time in 1982, and the 2-0 team won the next game in 11 of them.

That's why the Baltimore Ravens, 0-2 against the Steelers this season, are no more likely to win the AFC championship game at Heinz Field Sunday than a flipped coin will come up heads after it turned tails two consecutive times.

That's about the difference between these two AFC North Division foes, too, a flip of a coin.

"What happened in the other two games will have no bearing on the outcome of this game," Tomlin said. "The other two games were close; one went into overtime and the other one was low scoring. It doesn't mean that is going to be the case this week. We are going to prepare with respects to that; and understand that each individual performance stands on its own. We aren't buying into that."

Even their own more recent history shows they can sweep the same opponent three times in one season. They've done it against the Ravens' forefathers, the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers beat the Browns, then coached by the pre-genius Bill Belichick, twice in the 1994 regular season and then by 29-9 in the playoffs. They beat the "new" Browns three times in the 2002 season. Overall when the Steelers played a division opponent for the third time, they've gone 7-0 in the playoff game.

"Third time?" Hines Ward said, when asked about the myth. "It's tough beating a team three times."

No, it is not. What has really proven difficult for the Steelers is to beat the Baltimore Ravens at all. They won each of the two previous games by the thinnest of margins -- by three in overtime at Heinz Field and by four on a disputed touchdown pass with 43 seconds left in Baltimore.

The Steelers have a strange sort of respect and pride in the fact AFC North Division runner-up Baltimore made it to the AFC championship game with them.

"We hate them on the field, no doubt about it," linebacker Larry Foote said. "But we give them the ultimate respect because they're a good opponent. They take us to the wire every game.

"Since I've been here, us two have dominated the division. We're represented well. We heard talk about the AFC South all year and here's two teams from the North representing the AFC."

Some Steelers will even admit to rooting for Baltimore against Tennessee Saturday, mostly so the AFC title game would be at Heinz Field rather than in Nashville, Tenn.

"It was kind of hard rooting for them," Foote said. "You feel awkward but overall I was rooting for them.

"I knew all year long we were the two best teams in the AFC, in my opinion, just watching all the other teams."

Each team won one Super Bowl this century, the Ravens' first as a franchise (even if the old Browns are included) after the 2000 season and the Steelers' fifth after 2005. In 2002, the Steelers beat the Ravens in a wild-card playoff game and then lost the following week at Tennessee. It's the only time the Ravens and Steelers met in the postseason.

"I'm kind of glad we get to play them in the AFC championship," safety Ryan Clark said, "because playing those guys early [in a playoff] might leave a few of you on the injured list. Those games we had between us and them have been very physical. I think it's going to be another physical game. I'm excited. Their whole persona is kind of in your face."

Clark said that extends to the Baltimore coaching staff.

"I was on the sideline and their coach kind of cussed me," Clark said of their past meeting Dec. 14.

Head coach John Harbaugh?

"Yep, ol' head ball coach," Clark replied.

"That's what their whole team does. They're a punch-in-your-mouth type of group, and we are a not-going-to-let-you-punch-us-in-the-mouth type of group."

Sunday, let the footballs, the myths and the fists fly


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09013/941387-66.stm
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tomilin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

After watching both of our previous games last night - back to back - on the NFL Channel, I'd say he's right.


They have never faced a healthy Steelers team, they will.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tomilin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

nice to know even john harbaugh is a classless piece of shit.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tomilin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
nice to know even john harbaugh is a classless piece of shit.
didnt you know that that was a requirement to get the HC job in baltimore..lol
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tomlin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

I watched both those games on NFL Replay last night. Pretty interesting to watch. We played a lot better in the 2nd game, but couldn't finish drives. The Ravens, looked like a team holding on. I forgot that they had a lead in the first game, and let us get back into the game and send it to over time. I must have wiped my mind of that after the win.

Anyway, our Oline improved from game 1 to game 2, and it looked great this past weekend. The blitz pickups by the Backs and the moving tackles, was fantastic. If we can do 90% that well with our blocking against the Ravens, we should be fine offensively.

The Ravens need the game to be close, just like they did with the Titans. We need to come out, punch them in the face. Score TDs quick and let them try and throw against us. Flacco isn't going to have any of those scrambles where he runs to one side of the field then all the way back, and throws down field after holding the ball for like 15 seconds. We are going to crush that poor kid, early, and break his will. Their running game is average, they just run so often that they stack up "big" numbers.

We should be fine. More than fine, we should beat the snot out of these guys. They are beat up, not fresh, tired and can't score many points or play from behind.

Put this one away early and pound them into submission.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tomlin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

It just occurred to me, now we'll never know how Tomlin felt about the Terrible Towel episode. I'd love to hear his thoughts on it, but since the Titans stepped on their d*cks, we'll never hear about it now.

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What's your reaction to the treatment of the terrible towel.

I have no reaction unless we see those guys again. Then there will be probably a question that is worthy to be answered.
http://pit.scout.com/2/824223.html
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tomlin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

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It just occurred to me, now we'll never know how Tomlin felt about the Terrible Towel episode. I'd love to hear his thoughts on it, but since the Titans stepped on their d*cks, we'll never hear about it now.



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We play the Titans next year, we won the AFC North, they won the AFC South, we automatically play them in the regular season.

The Titans will get a good idea then of how we feel about what they did.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tomlin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

i rewatched to and had forgotten how good mendenhall really is. he was carving them up in the first game. once he went down moore mopped up nicely and just about single handedly won the game.

alot of dumb and careless turnovers in our 2 wins. (holmes fumble, haloti int).

i agree. kick them in the head early and they wont be able to rebound.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tomlin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

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i rewatched to and had forgotten how good mendenhall really is. he was carving them up in the first game. once he went down moore mopped up nicely and just about single handedly won the game.

alot of dumb and careless turnovers in our 2 wins. (holmes fumble, haloti int).

i agree. kick them in the head early and they wont be able to rebound.
I know, Mendy looked fantastic didn't he. I can't wait for him to have an entire off season with this offense and come back healthy. Should be awesome to have him on the field.

I think the Ravens only had two sacks on Ben in the second game, and that's the game when he started to scramble for positive yardage again. The two sacks with both on pretty good blitzes, wasn't really anything we did horrible, just good D plays. One was Lewis on a Delay who came after the guard engaged with the nose tackle and the tackled went after the DE, and the other was Reed on a delay off the edge, there was a possible slant route open, but Ben more ate it, then attempt to make a play.

Other than that, the Oline looked pretty good. Also, Parker wasn't very healthy that 2nd game. I know he has bad numbers historically against the Ravens, but so did Bettis have bad numbers against them, in fact, what Back actually has good numbers against them?

If we can get to 150 yard rushing, utilizing multiple backs, we should win this game going away, we'll wear out their already tired and beat up defense and grind them down to win by 2 or maybe 3 scores. 17 or so.
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tomilin says previous matchups have no bearing on third

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
nice to know even john harbaugh is a classless piece of shit.
Quote:
"I was on the sideline and their coach kind of cussed me," Clark said of their past meeting Dec. 14.

Head coach John Harbaugh?

"Yep, ol' head ball coach," Clark replied.
Aww-w-w-w, did he need a tissue?

What is "kind of cussed" mean, anyway?
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