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Old 01-09-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/b...77,print.story
By Jamison Hensley and Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun

8:53 PM EST, January 9, 2011
— The Ravens took an impassioned first step toward the Super Bowl by riding an emotional defense that has long been the signature of the team.

At a bitterly cold Arrowhead Stadium, the players rallied around the tragedy surrounding safety Ed Reed's brother and forced five turnovers in a 30-7 rout of the overmatched Kansas City Chiefs in an American Football Conference wild-card game on Sunday.

Winners of five straight games, the fifth-seeded Ravens play the rival and second-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Saturday in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The victory, met with jubilation by fans, was bittersweet for the players.

In the locker room after the game, wide receiver Derrick Mason handed the game ball to Reed in memory of his brother, Brian Reed, 29, who has been missing in Louisiana since police said he jumped into the Mississippi River to elude officers on Friday. Police called off the search Saturday for Brian Reed, who according to his mother, Karen Reed, struggled with drugs and alcohol. a day before the game.

Reed held up the game ball as teammates huddled around him. "My family would appreciate this and so would my brother," Reed said. "My brother would want us to beat Pittsburgh."

Dozens of fans proudly wore Reed jerseys in bars throughout the Baltimore area Sunday, showing support for their favorite player, who pushed through his worry. The Reed, a Pro Bowl safety, finished tied for the team lead with four tackles, including a devastating hit on wide receiver Dexter McCluster.

In a fitting tribute to one of the NFL's top playmakers, the Ravens tied a team playoff record with five turnovers, intercepting Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel three times and causing two fumbles.

With a wind chill of 14 degrees, the Ravens broke open an early close game later in the second quarter by scoring 27 unanswered points against the AFC West champions, after a disappointing start.?

Fan spirits were up at the half, buoyed by a late touchdown that put the favored Ravens in the lead.

"It's nerve-wracking," said Tykell Johns, a 35-year-old credit analyst from Windsor Mill who was watching the game with friends at Padonia Station in Timonium.

Across the table, his younger brother, Lechea Johns, 33, wore a Rice jersey and a concerned expression as he stared up at the flat screen posted above his head.

"The offense is not doing what it's supposed to be doing," he grumbled. "In order to beat Pittsburgh, they're going to have to bring it — the offense and defense, everybody has to step up and play like a Raven."

In the third quarter, safety Dawan Landry intercepted Cassel in Kansas City territory. Six plays later, quarterback Joe Flacco essentially clinched the victory with a 4-yard pass to Anquan Boldin to put the Ravens ahead, 23-7.

By then, it was standing room only at the Field House in Canton, and there little of that, as the Ravens closed out the third quarter with a significant lead and fans developed a new appreciation for Flacco.

"He's really been stepping up," said Joashia Franklin, a 35-year-old Baltimore native who now lives in D.C.

The final Ravens touchdown sent Canton fans into a frenzy, bounding around, hugging and high-fiving.

Tim O'Connor, 22, of Ellicott City led the group of 300 or so in a chant of "We want [expletive]–burgh" before settling back into a booth with his buddies and older brother.?

Flacco "showed that he can [handle] himself in a big game," said Colin Kendall, 24. "He adjusted to the pressure." ("Big Game", The delusions of Ratbird fans. KC was not ready for prime time. - mesa)

Some fans said the season's inconsistent play made for good entertainment, if inelegant victories.

"A win is a win, whether it's ugly or not," said Danielle Aydelotte, a 28-year-old customer service representative from Parkville.

"You've got to give [Coach John] Harbaugh credit," she added. "How many coaches took their teams [to the playoffs] three years in a row? … We're on the right track and just need to follow through."

After the game, Harbaugh credited the concern for Reed with helping focus the team.

"What Ed and the Reed family are going through is a big part of this victory," coach John Harbaugh said. "I think that's what will be remembered by our players. We're a family and the Reed family is part of the Raven family. That's the way it works with our organization."

Before Reed's ordeal, another member of the Ravens was hit with a family matter. Linebackers coach Dean Pees dealt with the death of his older sister last week and missed some practices leading up to Sunday's game.

"Anytime you lose someone like that, it draws everyone of us closer," linebacker Ray Lewis said.

The Ravens now travel to Pittsburgh, where they're looking for their first playoff win against their biggest rival. The Steelers ended the Ravens' run as defending Super Bowl champions in January 2002 and beat the Ravens in the AFC championship game in January 2009.

This marks the third meeting after the teams split the season series.

"It seems like it's poetic justice," Harbaugh said. "I'm sure they'll bring their 'A' game and we'll try to bring our 'A' game. We'll see what happens."

Several players said Reed will serve as motivation for this year's Super Bowl run.

"I told the guys [Saturday], 'Let's keep Ed on the field as long as possible because it gives him something to think about,'" Mason said. "When it's over, that's the hard part. Hopefully, he won't get off the field until February."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jamisonhensley
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

the ravens are douchebags. i guess thats what they played for in 2000 when they had to keep ray lewis mind off the 2 young men he left dead in the streets.

maybe d. stallworths brother can go run someone over for some added motivation.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

It's pathetic that the Ratturds have to use the acts of a criminal for motivation. Then again it is typical of them.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

Don't get me wrong, I feel sorry for The Reed family. And hope Ed's brother turn up soon, but using this excuse is having people feel sorry for the whole Ravens team, not just Reed. We should all feel sorry for Reed, not the team. Ed's brother went missing, because his brother was running from the law for what ever he did. So his bro is not exactly a saint is this situation, but I pray that his brother show up soon. My thought and prays go out to his Family!!
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

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It's pathetic that the Ratturds have to use the acts of a criminal for motivation. Then again it is typical of them.
ironically, they're led by the murderer O.J. Lewis too
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

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Don't get me wrong, I feel sorry for The Reed family. And hope Ed's brother turn up soon, but using this excuse is having people feel sorry for the whole Ravens team, not just Reed. We should all feel sorry for Reed, not the team. Ed's brother went missing, because his brother was running from the law for what ever he did. So his bro is exactly a saint is this situation, but I pray that his brother show up soon. My thought and prays go out to his Family!!
I don't. the dude was running from the cops and should have just got taken in. He wanted to do the crime but unwilling to do the time. He brought it on himself and got what he deserved. It's not like his death was an accident or something like that.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

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ironically, they're led by the murderer O.J. Lewis too
Well said!
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

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I don't. the dude was running from the cops and should have just got taken in. He wanted to do the crime but unwilling to do the time. He brought it on himself and got what he deserved. It's not like his death was an accident or something like that.
I guess I thought it was the right thing to say I would hate to have one of my siblings missing, but if they found him. He's going to jail for sure. Whatever he did, it had to be bad for him to jump into a frozen lake.

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Old 01-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

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I guess I thought it was the right thing to say I would hate to have one of my siblings missing, but if they found him. He's going to jail for sure. Whatever he did, it had to be bad for him to jump into a frozen lake.

I know what you mean, but just from my standpoint, I can't feel sorry for someone who died because he was unwilling to face punishment after getting busted for a crime. But yes it is unfortunate for the family.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ravens aim to take high emotions on road against rival Steelers

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I know what you mean, but just from my standpoint, I can't feel sorry for someone who died because he was unwilling to face punishment after getting busted for a crime. But yes it is unfortunate for the family.
Yeah, I get where your coming from, but expect this to be talked about up until The Ravens face The Steelers Sat. This whole thing turned into a sob story for his bro, but everyone forgot to actually look at what led his brother to do what he did.
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