Posted on 28 January 2014 by WNST Audio
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Posted on 07 December 2012 by Drew Forrester
Since the Steelers rarely beat the Ravens anymore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Baltimoreans – ahem, me included – can’t get past that smelly home loss to the Black and Gold last Sunday.
It’s still hard to stomach.
The Ravens lost to Charlie
Or did they?
Did someone else actually do more damage than Batch?
Well, after kicking Pittsburgh’s coach in the family jewels on Monday with THIS BLOG about his bush-league treatment of John Harbaugh in the post-game handshake, you’re going to be surprised by what you read next.
Mike Tomlin beat the Ravens on Sunday.
And do you know how he beat them? By letting it leak out last Wednesday that Ben Roethlisberger was OUT and Charlie Batch was IN for Sunday’s game in Baltimore.
Think about it — why on earth wouldn’t Tomlin have tried to keep that a secret last week, like every other coach in the league would have done? Wouldn’t nearly every other coach in the NFL think to himself: “I’ll keep this quarterback thing up in the air and make the Ravens think all week that Roethlisberger might be able to play.”? Answer: Yes. Every coach would.
But Tomlin went the other way and allowed word to get out right away that Big Ben was OUT and the old man was in.
Why? Because he knew once word got out that Batch was playing, anyone and everyone – including the 53 players on the Baltimore roster – assumed there was no way in hell Pittsburgh was winning.
And, as my late, great Mom used to say: “When you assume, you only wind up making an ass out of “u” and me.”
Insert your own punch line here.
We all assumed – and some of you probably even invested in that assumption…if you know what I mean – there was no way the Ravens would lose at home to Charlie Batch.
Stroke of genius by Mike Tomlin.
Stroke. of. genius.
Can’t believe I’ve been forced to write that this morning, but it’s my final thought relative to the 23-20 Steelers win in Baltimore last Sunday.
I’m putting the game behind me now and getting focused on the Redskins.
Mike Tomlin, you got us last week.
Don’t get used to it, though. We’ll be watching you more closely next time.
Both before AND after the game.
Posted on 04 December 2012 by Glenn Clark
Following every Baltimore Ravens game this season, Ryan Chell and I will take to the airwaves Tuesdays on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net with a segment known as “The Five Plays That Determined The Game.”
It’s a simple concept. We’ll select five plays from each game that determined the outcome. These five plays will best represent why the Ravens won or lost each game.
This will be our final analysis of the previous game before switching gears towards the next game on the schedule.
Here are the five plays that determined the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium…
(Note: not all pictures are always of actual play)
Glenn Clark’s Plays…
5. Joe Flacco pass intended for Tandon Doss incomplete (4th quarter)
4. Charlie Batch pass intended for Isaac Redman incomplete, Ravens challenge and ruling upheld (3rd quarter)
3. Anquan Boldin called for offensive pass interference after 17 yard catch from Joe Flacco on 3rd & 11 (3rd quarter)
2. Paul Kruger called for roughing the passer on Charlie Batch 10 yard completion to Mike Wallace (4th quarter)
1. Ziggy Hood recovers Joe Flacco fumble at Baltimore 27 after James Harrison sack (4th quarter)
(Ryan’s Plays on Page 2…)
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Posted on 03 December 2012 by Glenn Clark
I don’t have it in me.
Honestly, I combed over all of my usual spots looking for fun videos, GIFs, etc. for the 15-7-0. I wanted to have one more big roundup to close the college football season. I hope Roofing By Elite will be okay with sponsoring this diatribe instead.
As part of hosting a local sports talk show, I often find myself playing the role of civic therapist. After Baltimore Ravens losses, I’ll regularly hear things like “did you have to spend the day trying to talk everyone off the ledge?”
I’d like to think I’ve been fairly successful in that, although it was certainly come with my share of mini-meltdowns in the process.
I don’t think I’m going to melt down this time. I’m certainly not on the ledge myself.
I don’t think I’m on the ledge, anyway.
Am I on the ledge?
You know what happened. The Charlie Batch-led Pittsburgh Steelers invaded M&T Bank Stadium and used a Shaun Suisham field goal as time expired to pull off one of the more improbable victories of the 2012 NFL season. The Steelers snapped the Ravens’ lengthy win streaks both at home (15) and against AFC North opponents (12). They also prevented the Ravens from clinching a playoff spot in the AFC and pulled within two games of their longtime rival in the race for the division crown.
