that douche brian baldinger picked against us AGAIN so chalk that up as a steeler win. i swear everytime he talks about a steelers game when i watch nfl network that idiot picks against us and he's always wrong. he picked against us in every round of the 08 playoffs. i want everyone picking against us. i want us to beat the rats and to play new england while being a good 10+ point underdogs
Ya I saw that too, he says he's taking the Ravens to go in and get the win. Not too surprised though, the only NFL analyst that has stuck with his pick from day 1 is Bucky Brooks. At the beginning of the season he took the Steelers to win the North even without Ben and nobody else did. Ballsy pick by him.
All NFL analysts no nothing more then me or you, they just talk a bunch of shit about whoever won last. Everybody on there said the Seahawks had NO chance at beating the Saints. NO chance. And now that they did, those same clowns are saying "oh well maybe..uhhh Hasselback looks good and they got Lynch" so they have a shot at the Bears now lol
typical rats douche. you know i love when rat fans compare how long it took our teams to win our first super bowl. "oh it took us only 4 years it took y'all 40". too bad the rats WERE THE ****ING BROWNS YA DUMBASSES! lol. it's not like they were an expansion team who had to build from scratch. they were 2 years removed from an 11-5 record and wild card birth when the clownies relocated to baltimore. that is by far the dumbest thing rat fans say
Ravens-Steelers playoff tilt boils down to Flacco vs.
Big BenAssociated Press
Published: Jan. 14, 2011 at 08:25 a.m.
PITTSBURGH -- The players who arrive from other teams notice it immediately. There's something different about a Ravens-Steelers game.
The hitting seems louder, almost as if the stadium sound system is being turned up to a rock band-level. The intensity seems greater. The bumps and bruises last longer, the following week's game seems to arrive much sooner than usual.
Competitively, no NFL rivalry is closer. Each of their last four regular-season games was decided by three points. Last season, the Ravens won in Baltimore, the Steelers won in Pittsburgh. This season, the Ravens won in Pittsburgh, the Steelers won in Baltimore.
"To me, it's definitely the best rivalry in sports," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It's the most physical game of the year."
As the mirror-image AFC North rivals from adjoining states await their eighth matchup in the last three seasons -- the equivalent of a half season's worth of games - there appears to be one discernible difference between them going into Saturday's AFC divisional playoff.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has figured out how to beat Baltimore in big games. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has improved during each of his three NFL seasons, but he's still working on solving the mystery wrapped in an enigma that can be the Steelers defense.
Statistics and records don't always tell all but, considering how close the rivalry is otherwise, those in the Flacco vs. Roethlisberger series are telling. Roethlisberger is 8-2 against Baltimore, with both losses occurring in 2006. Roethlisberger also is 8-2 in the playoffs. Flacco is 2-5 against the Steelers.
"I think he's beaten us every time he's been under center," Suggs said of Roethlisberger. "That's definitely my bigger problem."
Since Flacco came into the league, Roethlisberger has thrown five touchdown passes and three interceptions while going 5-0 against the Ravens. He missed two games against them due to an injury in 2009 and the four-game suspension he served earlier this season. Flacco has thrown six touchdown passes but seven interceptions against Pittsburgh, two of which cost his team games.
For all the rivals' similarities, and their shared toughness, the Ravens understand they probably won't overtake the Steelers until Flacco's play matches or surpasses that of two-time Super Bowl winner Roethlisberger.
"It seems like we see great quarterbacks a lot," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We've beaten our fair share, but we haven't beaten him. So it's our turn."
Despite a suspension that delayed his season debut until Oct. 17, Roethlisberger -- according to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians -- is playing as well as he has at any point in his career. He has a career-low five interceptions, and none in his last 158 passes. Roethlisberger and second-year wide receiver Mike Wallace have teamed up on seven completions of 40 yards or longer.
"He's playing extremely well right now. He's really into it," Arians said. "We haven't probably put in a new pass play since he came back. You just dress them up, change them each week. As long as he knows what he's doing and he's comfortable, I couldn't be more comfortable."
Flacco may have taken a step toward closing the quarterback gap when he led Baltimore to a 30-7 wild-card win in Kansas City last weekend, deftly executing the offense while throwing two touchdown passes.
Still, the divisional playoff game would be in Baltimore, and not Pittsburgh, if Flacco hadn't lost a fumble caused by Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu on Dec. 5. The turnover late in the fourth quarter led to Roethlisberger's game-winning touchdown pass and a 13-10 Steelers victory that flip-flopped the teams in the AFC North standings.
"If the same situation comes up this game, I'm pretty sure we're going to handle it, and we're going to be disappointed if we don't," Flacco said. "Yeah, great play by him but, at the same time, it's something we probably should have handled."
Baltimore also might have won the AFC Championship Game two seasons ago if Polamalu hadn't halted a late Ravens drive by returning an interception thrown by then-rookie Flacco for a touchdown that wrapped up the Steelers' 23-14 victory.
