As I write this, the aftermath of the titanic post season matchup that we all just witnessed is still fresh in our minds. Steelers vs Ravens 3 was everything we knew it would be, and then some. All the ups and downs of a typical AFC North showdown, but at another level tonight. We witnessed a team that was not going to give up, and found a way to win.
After watching the Steelers march down the field and get the Touchdown on their opening drive, we had a good feeling. After that though, it all went downhill for the remainder of the half. Jonathan Scott could not block Terrell Suggs at all, the line was having all types of issues with the pressure of the Ravens. Ben was surrounded, scrounging for a first down any way he could get it. The Defense, after starting out so well, was suddenly on their heels playing against a short field, and with no momentum at all. Heinz Field was deathly quiet after the raucous start to the game. Things were not going the Steelers way and by Halftime any momentum from the long drive that ended in Sushi’s missed FG, were gone.
That’s why NFL games are 60 minutes long. The Steelers came out in the 3rd quarter looking for a spark, a break, something to get out of the funk the Ravens had caused them. The fans were doing their best to rally the troops and the towels were in full force. They got just such a spark when Ryan Clark stripped Ray Rice, who by the way hasn’t fumbled in over 400 carries. It was like a light bulb came on, a fire that was given a breath of oxygen, and the Steelers came to life. Ben and the offense took the field at the Baltimore 23 yd. line and after a Mendenhall run Ben hit Heath in the end zone and the comeback was on!
The defense turned up the heat, and next thing you know Clark is picking off a long pass from Flacco and Pittsburgh is in business again. 21-21 it’s a new ballgame and the stands at Heinz Field were literally shaking, the press boxes were rattling. The 12th man is in full force once again and the Steelers are feeding off of it. The Steelers though never make it easy on themselves as we know, as the teams traded Field Goals in the 4th quarter. Twice, late in the game the Steelers dodged bullets that could have been the difference. Webb returns a Kapinos punt for a Touchdown but thank thankfully Baltimore was called for a hold to save the Steelers. Bouldin also had a short TD pass hit him in the chest and it bounced to the ground, which would have given Baltimore the lead with 4:02 left to go. Ben gets the ball back and goes to work as the heartbeat of a Nation could be felt throughout the stadium. With everything on the line, all the work that was poured into the 2010 campaign, all the obstacles overcome, Ben stepped up on 3rd and 19, and delivered a pass for the ages to Antonio Brown to set up 1st and goal. After that it was history as Mendenhall drove forward dragging defenders on 2nd & 3rd efforts for the go ahead score. The Ravens had no chance after that, the Steeler Defense was smelling blood with under 2 minutes to go, and the rest is history.
So Steeler fans, as we sit here replaying the game in our minds, thinking of how great a win this was, and trying to regain our voices there is one thing to always remember, BELIEVE!
Photo courtesy of the Post Gazette.