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Old 11-07-2011, 05:59 PM   #1
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Default Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

NFL from the sidelines
http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot.com/
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard as a sometime host on ESPN 970-AM. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.
Monday, November 07, 2011
Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

The Steelers locker room was as subdued Sunday night as it was after they lost the Super Bowl in February.

There were no what ifs or questioning of officials calls. There was only shock that the vaunted Pittsburgh defense had allowed Joe Flacco and the Ravens to drive 92 yards in the closing moments to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a 23-20 win over the Steelers.

Pittsburgh's defense did a much better job of bottling up Ray Rice Sunday night, limiting him to 43 yards on 18 carries and five catches for 43 yards.

But at what cost.

While the concern about not allowing Rice to beat them as he did in a 35-7 win in Baltimore earlier this season was understandable, the Steelers, for whatever reason, couldn't seem to get off the field on third downs.

Baltimore was a ridiculous 14 of 21 on third down and converted its only fourth-down attempt.

That allowed the Ravens to run 77 plays, compared to 58 for the Steelers.

The main culprits were the secondary. (Well I said during the draft we should have used a 1st or 2nd round on a corner. We didn't and this is the result. - mesa)

While William Gay will get tortured because he's everybody's favorite whipping boy and he gave up the game-winning score, Ike Taylor may have been worse in this game.

If not for Torrey Smith's poor hands, it would have been Taylor, not Gay, who allowed the go-ahead score.

If Ryan Clark had hit Hines Ward the way Ray Lewis did in the first quarter, a penalty flag would have been thrown.

That hit on Ward was clearly helmet to helmet and should have resulted in a penalty.

Clark was flagged for a hit on Smith later in the game that, while a penalty under the letter of the (new) law, wasn't nearly as vicious as the hit Lewis put on Ward.

While we're on the subject of Ward, I apparently no longer know what constitutes a catch in the NFL.

Ward caught the ball, got hit in the head by Lewis, yet went to the ground with the ball in his possession. Once he landed, the ball was knocked loose by a defender's behind.

Ward was already flat on his back when the ball finally came loose, or at least that's the way I saw it from the replays I viewed.

I've been a pretty harsh critic of Joe Flacco over the years. But the Steelers have seemed to bring the best out in him this season.

I still don't think Flacco is a championship-caliber quarterback. But he seems to be getting the hang of playing against the Steelers defense.

I understand Mike Tomlin's hesitation to send Shaun Suisham onto the field to kick what would have been a 47-yard field goal into the open end of Heinz Field late in the game with the Steelers up 20-16.

With a new holder and kicking into that end, it was probably about a 50-50 proposition that Suisham would have made the kick.

But how about using a timeout? How about keeping the offense on the field and just going for it, driving a dagger into the Ravens?

Instead, Tomlin hesitated, the Steelers took a delay of game penalty and gave the ball back to the Ravens.

That said, the defense still could have come up with a stop.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

I agree with all your points
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

Anyone been able to find clarification on what exactly happened with the delay of game? I've heard that the refs never reset the play clock or Tomlin screwed up.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

Sooner or later a rival team is gonna get to know the other......
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

- we CAN NOT throw screen passes that work. Period. There's nobody worse. Worse yet, they're predictable. Stop them.

-seems as if every game, we get the ball back with like 3, 4 minutes left and we either go 3 and out quickly or at best, get one 1st down, then give it back. We just cannot seal the deal. Even a win is a heart attack. Every time.

-prevent defense defined = giving the other team permission to march right down the field, unobstructed. I'll never understand this one.

-Notice when it was obvious we were going to pass, Baltimore lined up their secondary and linebackers straight across the field to try and stop anything 15, 20 yards or greater? It was pointed out by the announcers. Yet....when the Ravens, on that last play, were just about that far out from the end zone, instead of putting our DB's near the line to stop the receiving crew from having free access to the end zone, we didn't do it.....we played up and allowed their WR to run right pass our iffy DB crew right into the end zone (where you, me, and everybody else KNEW the ball would be thrown). Seriously???

-Starks played a good game for the most part.

-Harrison is just ridiculous, he's so good. Felt like he was carrying the entire defense on his back last night

-where is Timmons?

-Can't wait to get Woodley back. He was sorely missed. Alot of the game, Flacco had ALL day and more back there.

-it goes w/out saying that we can't score in the red zone. Better work on that harder guys. I have zero faith when we're inside the 20 that we'll get a TD. I almost instantly say "field goal attempt is coming up"

-its open season on Hines Ward. 2 helmet-to-helmet hits last year....one from Lewis last night. No penalties. No fines. We'll see what the league does this week. The announcing crew certainly mentioned that the league would be looking at the Lewis hit. If i had to bet, i bet they do nothing and you've already heard the last of it.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

If it makes you feel any better (and it wont, sorry) one of the hot topics on Baltimore sports talk radio today was not whether or not he gets fined, but how much. Guesses anywhere from 15k -50k.

As to Flacco having all day, and one of the totally overlooked points of the game was the return of Ben Grubbs. I said on Friday, if Grubbs plays, we win, if not, its a tossup. Yes, he makes that big of a difference in our OLine.

