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Old 10-03-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default Great game! Wrong team wins

Great game! Wrong team wins

Sunday, October 03, 2010 04:14 PM
Written by Bob Smizik

The outcome might not have been to your satisfaction, but if you didn't appreciate the football game played today between the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens my condolences.

The wrong team might have won, but both did themselves proud in this fiercely competitive contest between two teams that we know will played once more this season and certainly could play twice more.

It was a day for Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco to shine for the Ravens in a 17-14 win at Heinz Field. Maybe next time the teams play it will be a day for Ben Roethlisberger to shine.

With his running game stymied by injuries and the Steelers' defense, Flacco completed 24 of 37 passes for 256 yards. He also threw the game-winning touchdown with 37 seconds remaining to T.J. Houshmandzadeh, a long-time Steelers nemesis from his days with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Steelers attempt to go for a game-tying field goal ended on their first play when Ray Lewis, another long time nemesis, made a diving interception of a Charlie Batch pass.

Fourteen of the game's 31 points were scored in the final eight drama-filled minutes

The Steelers took a 14-10 lead midway through the quarter on a 93-yard touchdown drive. They then stopped a Ravens' on the 1-yard line with little more than two minutes remaining. But the Steelers, pinned deep in their territory, could not get a first down and had to punt. This time they could not stop Flacco.

The Steelers fell to 3-1, better than anyone expected without the suspended Roethlisberger, who returns for the next game in two weeks.

It's a tribute to Mike Tomlin, his coaching staff and to the Steeler players that they achieved what they did without Roethlisberger. There's probably not another team in the league that could win three of four without their franchise quarterback.

There's bound to be criticism of the Steelers' offense, which could manage only 14 points and a paltry 210 yards. Let's not forget, though, they were playing with a backup quarterback and against a strong defense.

The Steelers' defense was excellent for much of the game but gave up a lot of yards in the fourth quarter. The Ravens' defense was excellent, too, and that might have been to the surprise of some. There was a belief the Steelers could run against the Ravens, as the Cleveland Browns did last week. But the Steelers managed only 84 yards on the ground, with 79 of those going to Rashard Mendenhall on 25 carries.

The Ravens began their last possession with 68 seconds remaining. Flacco completed three passes for 22 yards and still had 37 second left on the clock. On a first down from the 18, Houshmandzadeh badly beat cornerback Bryant McFadden and Flacco just about put the ball in his hands in the end zone.
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