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Old 02-07-2013, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

Ravens are ahead of the Steelers, but change can come quickly

By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013



NEW ORLEANS — It can change that quickly.

Two months and three days since the Steelers won at Baltimore behind Charlie Batch, the Ravens — despite losing four of five to end the season — are Super Bowl champions.

“This has been a long journey, and I don't think it would be quite as enjoyable as it would have been if we hadn't gone through all this stuff,” quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco said Monday.

With the Steelers facing major issues at wide receiver, running back and possibly cornerback, the question is whether the Ravens — by winning their second Super Bowl — have lengthened the distance that already existed between the two rivals.

When the Ravens won their other Super Bowl in 2000, they were 12-4 and the Steelers were third at 9-7. But a season later, the Steelers went 13-3 to the Ravens' 10-6 and beat Baltimore in the playoffs.

So how do the Ravens and Steelers match up right now for 2013?

QUARTERBACK: Flacco will be back with the Ravens, even if it costs them about $20 million. He said Monday he wants to be “a Raven for life.” Ben Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls.

RUNNING BACK: The Steelers are coming off their second-worst rushing season in 30 years and don't have a clear-cut lead runner. The Ravens bring back two Pro Bowlers: Ray Rice and fullback Vonta Leach.

WIDE RECEIVER: Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones all return on a Ravens offense on which only left tackle Bryant McKinnie is an unrestricted free agent. The Steelers might lose top downfield threat Mike Wallace.

OFFENSIVE LINE: The Steelers could lose two of their steadiest players regardless of position in Max Starks and Ramon Foster, leaving them with potentially their most inexperienced lines in years. Guards Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda, center Matt Birk and right tackle Michael Oher all return on the Ravens line.

DEFENSIVE LINE: The Steelers are expected to shed Casey Hampton, which puts even more pressure on Ziggy Hood, Cam Heyward and Steve McLendon to produce. All the Ravens' starters are back.

LINEBACKERS: Once the Steelers' strength, they need LaMarr Woodley to have a bounce back year and James Harrison to stay healthy. Larry Foote may leave. For the Ravens, 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis will retire, and inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is an unrestricted free agent.

SECONDARY: The Ravens face a potential shakeup with cornerback Cary Williams and safety Ed Reed both unrestricted free agents. Cornerback Corey Graham and safety Bernard Pollard return. Steelers safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark are getting older but both figure to start next season unless a surprise move is made. Cornerback Keenan Lewis could leave as an unrestricted free agent.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The punters and kickers for both teams are under contract.

http://triblive.com/sports/nfl/34227...#ixzz2KBhU3tip
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

Just because change can come quickly doesn't mean it will. The odds are heavily in Baltimore's favour to continue to own the division for the next three or four seasons. Ozzie isn't going to let the team fall apart, that is just every other AFCN team's wet dream.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

Further more how sure are we that Anquan is actually going to.be back with Baltimore?

I get that the Steelers face some real issues but lets not go hit the panic button yet. We are a Shonn Greene, Darrius Hayward Bey, and Keenan Lewis signing away from being just fine...with a really good draft
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

Cincy's the team nobodies talking about. They have one of the best situations going into next season. The Steelers still have, statistically, the #1 defense in the league and will only get better with health and youth, especially on the d-lne with promising young corners.

Big Ben showed he can be in considering for league MVP when healthy if he can buy into a new direction on offense so their window is by no means closed.

However, Baltimore has won the North by the skin of their teeth the last few years, backed in this year (losing 4 of their last 5) made a run ANY team could make when qualifying ('05 Steelers, '07 Giants, '08 Cardinals,'10 Packers anyone?) and now have to pay their QB who just a few months ago, the FO didn't want anything to do with contract negotiations. Balty made a nice run in the playoffs, but by no means am I afraid of that success continuing in the slightest.

Hell, we were a few fumbles away this season from being 11-5, 12-4 ourselves and seeing Balty in the playoffs once more, the same team put together that Charlie Batch beat. Steelers always rebound. Going to be nice to see the necc changes.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

This article made me sad all over again.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

you can pick and choose what to discuss like any article

don't forget Chaz beating Bmore - and as you all have told and educated me on - MATCHUPS.

Ravens v. Colts - Rookie QB, nuff said
Ravens v. Broncos - Ravens WR > Broncos Secondary
Ravens v. Patriots - Ravens O-line > Patriots D-line
Ravens v. Niners - Ravens Secondary > 49ers receivers

The Ravens got healthy, and their strengths emerged at the perfect time, against the perfect teams with the right weaknesses.

You can analyze corp v. corp all you want, but, sometimes you are a team of destiny - like someone said before (can't remember - but props ) When you make it to the playoffs 5 times in a row - you are bound to advance eventually.

We're all 0-0. Don't forget the Ravens are finally over the hump and might feel satisfied until 2014 season.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

The Ravens are over the cap without Flacco on the books. His contract is going to send others packing. They finally got a Super Bowl just before their window closed. Bully for them.

I'm more worried about Cincy going forward.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessStill View Post
Cincy's the team nobodies talking about. They have one of the best situations going into next season. The Steelers still have, statistically, the #1 defense in the league and will only get better with health and youth, especially on the d-lne with promising young corners.

Big Ben showed he can be in considering for league MVP when healthy if he can buy into a new direction on offense so their window is by no means closed.

However, Baltimore has won the North by the skin of their teeth the last few years, backed in this year (losing 4 of their last 5) made a run ANY team could make when qualifying ('05 Steelers, '07 Giants, '08 Cardinals,'10 Packers anyone?) and now have to pay their QB who just a few months ago, the FO didn't want anything to do with contract negotiations. Balty made a nice run in the playoffs, but by no means am I afraid of that success continuing in the slightest.

Hell, we were a few fumbles away this season from being 11-5, 12-4 ourselves and seeing Balty in the playoffs once more, the same team put together that Charlie Batch beat. Steelers always rebound. Going to be nice to see the necc changes.
very good points. I see no reason to worry next season. I have faith that this team will be able to correct some of the mistakes that helped them lose games.

Also, as you mention, Roethlisberger when healthy gives us a chance to win any game. We just need to help him stay that way, that's why I think a RB who demands the other teams respect is a must.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

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Originally Posted by aa14 View Post
Just because change can come quickly doesn't mean it will. The odds are heavily in Baltimore's favour to continue to own the division for the next three or four seasons. Ozzie isn't going to let the team fall apart, that is just every other AFCN team's wet dream.
If by own the division you mean split games with the Steelers backup quarterbacks, and have an 0-2 playoff record vs the Steelers and Flacco having a 2-6 record vs Ben then... yes, the Ravens own the division.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ravens ahead of Steelers, but change can come quickly

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Originally Posted by lloydwoodson View Post
If by own the division you mean split games with the Steelers backup quarterbacks, and have an 0-2 playoff record vs the Steelers and Flacco having a 2-6 record vs Ben then... yes, the Ravens own the division.
No, that's not what I meant by "owning the division". The Ravens own the last two division titles and the latest Super Bowl. Talking about the games that become more and more distant is pointless. The Ravens and Steelers are different teams. It's been quite awhile since the Steelers were a dominating force in the league and I see nothing that will change that going into the next season. Ben is one year older, one year further beaten due to a horrendous o-line. Flacco no longer has Cam Cameron holding him back and what a difference it has made.
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