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Old 09-29-2010, 09:23 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
TIME: 01:00 P.M. EST
VENUE: Heinz Field
http://www.cbssports.com/print/nfl/g...101003_BAL@PIT

A destructive defense and a productive running game have kept the Pittsburgh Steelers rolling right along without Ben Roethlisberger, but the Baltimore Ravens plan on providing a stiffer test to their bitter AFC North rivals.

At Heinz Field, they rarely have.

The Steelers look to continue their home dominance of the Ravens on Sunday as they seek their first 4-0 start in 31 years in their final test before Roethlisberger's return.

Pittsburgh has done more than most expected without its suspended quarterback, who can rejoin the team Monday as it heads into its bye week.

After surviving on an attacking defense and the legs of running back Rashard Mendenhall for two games, it was veteran Charlie Batch who provided a boost last Sunday at Tampa. Batch, starting for the injured Dennis Dixon, matched a career high with three touchdown passes in a 38-13 win.

"The standard for expectation doesn't change for us," said Mendenhall, who ran for 143 yards and a touchdown. "Nobody's going to care if you lose a game because somebody's not here or somebody's hurt. Those kind of things happen."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh, for one, hasn't been surprised at how well the Steelers have performed without Roethlisberger. A win Sunday would give Pittsburgh its first 4-0 start since 1979, when it went on to win its fourth Super Bowl.

"We're not surprised they're 3-0, but we don't care," Harbaugh said. "We're going to play the game."

While the Steelers lead the NFL in giving up 11.0 points per game, Baltimore (2-1) boasts the No. 1 total defense with an average of 244.3 yards allowed. The Ravens have held the Steelers under 100 yards on the ground in nine of their last 10 meetings.

Baltimore has shown some rare vulnerability on the ground, though, even in victory. Peyton Hillis ran for 144 yards in Cleveland's 24-17 loss last Sunday in Baltimore, the most rushing yards the Ravens have allowed since 2005.

Rather than concentrating on how his offense can match the Browns' production, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin expressed concern with Hillis' big day.

"I'd have felt better if Peyton Hillis had run for 40 as opposed to 140 because I know the type of men that play for that (Baltimore) team," said Tomlin, who called the Ravens-Steelers rivalry the best in the NFL. "Great defenses like the Baltimore Ravens usually bounce back quickly."

Mendenhall, who's averaged 3.2 yards per carry in the series, knows the Ravens' punishing style all too well. Linebacker Ray Lewis broke Mendenhall's collar bone and knocked him out for the season when the running back was a rookie in 2008.

The Steelers rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to win that game 23-20 in overtime at Heinz Field, something they're used to doing versus Baltimore. Pittsburgh is 9-1 in its last 10 home games against the Ravens, including two playoff wins.

None of the four regular-season meetings since 2008 have been decided by more than four points.

"I'd be lying if I told you it was just another game," Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It's a little bit more than that. ... This is the game on the schedule that we circle and we definitely look forward to.

"Maybe because we don't like these guys. We respect them, but we don't like them."

Part of the Ravens' recent struggles in Pittsburgh can be traced to Joe Flacco, who's thrown four interceptions and posted a 59.2 passer rating at Heinz Field.

Flacco may head into Sunday's matchup without arguably his best offensive weapon. Running back Ray Rice, who snapped the Steelers' 33-game streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher with 141 yards in a 23-20 loss at Pittsburgh on Dec. 27, didn't practice Wednesday because of a bruised right knee.

Willis McGahee will get the call if Rice can't go, though Tomlin seems convinced the Pro Bowl back will be on the field.

"We're just going to prepare with the assumption that this guy's going to play," Tomlin said.

Pittsburgh's defense has forced a league-high 10 turnovers - five interceptions - with All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu healthy, but this will be its first taste of a Baltimore offense with Anquan Boldin in the fold. Flacco connected with the Ravens' prized offseason acquisition for three touchdowns against Cleveland, part of an eight-catch, 142-yard day.

"Anquan showed today why we wanted him to be a Raven," Harbaugh said. "He's our kind of guy."

Pittsburgh's plus-six turnover margin is tied for the league's best, while Baltimore's minus-six is tied for the NFL's worst.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

Harbaugh reminds me of that guy that I just want to punch in the face. Kind of like the creepy choir teacher in the corner of the room who doesn't allow his students to go to the bathroom just because he's a d!ck. I just don't like Harbaugh, I think he acts like a moron. He fits in well with those ****y ass Ratbird team.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

No worries mate....we fix him come Sunday!
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
TIME: 01:00 P.M. EST
VENUE: Heinz Field
[url]"We're not surprised they're 3-0, but we don't care," Harbaugh said. "We're going to play the game."
My ass, they are probably shitting their pants right now.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:07 PM   #5
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Cool Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore



What? Too soon?
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

N-E-V-E-R too soon!






You don't think Flacco has nightmare's about this guy? Just when Flacco is over being scared to face Troy, this pops in his head:




.. not good. Flacco def has explosive, nervous diarrhea going into Heinz Field this Sunday..
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

I would love to see the Steelers D shut the Ravens out...

is it Sunday yet?
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Old 09-30-2010, 11:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

I cant wait until those Ratbirds get lit up!

Do you think we will be able to move the ball on them though?
I"m starting to get worried.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

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Originally Posted by SteelersNation View Post
I cant wait until those Ratbirds get lit up!

Do you think we will be able to move the ball on them though?
I"m starting to get worried.
Absolutely. Even though Ray Lewis is ageless and is still feared by many, teams do run straight at him and rarely even need to double team him. I've seen over the years, esp us, who win that battle and completley only needed one body to push him out of the play in our rushing attack. Look at last week. Cleveland had no trouble matchin Lewis one on one with a fullback or such and taking Lewis right out of the play. Their mentality is like ours, stop the run, but they got major holes in their d-line.

You look at week 1 against the Jets, even though they dominated the Jets in many area's, the Jets got a significant amount of rushing yardage against them, and gave up tons of yardage against Peyton Hillis last week. We can take advantage since we are drive blocking more and Mendenhall is running better than ever. I can see Mendy getting to the second level and if he does, sianhnara because they got some young guys in the secondary that Rashard can run through.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore

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Originally Posted by StainlessStill View Post
Harbaugh reminds me of that guy that I just want to punch in the face. Kind of like the creepy choir teacher in the corner of the room who doesn't allow his students to go to the bathroom just because he's a d!ck. I just don't like Harbaugh, I think he acts like a moron. He fits in well with those ****y ass Ratbird team.
I just like when we beat them seeing Harbaugh's face when he goes to shake Tomlin's hand. He has that defeated look that his team just can't muster a win against the Steelers. And then they made all those offseason acquisitions to finally put together a team to beat the Steelers (and a chance to win the Super Bowl of course).

Looking forward to Hines' smile as we light 'em up this weekend!
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