I think your defensive gameplan was to shut down Rice and dare Flacco to beat you. I'm not the biggest Flacco fan ( I said right before the game if we won I would buy a Flacco jersey*sigh*, what was I thinking), but beat you he did.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

Quote:
Originally Posted by RatbirdExtreme View Post
If it makes you feel any better (and it wont, sorry) one of the hot topics on Baltimore sports talk radio today was not whether or not he gets fined, but how much. Guesses anywhere from 15k -50k.

As to Flacco having all day, and one of the totally overlooked points of the game was the return of Ben Grubbs. I said on Friday, if Grubbs plays, we win, if not, its a tossup. Yes, he makes that big of a difference in our OLine.

I think your defensive gameplan was to shut down Rice and dare Flacco to beat you. I'm not the biggest Flacco fan ( I said right before the game if we won I would buy a Flacco jersey*sigh*, what was I thinking), but beat you he did.
spot on about grubbs and steelers making rice their primary focus.

the ravens also spent plenty of time studying the steelers defensive tendencies on 3rd and long (assuming the steelers might have success vs rice). they were prepared and they "guessed" right on 14 out of 21 plays.

lebeau lost this chessmatch.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

Clark is being fined for a legal textbook hit that knocked the ball loose and I'm scratching my head! Rodger Goodell is determined to punish the Steelers regardless of if the fine makes any sense at all. Should NFL team owners stand up to Goodell in defense of their players? This is really getting out of hand, protect players but don't turn the NFL into the NBA where a slap on the wrist is viewed as excessive contact or unnecessary roughness. This is a contact sport..... Right?
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

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Clark is being fined for a legal textbook hit that knocked the ball loose and I'm scratching my head! Rodger Goodell is determined to punish the Steelers regardless of if the fine makes any sense at all. Should NFL team owners stand up to Goodell in defense of their players? This is really getting out of hand, protect players but don't turn the NFL into the NBA where a slap on the wrist is viewed as excessive contact or unnecessary roughness. This is a contact sport..... Right?
at halftime on MNF, instead of talking about the hard hitting football we saw on Sunday night, they went over all the fines that will be given out for that game. what a ****ing joke. hard hitting football is no longer celebrated any more, instead it is criticized and penalized. the only games the NFL wants are 52-45 shootouts.
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Old 11-08-2011, 03:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers-Ravens thoughts II

Personally while I feel the Steelers should of been able to get a stop on the last Ratbird's drive of the game I must say it has to be pretty difficult to do anything to stop them from throwing the ball when your lineman are getting blocked below the knees and your blitzing linebackers are getting held. Watch this video;



Approximately 6 Seconds in Jason Worilds comes on an edge blitz and has position on Michael Oher. Oher knows he's beat so he grabs Worilds by the shoulder pads and promptly pulls him down to the turf. This was a blatantly obvious holding call. Worilds likely would have at least hit Flacco or hurried him on the play but he was held by Oher and Oher got away with it scott free.

The same video shows the game winning touchdown catch (BS). Ravens fans say that William Gay was interfering with Torrey Smith but the rules say otherwise.

Per NFL Rules

Actions that do not constitute pass interference include but are not limited to:

(a) Incidental contact by a defender’s hands, arms, or body when both players are competing for the ball, or neither player is looking for the ball. If there is any question whether contact is incidental, the ruling shall be no interference.

(b) Inadvertent tangling of feet when both players are playing the ball or neither player is playing the ball.

(c) Contact that would normally be considered pass interference, but the pass is clearly uncatchable by the involved players.

(d) Laying a hand on a receiver that does not restrict the receiver in an attempt to make a play on the ball.

(e) Contact by a defender who has gained position on a receiver in an attempt to catch the ball.


At no point did William Gay do anything to impede Torrey Smith from running his route, nor did he restrict him from making a play on the ball in the endzone. In fact Torrey Smith visibily pushes off William Gay in the endzone which allowed him to make a touchdown catch and impeded Gay from making a play on the ball. Also noteworthy is the fact that Gay turned and looked for the ball. If he had blindly put his hands on the receiver without looking for the ball that would have constituted defensive pass interference.

Per the NFL Rules in regards to offensive pass interference:

Actions that constitute offensive pass interference include but are not limited to:

(a) Blocking downfield by an offensive player prior to the ball being touched.

(b) Initiating contact with a defender by shoving or pushing off thus creating a separation in an attempt to catch a pass.

(c) Driving through a defender who has established a position on the field.


I think we al know that what Smith did was offensive pass interference. Apparently though we had a deaf, dumb, blind, and mute group of officials calling this game.


As far as the hit on Ward, that plainly should have been penalized. Lewis came in for the hit with his helmet first. I was blind with rage after that hit was not penalized and then they penalized Ryan Clark for hitting Dickson when he came in for the tackle shoulder first. DIckson lowered his helmet which caused the coincidental helmet to helmet contact.

The pass interference call on Ike Taylor was another inexcusable call by the officials in this game. While the Steelers could have won it in the end with better D, they were still hindered by the officials and that shouldn't happen.
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