Friday, December 3, 2010

Steelers Game Day 12 - @ Baltimore Ravens

Is is that time of the year. Christmas is around the corner, you are still working on those Thanksgiving left overs, you still say that is about three week left till Christmas so you have two and a half weeks before you have to even start thinking about starting Christmas shopping and the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are going to play in a slug it out showdown.

I mean really, do we need to talk about what this game is going to be about? Pretty much every Steelers/Ravens game is the same old thing. Good, smash mouth football. Oh, the Ravens play too.

Lets get after it.

Pittsburgh 19, Buffalo 16
Passing: Roethlisberger: 20/33, 246 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Mendenhall: 36 car, 151 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Wallace: 7 rec, 107 yards, 0 TD

Baltimore 17, Tampa Bay 10
Passing: Flacco: 25/35, 289 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jackson: 20 car, 85 yards, 0 TD
Receiving: Mason: 8 rec, 87 yards, 1 TD

Offense (rank in NFL)

Total Offense
Pittsburgh: 334.5 yards/game (19th)
Baltimore: 348.3 yards/game (14th)

Pittsburgh: 208.5 yards/game (22nd)
Baltimore: 233.9 yards/game (16th)

Pittsburgh: 126.0 yards/game (9th)
Baltimore: 114.4 yards/game (14th)

Pittsburgh: 23.1 points/game (16th)
Baltimore: 22.7 points/game (t17th)


Total Defense
Pittsburgh: 304.5 yards/game (5th)
Baltimore: 307.4 yards/game (8th)

Pittsburgh: 64.0 yards/game (1st)
Baltimore: 101.7 yards/game (11th)

Pittsburgh: 240.5 yards/game (22nd)
Baltimore: 205.6 yards/game (t7th)

Pittsburgh: 16.5 points/game (3rd)
Baltimore: 17.1 points/game (5th)

Well, well, well. Here we are. Steelers/Ravens with the division on the line. Seems like this is pretty much a mainstay every single time that these two teams meet for the second time in the regular season. These two teams, to put it in the simplist of terms, hate each other. The fans hate each other. We hate each others states and star players. There is nothing good, or even average about Baltimore, and those jagoffs probably feel the same way about Pittsburgh, even though they are wrong.

Ready to get this started? Jump it.

It is very rare for a team to take both ends of the home-and-home divisional games. As a matter of fact since the 2001 the Steelers are 12-9 against the Ravens but have swept the series the last two seasons before a 17-14 loss in week four of this season.

Here are the details of the last time these two teams met which, like I said, was a 17-14 win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh:

As you can see it isn’t like the Ravens did anything awe inspiring against a team led by a fourth team quarterback, Chuck Batch. I know Ratbird fans are going to say that it doesn’t matter and la la la but I don’t care, Ben plays in that game then the final score is probably a little different. But it is whatever, the Ravens go the job done last time and it is what it is. This is a new day, and a whole new scenario.

Really there isn’t anyone else in terms of quarterback than Joe Flacco. On the season Flacco has been pretty good completing over 63% of his passes and for over 2700 yards. I would mention his quarterback rating but that stat is the most overrated in modern day NFL football.

You wanna know why Flacco isn’t going to be a top tier quarterback in the NFL? Because of stupid shit like this.

I don’t care if it was for charity or not, you are a grade A tool.

Why the hell would anyone even want to be associated with “The Situation”? I mean come on. Joe could be the coolest guy in the world but being a guy that probably has more STD’s than Flacco has touchdown passes? Yea, that is cool. Dick.

I mean do we really even need to go into what the Ravens running backs are going to do? I mean who really going to run the football in this game? I mean did you look at the stats above? The Steelers don’t even give up 70 yards to a team this year let along a player. If Rice or McGahee or McClain plan on having any success they better hope half the defense dies on the field.

Ray Rice is very good catching the football out of the backfield and that is going to be a key to the football game. It will be up to the linebackers to keep an eye on Rice and McClain out of the backfield and make Flacco throw the ball away when the receivers are covered. Lawrence Timmons is going to be a big part of covering the backs out of the backfield and he is both athletic and talented enough to do so, but that will be a key.

Wasn't really sure if McClain was going to play but thanks to a late tweet from @rumbunter says that McLain is going to play

Offensively if there is anything that scare me more than anything in this game it is the Baltimore receiving core. These guys just get the job done and there is a lot of skill for Joe Flacco to get the ball too.

Over the offseason the team picked up Anquan Boldin and T.J. Whosyourmomma. T.J. has always killed the Steelers, especially when he was a member of the Bungles. He was actually big time until he decided to whipe he shoes with the terrible towel. How did that work for ya T.J.?

Boldin is just a stud. Dude is big and physical and just knows how to get the ball. The problem is that after a fast start for AB it has been really slow as of late. In the last four games for the Ravens he hasn’t amassed 50 receiving yards in any game and had three or less catches in three games, all of those games not even reaching 30 yards receiving. Sure, he has six touchdown catches, but half of those in a week three game against the Browns. Against the Black and Gold last time around he had seven catches for 68 yards and no touchdowns. Whatev.

The guy that probably scares me the most on the offensive side of the ball is Derek Mason. Sure, he is old and he doesn’t have amazing numbers but he always gets the job done. He kills the Steelers present day and if you need a big play I would look towards Mazon.

Here is the latest picture of Todd Heap:

That is a picture of mud, because that is what Heap is.

Saw Donte’ Stallworth was on the team. No idea he was still alive. [Insert joke here]

The offensive line can blow me.

Mike Oher is kinda banged up, but he still thinks he can give it a go. He did a pretty nice job last game considering he got a two step head start just to try to block James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley. But I guess that is ok because the league favors the Steelers.

Matt Birk centers the squad. How old is he? Holy hell.

Chris Chester, Ben Grubbs and Marshal Yanda makes up the rest of the line. Who cares. They need like two backs and a tight end to help keep the Steelers off Flacco.

I believe this is the most up to date picture of the line:

Yes, they are that fierce.

The defense of the Ravens is still as good as ever and unlike last time they have their “all-world” safety, Ed Reed, back.

Haloti Ngata is the backbone of that defense. Forget the linebackers and the average at best defensive backfield. Ngata shuts down the run and commands double teams like it is nobody’s business. I could sit here and make a fat joke and say whatev to what he means to this defense, but who am I kidding. Him and Casey Hampton are the best at what they do from the nose tackle position.

Ray Lewis still makes plays. He is basically the Derek Mason of the defense. Old as shit but still makes big play. He isn’t going to make huge plays still but really all it takes is one play from him and the defense really jumps to another level.

Thank God he doesn’t have to get permission to leave the state from his parole officer.

Terrell Suggs is still on the Ravens. What a tool.

Could he honestly try to act like more of a tool? You don’t have to cross your arms to make your biceps look bigger. Holy shit between you doing that and Flacco being The Situation you would make a worse show than Jersey Shore, which is REAL bad.

The secondary is Chris Carr, Josh Wilson, Ed Reed and Dawan Landry.

Are you done laughing?

Ok, I am too. Joke city.


-This is the biggest regular season Steelers game that I can remember. I mean with what is at stake, which you can read here
Getting a win in Baltimore and taking control of the AFC North would say a lot for a team that wasn’t even supposed to make it to .500 this year. Like I said in that post not seeing New England should be a priority for this team. Not a man in that locker room will tell you that they don’t want to see New England, but if you run down a list of teams they would want to play I bet you any money New England is last on that list.

-The key to this game is going to be on three players: Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden and William Gay. If Flacco is going to get time like he did when he was in Pittsburgh then he is going to find targets and it will be up to those three to shut down Mason, Boldin and company. Although they might not be living up to the expectations of preseason that is still a dangerous unit. The DB’s need to be up to snuff.

-Does he have a broken foot or doesn’t he? Who cares. He is going to play and he is going to make big plays. If the offensive line can give him any time we will see why Ben playing in this game will make all the difference from the first time these teams play. Sure Ben’s foot is banged up and that is obviously going to hurt his mobility but it is what it is. I am sure the Ravens are going to have their ends pin their ears back and come up the field to keep Ben in the pocket so we will see what Ben does.

-Giving Ben time is going to also give him a chance to exploit the weakness of the Ravens team, the secondary. Getting Mike Wallace matched up with anyone in that secondary is going to be a good match up. Mikey can out run everything and all Ben has to do is throw it up because I just can’t see him being able to overthrow Mike. If the Ravens want to shade a safety over the top then it is going to be Hines Ward time. This all is predicated on offensive line, so do work guys.

-The running game has been pretty good but it is going to be hard as hell to run on this Baltimore defense. Getting anything going is going to be huge though because the passing attack really revolves around being able to execute play action. Now granted Ben has won games without a running game but it makes it a whole hell of a lot easier when the defense has to guess. If you can run the play action you can get Heath Miller behind the drawn in linebackers and make plays.

-Pretty cute the Ravens are giving out purple and white towels to everyone going into the M&T on Sunday night. It is cute they want to be like big brother and all. Steelers Nation will still be there with the original Terrible Towl. Suck it Baltimore.

Talk is cheap. Lets do this.

Hit it.

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