Now that the sun has set on the Ravens’ 2008 season, the only thing between Baltimore and a trip to the Super Bowl turned out to be the Pittsburgh Steelers.
More specifically, the difference between the two teams: Ben Roethlisberger.
Baltimore went 13-6 this season. Three of those losses came to the Steelers.
And Roethlisberger was the difference in all three.
When our defense needed to stop him on September 29, they couldn’t.
When our defense needed to stop him on December 14, they couldn’t.
And when they needed to stop him tonight at Heinz Field, they couldn’t.
It’s that simple, really.
Baltimore only needed to win one of the three games – the one on January 18 – to move on to the Super Bowl, but they couldn’t make it happen.
They’ll look back on this season with great memories of a team that pulled together and nearly took a rookie coach and rookie quarterback to the Super Bowl.
But, tonight, they saw they still have to figure out a way to beat Ben Roethlisberger if they want to rise to the top of the AFC.
It’s not an easy thing to do.
Tonight, in Pittsburgh, the third time was NOT the charm for Baltimore.