Monday, January 19, 2009

Steelers beat Ravens to go to the Super Bowl


Could yesterday have been any better? The Steelers beat their hated rival the Ravens to get to their second Super Bowl in four years. This match-up is exactly what the Ravens wanted. Do you think they regret that now? The better team won and Steelers fans everywhere rejoice as Mike Tomlin hasn't let anyone down and took his new team to the Super Bowl in his second year. Could it get any better? Yeah, we know, winning the Super Bowl to become the only team to win six of them. Tampa, here we come!

On to the game...

The Ravens won the coin toss and decided to defer to the second half. Glad CBS allowed us to see that, or not because we had to talk about stupid stuff and remind everyone for the first time of about a million that The Mentalist was on after the game. Woo! Thank you CBS.

Moving on, the Steelers started out well on their first possession with the highlight of the drive being Hines Ward's 45 yard catch and run to set the Steelers up for a Jeff Reed field goal. Jeff Reed was money as usual and the Steelers are up 3-0.

The Ravens weren't so lucky and would go three and out on their first possession even though there was some obvious holding on James Harrison right off the bat. Will refs ever call this?!

The Steelers next drive wasn't as good as their first as Ben was sacked on a 3rd and 9 play and it was time to punt. But all wasn't lost as Deshea Townsend intercepted Joe Flacco with about 7:30 left in the first quarter. Ben's first two passes were incomplete and then Hines Ward makes a great catch to give the Steelers a first down, but then he gets up limping. Bad news. On the same drive, Ben threw a nice pass to Santonio Holmes that looks like a touchdown to us, hey - it broke the goal line, but they called him down at the one. The announcers thought it was a touchdown too and were recommending Mike Tomlin challenge the play, and he did. But so did the Ravens. WHAT?! The Ravens were challenging that it was even a catch. So now all of a sudden the announcers were all OMG maybe it's not even a catch! Eh. The play was ruled an incomplete pass and Holmes was angry, which we don't blame him, he thought the ball was at least going to be at the one yard line if not a touchdown. The Steelers had to settle for another Jeff Reed field goal of 42 yards. Steelers up 6-0.

The Ravens went three and out on their next drive, but all would not end up lost for them. Ward was back on the field on this Steelers drive, which was good news. The Steelers converted a first down with a pass to Heath Miller. Then, later in the drive, Willie Parker fumbled on a hit from Ray Lewis and was recovered by Baltimore. The Ravens ended up with a 3rd and 1 and it was a no go, so they decided to go for it on 4th and 1. Bad idea. Joe Flacco kept the ball and Troy Polamalu launched himself over the pile to meet Flacco and keep him from getting the first down. Nice play by Troy. You think you've seen it all and then you see something else crazy.

The Steelers had a 3rd and nine on the next drive and the Ravens brought everyone on a blitz. Ben scrambled out of the pocket, how we have no idea, and threw a nice pass off balance to Santonio Holmes for a catch and run of 65 yards and a touchdown. Holmes had some nice moves and Heath Miller was helping out on some blocks, which we think he's awesome at. Reed was good on the extra point and the Steelers are up 13-0.


On the kickoff, Jeff Reed and the Steelers pin the Ravens at the 12 yard line. With a little over 12 minutes left in the first half, the Ravens get their first first down. After a couple of first downs by the Ravens, Aaron Smith sacks Joe Flacco and forces the Ravens to punt. The Steelers don't do much on their drive and end up with a penalty to make it 3rd and 19 and did not convert and it's time to punt. Leonhard returned Mitch Berger's punt 45 yards before Berger himself tackled him and knocked the ball from his hands, but it went out of bounds. Pass interference was eventually called on Bryant McFadden (bad call) to put the ball on the three yard line and a first down. McGahee then ran the ball in for a touchdown. Extra point is good and it's Steelers up 13-7.

Limas Sweed has a catch on the next drive, but the drive ends up with a punt so nothing much there. But Sweed had a catch! Yes! If we only knew...

After another three and out from Baltimore, Holmes returns the punt to the 50 yard line to set the Steelers up for business with about a minute left in the half. One of Roethlisberger's passes was deep for a wide open Limas Sweed and a sure touchdown. You could see it and it was going to be beautiful and then the kid takes his eyes off the football and it hits his hands and finger tips and is incomplete. Ahhhhh! We sure do hope the kid pans out because he looked great running that route. Nice moves and speed to burn the corner. If only he would have caught it...

