Wednesday, January 12, 2011


In this, the 3rd meeting of the year, I expect a full-on assault of anyone who carries the ball for either of the 2 teams. This will be the 8th meeting for Baltimore & Pittsburgh in the past 3 seasons & the simple fact is these 2 teams know 1 another far too well. Right down to each player, each coach, each tendency, each strength & specifically - each perceived weakness.

The NFL's AFC North Division Champion Steelers finished the season with a record identical to the Ravens (12-4), & the 2 teams split the regular season series (1-1). The past 4 meetings between the 2 have been split as well & get this - the total points scored by the 2 in those 4 games were 67 a piece! Even crazier, all 4 of those games were decided by 3 points, exactly. Both teams play in cities rich in tough, blue-collar tradition & accordingly, neither fan base appears to want Saturday's win any less than the other.

In the previous December meeting in Baltimore, both teams' quarterbacks were abused throughout the contest. The low-scoring affair featured a bloody, broken nosed Ben Roethlisberger & a baffled, overwhelmed Joe Flacco (who surrendered a game-changing fumble in the closing minutes of the game). Both men were courageous in the effort put fourth on behalf of their respective teams.

In that game, both quarterbacks threw for numbers in the neighborhood of 250 yards & each threw 1 touchdown pass (to Issac Remond & Anquan Boldin), accompanied by a turnover. Neither running back (Rashard Mendenhall or Ray Rice) eclipsed the 45-yard mark in the game & special teams really weren't a factor for either squad.

Though the match-up seems even on paper (not to mention the way it's actually been playing-out on the field in recent years), I expect 1 team to take control of this game early. There's no doubt players on both sides will exchange punches til the bitter end, but at this point in the season, injuries & fatigue should play a larger role, so you'd want to take a halftime lead into the locker room. In my estimation, it'll come down to the team that wants it more - I'm hoping that team will be the 1 wearing purple...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a game! While I'm extremely disappointed with the outcome, a 24-31 loss a the hands of the Steelers again, I'm very pleased the game lived up to the widely regarded high expectations across the sports community.

    The game itself was a tale of two halves, as the Ravens defense nearly dominated the 1st 30 minutes of the contest, but were unable sustain the 21-7 halftime lead as the offense failed to really do much of anything the entire game. The Steelers' offense made more plays in the end & thusly deserved to win the game.

    Overall, the defense did all it could, but without the offense stepping up to make the big time plays when it counted it was a futile effort. Though I'm happy for the successful 13-5 season, this team underachieved. In this complicated era of NFL free agency, keeping a talented team together is difficult to do, do you hate to see teams spoil opportunities.

    There were numerous turnovers, multiple altercations, many injuries, tons of shit talking & ridiculous calls/no-calls by the officials - I'm telling you, it was a hard hitting, tough nosed, grind it out & earn you points kind of game (despite what the final tally might indicate). So with that in mind, I guess I'm happy my favorite squad showed up for the fight, & ready to scrap! THIS is the NFL's best current rivalry - hands down...