This one hurt.
With Ben Roethlisberger out again, this was a prime opportunity for the Ravens to vanquish one foe and focus on bigger goals. The Ravens are still in good position to claim the AFC North title this season, but everything the Ravens do this season is being measured by the fact that there is an expectation for them to reach the Super Bowl.
It was tough to imagine a team that struggled to a 9-6 win over the Kansas City Chiefs making a run to the Super Bowl. It’s equally difficult to fathom a team that lost at home to Charlie Batch making a run to the Super Bowl.
(This is the part where civic therapist Glenn Clark reminds everyone that they’re not moving up the date of the Super Bowl to December and it is absolutely impossible that the Steelers and Ravens will both be playing in the game. Sorry. I had to.)
The truth is that the concerns that stem from the Ravens’ loss aren’t dissimilar to those we had experienced earlier in wins and losses. The truth is that those concerns will likely pop up again, perhaps as early as next week in a visit to face Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. The truth is that as long as the Baltimore Ravens were winning games, those concerns weren’t REALLY issues.
The Ravens simply needed to put themselves in the best possible situation to make a playoff run. If the Ravens continued to struggle offensively on the road but won, they’d still be in perfect shape to have to win no more than one road game in the postseason to get to New Orleans.
That’s the NFL. Your issues are only as significant as the record you carry them with. In that way, the Ravens are still in good shape at 9-3; but the nature of how this one went awry makes you worry about the ability for the team to keep winning through struggles.
In a game the Ravens only lost by three points, this one had a little bit of everything…
-Questionable play calling
-Poor clock management decisions
-Shaky quarterback play
-Offensive line lapses
-Non-existent pass rush
-Game changing turnovers
-3rd down struggles
-Red zone issues
-Potentially season changing injuries
-A partridge in a pear tree
Okay, maybe not the last one. But the rest were accurate at one point or another.
(Continued on Page 2…)
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Posted on 03 December 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
There’s plenty of blame to go around in the aftermath of the Ravens loss on Sunday at the hands of the Steelers, and I’m quite certain we’ll be assessing that blame and going over the shortcomings of the team for the majority of this week on the airwaves and blogosphere at WNST.net. In the grander scheme of things however, this should have been an easy outcome to predict. It can be simplified as easy as the following; the Ravens had little to play for on Sunday and the Steelers had everything to play for.
Knowing what we know about both of those teams, we should have known enough. Ravens and Steelers has been universally recognized as football’s best current rivalry and for some the best rivalry in sports period. That legacy didn’t begin with Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger; they just made it more interesting. For the last 12 years at least, through Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright and Jeff Blake and Troy Smith, through Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich, the Ravens vs. the Steelers has been, more often than not, a slugfest decided by a minimal number of points in the latest stages of the game. There was no reason to guess that this one would be any different.
A loss would have dropped the Steelers to 6-6 and put a serious damper on their playoff hopes. It wasn’t exactly do or die for Pittsburgh, but it’s about as close as it gets in week 13 of the NFL season. For the Ravens however, a win didn’t mean much. A win over the Steelers, coupled with a Bengals loss at San Diego would have cemented the AFC North for the Ravens, but for all intents and purposes the Ravens are the AFC North champions. Whether it became official in week 13 or has to wait until week 16 or 17, it’s near impossible to imagine the Ravens not winning the division.
A win on Sunday would have had the Ravens playing the Broncos in Week 15 with the second seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the balance. A loss on Sunday has still left the Ravens looking ahead to a week 15 showdown with the Broncos with the second seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the balance. All Sunday’s loss vs. the Steelers did for the Ravens was to delay their inevitable clinching of their own division, and to serve internal notice that there’s still work to be done.
The Steelers played like a team that needed desperately to win on Sunday; that’s because they were a team desperate to win on Sunday. Pittsburgh, coming off of two consecutive losses (in their own division no less) is left with no choice but to embrace the remainder of the season with a playoff caliber of urgency. The Ravens on the other hand had nothing really to gain from a win on Sunday, and they also played just that way. Assuming that the Texans can’t be caught, as I think most do, the Ravens could afford to lose one of their final 5 games and still hold onto their second spot in the AFC as long as that loss didn’t come against Denver. Now they’ve lost it and restored a sense of urgency (hopefully) to the remainder of the season.
Posted on 02 December 2012 by WNSTV
Posted on 02 December 2012 by Drew Forrester
Now, before you all go nuts, you have to admit this: The Ravens deserved to lose one of those kind of games.