The Steelers then have to punt but the Ravens get a roughing the kicker penalty and that's 15 yards and a first down. Big Ben had a nice pass to Heath Miller for a first down in which Limas Sweed redeemed himself a little bit by landing a huge block on Corey Ivy that shook him up. Now that was a Hines Ward block. Do you think Ward gave him a talking to after that dropped pass?

Nice. Looks like the kid is learning. In the end, the Steelers couldn't get the snap off in time to kick a field goal so there goes three points. Steelers still up 13-7.

Ravens get the ball to start the half and use a time out early. Troy Polamalu appears to get a sack but it's actually a tackle for a loss because Flacco was appearing to run on the play. The next play was a tipped ball that was almost intercepted. Time for a punt. Next plays for both teams result in punts. Roethlisberger was sacked on first down by Suggs to make it first and 24. Ben passes to Miller for a nice catch and he picks up some good yards after. Parker had a couple rushes and on third down Ben under throws Sweed and Sweed breaks up the pass to avoid an interception. Nice job by him recognizing that and breaking it up. He's showing some progress, really! It's time for another Reed field goal of 46 yards to put the Steelers up 16-7.

Next up Woodley has a sack on Flacco, a Ravens punt and a pass throw to Sweed that he caught! Yes! We told you he was learning. The Steelers have to punt and it's a bad one. It goes off the side of Mitch Berger's foot and doesn't travel very far. Who would have thought we'd miss a punter so much?

On the next drive for the Ravens, the Steelers finally get a call they've been waiting a long time for; holding against James Harrison. We all know there should be holding called on basically every play, but at least one got called. Ike Taylor gets called for pass interference later in the drive that was bad on his part. He never turned to look for the ball. Now the ball is placed on the one yard line, first down. Willis McGahee practically walks in for the touchdown. Steelers 16-14.

Now we're getting a little nervous, things were going really well and now the Ravens are within two. Who knows what could happen next, especially with these stupid penalties that shouldn't be taken.

A few penalties and a couple of sacks made up the next couple of drives for both teams. Then on a Ravens drive on third and thirteen James Harrison pressured Joe Flacco and his pass was intercepted by Troy Polamalu and returned 40 yards for a touchdown. And what a touchdown it was. Zigging and zagging his way to the endzone and getting some good blockers along the way. This put the Steelers up 23-14 and sealed the game for the Steelers.

On the Ravens next possession, Flacco makes a pass to Willis McGahee and is hit hard by Ryan Clark. Both men laid on the ground after the hit. Ryan Clark eventually got up and walked off the field while McGahee had to be taken off on a stretcher much like Ben Roethlisberger a few weeks earlier. McGahee was moving his limbs at the time and as of today is out of the hospital and expected to make a full recovery. Steelers fans cheered and a few could be heard giving well wishes to McGahee as he left the field. Way to be classy Steelers fans.

Then, with just over a minute left in the game, Tyrone Carter picked off Joe Flacco one last time to end the game. The Steelers are going to Tampa to play in Super Bowl XLIII.

A few thoughts:

-Why was Joe Flacco constantly on the sidelines alone? He was never looking at plays or talking to teammates, just sitting on the bench all alone with a stupid look on his face. Seems a little odd.

-Was anyone else as sick as we were about seeing Ray Lewis' face every 10 seconds? No matter what was going on, we always had to see Ray Lewis' reaction to it. Why do we care? We don't.

-After Troy Polamalu's interception, announcer Jim Nantz said that Troy could take it back for a touchdown like Ed Reed. Phil Simms had to chime in saying that the difference was Troy was picking off a rookie quarterback and Reed was working with a veteran. WTF?! So Troy's running skills have what to do with Flacco being a rookie? Nothing. All game we were going WTF?! to a lot of Simms' comments. We don't agree with his comments in any form, although we're sure he meant the interception, but they were talking about him taking it back for a touchdown. The experience of the quarterback has nothing to do with his skills to take the interception back for a touchdown. Thank you Phil for your insightful commentary.

-Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden have some mad dance skills. They were dancing after the game, Ike Taylor with his AFC Champions t-shirt on his head.

More later, including Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers!

No comments: