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Old 11-30-2009, 06:48 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Steelers-Ravens thoughts

NFL from the sidelines
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop.

Steelers-Ravens thoughts

If I'm a member of the Baltimore Ravens, I don't know that I'm all that happy after beating the Steelers, 20-17, in overtime at M&T Stadium Sunday.

OK, sure, I'm happy because I got the win, but let's be honest, Pittsburgh was playing its third-string quarterback.

Should you be happy that you had to go to overtime - at home - to get the win against a third-string quarterback who had thrown all of one career pass before Sunday's game?

Baltimore's defense isn't what it once was and we're seeing the decline of Ray Lewis, who doesn't look like the Ray Lewis of old.

He's still a good player. He's just not a great one any longer.

By the same token, if I'm a member of the Steelers' defense, I'm pretty upset.

Your third-string quarterback got you 17 points on the road, but you allowed Baltimore to convert a third-and-22, albeit in two plays, into a first down to go in for a game-tying field goal.

And the Ravens rolled up 393 yards, including 132 on the ground on 29 carries. That's 4.6 yards per carry, more than a yard per carry more than what the Steelers had been giving up.

While waiting for the bus to take us to M&T Stadium, I noted that the first three players I saw get on the buses were guys who weren't with the team in Kansas City.

And not only were they now on the active roster, they were all dressing. That was a bad sign.

The Steelers broke their string of an NFL-record eight consecutive games with a return touchdown allowed.

They tried to add a punt return to the list - something they had not done this year - but Baltimore's Chris Carr fouled things up by stepping out of bounds on a 34-yard run.

That was the kind of game plan that Steelers fans were used to seeing from the team five or six years ago when Ben Roethlisberger was a rookie.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians called 38 running plays and 26 passes.

Rashard Mendenhall looked very good running against the Ravens and the Steelers appear to have a budding star on their hands at the position.

Though this is not the Baltimore defense of old - as I already noted - Mendenhall ground out 95 yards on 24 carries and looked powerful doing so.

The Steelers' pass rush really had Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco flustered by the end of that game.

After not getting to him in the first half, the Steelers got home five times in the second half.

Now, about that coverage.

Hines Ward's said he was misquoted when he said the locker room was split 50-50 regarding Roethlisberger not playing.

He then proceeded to talk about how other guys have played with concussions and how it would have been nice to know that Roethlisberger wasn't playing before Saturday.

It will be interesting to see if this effects Ward's relationship with Roethlisberger.
Posted by Dale Lolley at 4:15 AM 0 comments Links to this post
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