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Thread: Steelers survive Crowbar Bowl II

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    BlacknGold Bleeder's Avatar
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    Steelers survive Crowbar Bowl II

    Roethlisberger's pain threshold symbolic of what was needed to avenge loss to Ravens

    By Gene Wojciechowski
    ESPN.com

    BALTIMORE -- Mike Tomlin stood outside the visitors locker room at M&T Bank Stadium as two Baltimore cops smushed a Pittsburgh Steelers fan's face against a white cinder block wall. The fan, wearing a LaMarr Woodley jersey, began screaming in pain as the cops pulled his arms behind his back and began to lead him away.

    "Be cool, buddy," said the Steelers coach.

    "Tomlin," said the man between screams, "I love you, baby!"

    Only minutes removed from the Steelers' crucial 13-10 win against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday evening, Tomlin didn't try hiding a smile. He appreciates effort and passion -- and the apparently over-served fan had both.

    The Ravens broke Roethlisberger's nose, but he played on.

    So did Tomlin's underdog Steelers (9-3), which is how they beat the Ravens (8-4) to take a precious one-game lead in the AFC North -- The Division That Love Forgot. No other explanation works.

    "C'mon, big boy," said Tomlin, as Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger limped down the field-level concourse and toward the locker room door.

    Without Roethlisberger, the Ravens, not the Steelers, would be 9-3 today. Instead, the Steelers now have the very inside track to a playoff bye week and some type of home-field advantage.

    This wasn't a football game; it was a bar fight in shoulder pads. It shouldn't have been played at this beauty of a stadium, but in the Octagon or a very dark alley.

    Roethlisberger left here in a walking boot and with a broken nose so disfigured that you wondered how it still worked. But at least he had a win to show for it.

    "I look like I went 12 rounds with [Manny] Pacquiao," Roethlisberger said.

    Or four quarters with the Ravens, who won the Week 4 matchup in Pittsburgh 17-14.

    "It's a Steelers-Ravens game, right?'' he said. "Hard fought all the way to the end."

    Steelers tight end Heath Miller was knocked out -- and out of the game with a concussion. Steelers right tackle Flozell Adams, his leg dragging because of a high ankle sprain, had to be helped off the field. Even Steelers punter Daniel Sepulveda injured his ACL and is out for the remainder of the season.

    "That's why we believe that's the No. 1 rivalry in football," Tomlin said afterward. "It's a humbling thing to be a part of … We've got a big-time respect for that football team. They've earned it and hopefully we've earned their respect."

    The Steelers and Ravens might respect each other, but they don't like each other. If the NFL has a Bama-Auburn-like rivalry, this is it. You get bruises just watching it.

    There was nothing subtle about the game. It was crowbar football. Hard shots. Borderline cheap shots. Pushing. Shoving. Woofing.

    And that was just in the warm-ups.

    [+] EnlargeJames Harrison, Troy Polamalu
    Mitch Stringer/US PresswireIt was a hard-hitting night as always for James Harrison, left, and Troy Polamalu.

    Figure on some NFL-imposed fines from the game -- not that the Ravens or Steelers care. Pittsburgh got a December victory that bumps it to nine victories with only four regular-season games remaining. Unless they turn into the Carolina Panthers, I like the Steelers' chances to hold on to the division lead -- amazing, given the number of injuries they've had.

    Depending on the source, Roethlisberger either played the game with a broken bone in his right foot (his plant foot for passes) or, according to the Steelers, he aggravated a previous injury (which happened to be a broken foot). Doesn't matter, he was hurting.

    Then Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata popped him in the nose with a hand that got through Roethlisberger's face mask. Suddenly, Roethlisberger's nose looked like a blood geyser.

    "The broken nose took a lot of the [foot] pain away,'' he said.

    Roethlisberger stayed in the game, even though the Steelers had to scrap all plays requiring him to take snaps under center. He couldn't move well enough for that.

    "He actually looks better with a broken nose,'' said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. "He's a warrior."

    He wasn't the only one. Sepulveda, screwed-up ACL and all, couldn't punt anymore, but he still limped onto the field to hold for kicks.

    "And we respect him for that," Tomlin said.

    This rivalry would expect no less. It is played by two teams that play hard, hit hard and talk hard. Who cares if it was a low-scoring game, or if there were a combined 18 penalties, or that no player rushed for more than 45 yards or threw for more than 266 yards?

    Roethlisberger's pain threshold and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu's fumble-producing sack of Joe Flacco late in the fourth quarter were the difference-makers. Well, that and a stiff December wind that convinced Ravens coach John Harbaugh to forget about a 48-yard, game-tying field goal attempt and instead try to convert a fourth-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 31 with 37 seconds remaining.