Earlier this week, Suggs predicted the Ravens-Steelers winner likely would go on to win the Super Bowl. Clearly, he believes Flacco is up to the challenge.
"I have 32 more regular-season games, a couple of more playoff games (since 2008)," Flacco said. "I think any time you have more game experience, you become more prepared for any team you're playing. We've played the Steelers a lot of times since I've been here, so the more game experience you get against that defense, the more you can prepare yourself. Once the ball is snapped, it's not going to make a difference that this is a playoff game against the Steelers."
No doubt Harbaugh hopes Flacco takes that mindset into Heinz Field, where the Ravens are 0-2 in the postseason.
"You talk about Ben and what he's meant to the Steelers," Harbaugh said. "We're hoping to get Joe to that kind of perch where he can take over games just by his talent and personality. He's played really well all year -- minus that play where Troy got us."
Divisional Round: Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore
Friday, January 14, 2011
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It started in the first game, this season-full of spectacular moments, and it started the way it always does with Troy Polamalu, with a play rooted in instinct but based on what he had been watching, what he had been studying, all day.
Late in the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons, Polamalu went to defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and asked him to call something that would allow him to make a play on wide receiver Roddy White, who had tortured the Steelers with 13 catches. Most of White's catches were to the right sideline, in the direction of cornerback Bryant McFadden.
So, with 1:45 remaining in a game that was tied, 9-9, Polamalu struck the way he always seems to strike -- making a play in extraordinary fashion. On first-and-10 from the Atlanta 21, anticipating the same sideline throw to White, Polamalu broke from the hash marks on quarterback Matt Ryan's pass and made a lunging interception at the Falcons 30, looking more like Jerry Rice than a 215-pound safety the way he toe-tapped the turf near the sideline stripe.
Jeff Reed missed the field goal that would have won the game in regulation, but Polamalu's interception was the first of many game-changing plays the six-time Pro Bowl safety would make in 2010 -- none bigger than the night of Dec. 5 in Baltimore. It is the reason why the Steelers, not the Ravens, are playing host to Saturday's AFC Divisional playoff game at Heinz Field as the AFC North champion.
"I appreciate that he's really a very special player," LeBeau said. "I'm blessed to be able to coach him."
Head to head
Reed doesn't just intercept passes; he picks them, returns them, and, in a lot of instances, scores with them.
He averages 26.6 yards per interception return, which ranks first in NFL history among players with at least 30 interceptions. His 1,438 return yards also ranks first in NFL history.
But, for all his heroics, Reed has never been much of a factor against the Steelers, especially Ben Roethlisberger. In nine career games against Roethlisberger, Reed has just one interception, and that was in 2006.
Polamalu is a different story.
He changed the landscape of the Steelers 13-10 victory in Baltimore on Dec. 5 when, on second-and-5, he blitzed from the blind side and chopped the ball from Flacco's right hand as he was about to throw. Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley scooped the fumble and ran 19 yards to the Ravens 9, setting up the winning touchdown.
But his most numbing play against the Ravens came in the 2008 AFC Championship game when he picked off Flacco and returned the interception 40 yards for a touchdown, cementing a 23-14 victory that sent the Steelers on their way to an unprecedented sixth Super Bowl title.
"Their study is part of their success," LeBeau said. "They're going to make a lot of plays because they're great football players. Troy has the ability to program off of study and apply it in games. A lot of people can assimilate knowledge from the video, but it loses something when you transfer it to the actual game. But, Troy, he usually makes more plays."
Steelers safety Will Allen, who played six seasons with cornerback Ronde Barber with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he thinks Polamalu and Reed would still make those plays even if they didn't study film.
"They have certain intangibles of the game where their instincts take over," Allen said. "They're used to making plays. They're used to being in that situation, so, if the ball is in the air or if there is a tipped ball or if they see something the offense has been doing repeatedly, they pick up on it quickly. It becomes instinctual at that point. It's something they learned at young age and developed as a professional."
Reed and Polamalu share another common trait: Each is allowed a large amount of freedom on the field.
Earlier this season, on a goal-line sneak by Titans quarterback Kerry Collins, Polamalu dove over the line of scrimmage at the snap count and landed on Collins before he could even lunge forward. "That's Troy being Troy," linebacker James Farrior said.
But, when he tried it again in the regular-season finale in Cleveland, Browns quarterback Colt McCoy was able to elude Polamalu's diving attempt.
"We prefer he not quite go that far off the diving board -- literally, off the diving board," LeBeau said, referring to the freedom with which Polamalu is allowed to play.
Said Newsome, "People say they both are gamblers and both can be out of position. But when they're doing that, it's based on film study and the tendencies they see. That's why they're able to take gambles. It's freedom within the scheme."
And the ability to make game-changing plays.
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