We just never expected Charlie Batch to be the one pulling the rabbit out of his hat in the final six minutes.
Playing with a patchwork offensive line and a quarterback closely resembling your high school gym teacher, the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a stunner on Sunday, using a late 10-point surge to nip the Ravens, 23-20, and keep their playoff hopes very much alive.
After two months of winning games in the most unlikely of fashions, the Ravens got the tables turned on them.
And the harsh truth is this: The Ravens are 9-3 and, frankly, that record might still be a game or two on the generous side.
But the fact is, they’re 9-3 and in control in the AFC North, despite not nailing the coffin shut on the Steelers, who now put themselves in excellent position over the last four weeks with three home games and the likely return of Ben Roethlisberger in the next seven to fourteen days.
I have to write this again, in bold, just to convince myself it really happened: Charlie Batch beat the Ravens. In Baltimore.
I thought the Orioles making the playoffs was bizarre, but this is even more crazy.
No friggin’ way.
The Ravens will go back to work now, needing to figure out what’s going on with their offense (two TD’s…again) and how their defense could allow a 3rd stringer to drive the Steelers sixty yards in six minutes with the game on the line.
(Please see next page)
Posted on 02 December 2012 by WNSTV
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Posted on 29 November 2012 by Drew Forrester
Hey coach, I hope this finds you well and preparing to enjoy a wonderful Holiday season with your family and friends in Pittsburgh.
(Actually, while I think you’re a helluva football coach, I have to admit I giggled my ass off last Sunday watching you squirm your way through that press conference in Cleveland after your football team lost to the lowly Browns. So, for obvious reasons, I’d probably rather you not be well. If that makes me a bad guy, so be it. I do, though, hope you have a great Holiday season. I’m a Ravens fan, not a Grinch.)
Based on the whispers coming out of Pittsburgh about Ben Roethlisberger, it appears as if you’re going to have him back for this Sunday’s big game in Baltimore. What a warrior that guy is, huh coach? A month ago on a Monday night, he suffered some whacky rib and shoulder injury that could have killed him if he would have reached for the remote control the wrong way and now, suddenly, he’s going to risk life and limb to play against the Ravens? Holy canoli. I’m impressed.
(Are you guys nuts Coach? Why would you risk the best player on your team for one game? You know you’re getting your ass kicked down here on Sunday no matter who stands behind center. I realize you have to paint the best picture you can for your team, but in your heart of hearts, you’ve seen this play out over the last couple of years and you know for sure it’s going to play out down here again this Sunday. Your team can’t beat the Ravens. You’re going to get your feelings hurt, Roethlisberger or not.)
We have a lot of respect for the Steelers here in Baltimore, Coach. We know as long as you guys have a pulse, you’re always capable of pulling off one, two, three or even four wins in a row and then somehow weaving your way through the pile of post-season teams to return to the Super Bowl. Truth be known, we’d rather NOT see your team in the playoffs if we could pick and choose our playoff opponent. Somehow, you always seem to nip us in the end when the chips are down in January.
(As S.E. Hinton once wrote (she’s a she, by the way, in case you didn’t know), “That was then, this is now”. Yeah, we respect the Steelers here, but the Ravens are now the kings of the AFC North and your team is chasing our team. With Roethlisberger at quarterback – and getting assistance from the refs like you usually do – the Steelers always have a puncher’s chance of beating anyone. Without Roethlisberger, you’d be hard pressed to win the SEC. And if it comes to pass that you’re fortunate enough to make the playoffs, you’ll be one and done without a home game, so we won’t see you in this post-season anyway.)
Go ahead and throw caution to the wind, Coach. Tape Big Ben up and bring him down here on Sunday. Your team has a much better chance of winning that way. And, as you know, the standings are such that you really are in “must-win” territory these days. You don’t have a choice, I suppose. You have to go with Roethlisberger.
(Don’t be a dummy, Mike. Leave Roethlisberger on the bench and let Charlie Batch be the QB of record in a 30-10 loss. No one will blame you. You can talk about “not risking a career” and “we have faith in Charlie” and “injuries are part of the game” and everyone in Pittsburgh will understand. If you go with Ben, you’re getting your asses kicked here. If you go with Batch, you’re getting your asses kicked here. Do you see the similarity?)
Finally, I wasn’t around last Sunday. How’d you guys do against the Browns?
(I know what happened in Cleveland. hehe)