Tag Archive | "Hines Ward"

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What Just Happened?

Posted on 14 December 2008 by roblong

The Pittsbugh Steelers came into this football game ranked number one, defensively, in nearly every statistical catagory. The majority of us thought this would be a defensive battle. I didn’t think it would be as low scoring as it was, but both defenses came to play. It wasn’t that the offenses were subpar, but the defenses were absolutely great.

I listened to some post-game shows coming home, and I read the e-mails that I received when I got home. It seems that the majority of you blame the offense for this loss. I’ve heard, “Cam Cameron lost this game,” to “We need to see Troy Smith because Joe Flacco took a big step back tonight.”

The Steelers players get paid to play football. Tonight’s game wasn’t a scrimmage. Give credit to their defense for, regardless of bad field position, did not give up a touchdown and only gave up field goals.

I’ve heard how bad Cameron was for being so “conservative.” Many of you who criticized him for being “conservative” also criticized him for calling a pass with 4:28 left instead of running the football and trying to get the field goal. Which one is it? Should have been “conservative,” or should he have been aggressive? Whenever something goes wrong, it’s all about the defense.

The Steelers defense has held the San Diego Chargers to 11 points, the New England Patriots to 10 points and the Dallas Cowboys to 13 points in consecutive weeks. Those offenses are ranked 15th, 8th and 9th respectively. The Ravens’ offense is ranked 20th. We knew what to expect coming into this game. Cam Cameron, obviously, called a game that wouldn’t put his defense in a bad position, expecting a low scoring game. It was a low scoring game.

For some reason, as usual, the defense gets a “free pass.” The Steelers got the football with 3:36 left in the game, and the punt team had pinned the Steelers back on their own eight yard line. All the defense had to do was either stop Hines Ward and the Steelers’ offense, or hold them to a field goal, so this game could go into overtime. They did neither.

Shades of week five when the Tennessee Titans drove 80 yards in just over four minutes to clinch a victory at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Steelers made stops when they had to and we didn’t. Does this mean it’s the defense’s fault? I don’t believe it is, but it’s foolish to pin this game on the offense as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers did, Sunday, what they’ve been doing to everyone lately. Cam Cameron put together a game plan that he thought was good enough to beat the Steelers. Everything isn’t the offense’s fault.

As for the call at the end of the game. Initially, I thought it was not a touchdown. I know Holmes’ feet were in the endzone, but I didn’t think the ball broke the plane. As I watched the replay over and over, it looked as if it COULD have broken the plane.

Having said that, I thought the play was too close to reverse it. The call was made on the field, and it didn’t look as if the officials had conclusive evidence to overturn the call. With this being such a big game, nationally, I’m sure we’ll see the play a 1,000 times this week. Let’s get ready to beat Dallas.

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Ravens vs. Steelers – Your Predictions

Posted on 11 December 2008 by Alex Thomas

Surprisingly, all has been quiet this week in both Pittsburgh and Baltimore. No trash talking has occurred yet. In fact, it’s been more like a mutual admiration festival.

Hines Ward, Bart Scott, Terrell Suggs, James Harrison, John Harbaugh, and Mike Tomlin have all been playing the media game. Everyone’s saying the right things publically, but don’t be fooled; behind closed doors, things are surely starting to heat up.

Considering how close the Ravens were to winning in Pittsburgh in Week 3 (and they should have won that game), the anticipation for this game has brought a playoff atmosphere to Bawlmer. Expect that high anticipation to turn into some powerful crowd noise at 4:15 on Sunday.

In order to beat Pittsburgh, the Ravens are going to have to beat the odds and find a way to establish a running game against the #1 defense in the NFL. It looks like Ray Rice will not play, which does not bode well for the Ravens, but this will give Le’Ron McClain more opportunities to touch the football. McClain may be the Ravens’ best option this week over the struggling Willis McGahee with the physicality he brings to the running game. And when Pittsburgh and Baltimore square off, the more physical team usually wins.

The biggest test for the Ravens, aside from establishing the run, will be protecting Joe Flacco. I think the Ravens will play one of their best defensive games of the year, and that the Steelers defense will challenge Joe Flacco to beat them through the air.

My prediction: Considering that it’s so hard to beat a divisional rival twice, and that the ‘yins have to come to Baltimore this time, I’m picking the Ravens in a low scoring game this week. Oh, and Heinz ketchup tastes awful and it’s bad for you…too much high fructose corn syrup.

Ravens -17

Steelers – 9

Pivotal match-up: Ravens offensive line vs. Steelers linebackers. In order to win, the Ravens will need to find a way to run the football and to protect Joe Flacco from a team that has registered the most sacks in the NFL.

Where it could all go wrong: Pretty simple – the Ravens cannot move the football on the ground, fail to protect Joe Flacco, and allow Roethlisberger to make the big play.

Surprising statistic: The Pittsburgh Steelers rank 5th in the league in sacks allowed with 41. Only the Lions, Bengals, 49ers, and Patriots have quarterbacks with dirtier uniforms.

Last Week’s winner: white guy 26 is the winner, picking Ravens – 26 Redskins 10. My pick 29-17 Ravens. Actual score: 24-10 Ravens.

Week 13 winner: Ravenator predicted a Ravens blowout, picking a 34-0 route of the Bengals. My pick: 32-13 Ravens. Actual score: 34-3 Ravens.

Week 12 winner: Polostat was one of the few fans out there who predicted an easy Ravens win, predicting a 28-17 Ravens victory. My pick: 23-16 Ravens. Actual score: 36-7 Ravens.

Week 11 winner: would have been Ravenator if he would have picked the Giants to win, but the check mark goes to Johnny Rocket, who predicted a 31-11 Ravens loss. My pick: 23-20 Giants. Actual score: 30-10 Giants.

Week 10 Winner: My man Franchise gets the check mark, predicting a 31-10 Ravens victory. Remember when Ozzie Newsome was getting verbally crucified on the airwaves? I guess all of us should trust the Franchise. My pick: 29-12 Ravens. Actual Score: 41-13 Ravens.

Week 9 Winner: Johnny Rocket picked the closest score, predicting a 22-16 Ravens win. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the Ravens to put up 37 points on the road. My pick: 23-17 Browns. Actual score: 37-27 Ravens.

Week 8 winner: Nestminder is our first back-to-back winner, picking the Ravens to win 24-6. We had a record-low in the number of predictions received, but we can rebound this week. We’ll chalk that one up to the new website. My pick: 27-6 Ravens. Actual score: 29-10 Ravens

Week 7 winner: Nestminder picked a 20-13 Ravens victory and Polostat was a close second. My pick: 24-16 Ravens. Actual score: 27-13 Ravens.

Week 6 winner: Johnny Rocket correctly picked against the Ravens, per usual, predicting a 32-8 Colts victory. My pick: 28-23 Colts. Actual score: 31-3 Colts.

Week 5 winner: Columbia Ken picked the closest score, predicting a 17-13 Titans victory. My pick: 17-9 Ravens. Actual score: 13-10 Titans

Week 4 winner: Jon R. reluctantly picked a 24-20 win for the Steelers. My pick: 13-10 Ravens. Actual score: 23-20 Steelers (OT)

Week 3 winner: EazyE picked a 23-13 win for the Ravens vs. Cleveland. My pick: 23-13 Ravens. Actual score: 24-10 Ravens.

What are your predictions this week?

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