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Old 12-05-2010, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default Steelers defeat Ravens, 13-10

Steelers defeat Ravens, 13-10
Sunday, December 05, 2010
By Ed Bouchette , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

BALTIMORE -- The Steelers took command of the AFC North Division by coming from behind to beat the Baltimore Ravens, 13-10 Sunday night.

The victory lifted the Steelers to 9-3 and a one-game lead over the Ravens. The Steelers also cling to a tiebreaker with the best record within the division.

The Steelers used a big play from one of their biggest players, Troy Polamalu, to pull out the game. With the Ravens holding a 4-point lead and the ball at their 43 with less than four minutes to go, Polamalu blitzed off his right side and hit quarterback Joe Flacco, slashing his right arm and causing a fumble.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley returned the fumble 19 yards to the 9. After two pass incompletions, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dumped a short pass over the middle to halfback Isaac Redman at the 7.

Redman powered through two tackles and bounced into the end zone for a 13-10 Steelers lead with 2:51 left.

Baltimore wasn't done yet, however. The Ravens drove to the Steelers' 31 on the next series. They had fourth and two from there and, instead of trying a 49-yard field goal, went for the first down. Linebacker James Farrior tipped Flacco's pass and it fell incompleted.

A typically brutal hitting game by these two rivals, several players left the field for good with injuries including the Steelers' Heath Miller, Flozell Adams and punter Daniel Sepulveda and Baltimore tight end Todd Heap.

Joe Flacco completed two big passes to Anquan Boldin on the only scoring drive of the first half. Boldin caught the first for 61 yards that came from the Raven's three. The next was a 14-yard touchdown catch.

The Steelers reached Baltimore territory several times. One ended on an interception of Ben Roethlisberger at the two, the other when Hines Ward dropped a pass at the 26.

The Ravens and Steelers traded quick and ineffective series yet the visitors were gaining ground in field position. Baltimore was driven back to its three yardline after a penalty, third down and 15.

On that play, Anquan Boldin ran in motion to the right and into the slot, where safety Ryan Clark faced him across the line of scrimmage. Boldin bolted down the middle, blowing pass Clark and catching a perfectly thrown ball from Flacco. Bryant McFadden threw his body into Boldin and bounced off him like a ball and Boldin ran all the way to the Steelers' 36 for a 61-yard pickup.

Flacco ended that series that officially covered 92 yards but actually 97 by tossing a 14-yard pass in the middle of the end zone to Boldin, alone in the middle of the end zone after catching McFadden flat-footed.

The Ravens' drive was the longest against the Steelers this season, taking 10 plays, 7:21 and overcoming three penalties for 18 yards.

The Steelers reached Baltimore's 45 after Roethlisberger completed a 25-yard pass to tight end David Johnson. However, on second down, Roethlisberger threw deep to Antonio Brown and cornerback Josh Wilson intercepted it at the two.

The Steelers had another drive going at the Baltimore 38 when, on third down, Ward dropped a pass at the 26 that hit him in both hands.

The game was taking its toll on some players. Baltimore lost tight end Todd Heap on the first play from scrimmage with a hamstring injury. The Steelers lost punter Daniel Sepulveda to a knee injury and had kicker Shaun Suisham ready to punt after that. In the second half, Heath Miller left with a concussion after he took a shot to the head by linebacker Jameel McClain.

Carl Johnson, the NFL's head of officiating, told NBC-TV that McClain should have been penalized on that play.
(No sh*t Sherlock. - mesa)

Tackle Flozell Adams left several plays later with an ankle injury.

Even Roethlisberger had a bloody nose, the result of a left hand to the face by Baltimore's Haloti Ngata with no penalty called.

The Steelers opened the second half with their first score, a 45-yard field goal by Suisham, Sepulveda holding. It was the 13th straight that Suisham has made in his career between 40 and 49 after making all four over that distance last week in Buffalo.

That drive featured a short pass to Mike Wallace, who turned it into a 33-yard gain to put the Steelers within field goal distance.

Baltimore, though, responded with a field goal drive of its own to go back on top by seven, 10-3, on Cundiff's 24-yard field goal. The Ravens moved 60 yards on 13 plays.

The Ravens, who had only 11 yards rushing in the first half, had 12 on their first run of the second, by Ray Rice up the middle. Flacco added 14 on a scramble to give Baltimore 29 yards rushing on that drive alone.

The Steelers seemed poised to tie it early in the fourth qurter when they reached Baltimore's two on a drive that started at their 20. They had a first down after rookie Emmanuel Sanders caught a 28-yard pass from Roethlisberger, who scrambled to his right to throw it.

However, on first down, Isaac Redman lost two yards. On second down, Mendenhall lost one yard. And on third down Roethlisberger threw sideways to Mike Wallace, who caught it at the five and managed to get to the one. The Steelers have had trouble scoring touchdowns all year once they got inside the five and it happened again.

Suisham came on to kick a 19-yard field goal and the Ravens clung to a 10-6 lead with 12:46 left in the game.

With time running down, Suisham pinned the Ravens at their four with a 46-yard punt. However, on that play Keenan Lewis ran out of bounds on his own, drawing a 5-yard penalty. Forced to punt again, the Ravens this time took over at their 28 with 4:43 to go and holding a 4-point lead.

For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette On the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.

First published on December 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10339...#ixzz17Ixn53Rv
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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