    Tough to second-guess Harbaugh's decision, especially with the Wizard of Oz-like wind conditions. Flacco had tight end Ed Dickson open, but short-hopped the pass.

    "But we're going to move on,'' said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who terrorized the Steelers' offensive line. "It's going to suck. It's going to hurt tonight, but the moment I get home, I'm going to kiss both of my babies and get over it … I may have some diapers to change. Daddy will be daddy.''

    And this rivalry will be The Rivalry. Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said it takes his body four to five days to heal after a Ravens game. Ward acknowledged the intensity of the New York Jets-New England Patriots matchup, but "this rivalry has been going on for years. … To beat Baltimore on the road, they're over there sick right now.''

    If you can find beauty in brutality, then Steelers-Ravens is the place to be. Don't believe me? Then ask the Steelers fan in the Woodley No. 56 jersey. He might be still in lockup.




    BITE ME ICS!...Woodsonsgirl

  2. #2
    Ratbird Slayer Farrior Fan's Avatar
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    great article. Love the Ben quote "The broken nose took a lot of the [foot] pain away,'' he said.

    I swear he needs a new nickname. Big Ben is fine but the guy is impossible to bring down in big plays. He's tougher than nails, and thank God he is a Pittsburgh Steeler.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    You could see that Ben really started to get more comfortable and loosen up i n the 2nd half. He was much more comfortable, able to scramble out of trouble, and do the normal Ben things we're used to seeing out of him. They kept him in the shotgun a lot to minimize the amount of drop backs and pressure being put on that bad foot. Ben sucked it up there and knew he had to make plays, and that pass to Manny down at the 2 was vintage Ben. Roll out from pressure and make the big play.

    Both teams know games like this are what make the NFL great. Division rivals, physical, tough, emotions running high, everything on the line. You can credit the Steelers D as much as Ravens offensive play calling last night for that 2nd half meltdown. The Ratbirds lost that killer instinct in the 2nd quarter. Partly due to the pressure we were getting and partly due to just doing what they do every week.

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    Hines Ward: "To beat Baltimore on the road, they're over there sick right now.''
    Last edited by steelers4life66; 12-06-2010 at 12:20 PM.

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the united steeler nation.
    And to the franchise for which it stands. One nation of domination
    With the ability to crush you all.


  5. #5
    Assistant Coach RIVERS OF STEEL's Avatar
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    What would you be thinking if you were a Bengals player. Fk no. Not them.

    --- Added 12/6/2010 at 10:24 AM ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Farrior Fan View Post
    great article. Love the Ben quote "The broken nose took a lot of the [foot] pain away,'' he said.

    I swear he needs a new nickname. Big Ben is fine but the guy is impossible to bring down in big plays. He's tougher than nails, and thank God he is a Pittsburgh Steeler.
    Monster from the Monongahela .

    And their fans.

  6. #6
    Ratbird Slayer Farrior Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIVERS OF STEEL View Post
    What would you be thinking if you were a Bengals player. Fk no. Not them.
    I think TO and 85 are thinking, just find a way to throw it deep and we win.

  7. #7
    BlacknGold Bleeder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farrior Fan View Post
    I think TO and 85 are thinking, just find a way to throw it deep and we win.
    Let 'em think that ..we all know how short ocho's arms get when he plays the STEELERS !!




    BITE ME ICS!...Woodsonsgirl

  8. #8
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    It was a great hard fought game that everyone, including the players knew it would come down to the wire, with one team making critical mistake/turnover and the other team capitalizing on it. I would say props to the Ravens for a good game but they are already running their mouth on how they gave the game away, we didn't win it. **** the Ratbirds!!!


    If you don’t stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!


    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
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  9. #9
    LarryNJ's Avatar
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    Mike Tomlin stood outside the visitors locker room at M&T Bank Stadium as two Baltimore cops smushed a Pittsburgh Steelers fan's face against a white cinder block wall. The fan, wearing a LaMarr Woodley jersey, began screaming in pain as the cops pulled his arms behind his back and began to lead him away.

    "Be cool, buddy," said the Steelers coach.

    "Tomlin," said the man between screams, "I love you, baby!"
    That drunk bastard had to make Tomlin smile.

    It has really been a fun rivalry, lets hope it continues after this core of players move on.
    "When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."
    -Wayne Dyer

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    Great readMan it feels great beating the Rats, remember now we beat them with our 2nd/3rd string Left Tackle,3rd string RG and 2nd/3rd string RT I like Tra Essex at tackle anyways, Brett being back made a real difference on the D-Line, If we can get Smith back for a playoff run it's on like pop corn

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