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Thread: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

      
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    Default Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10


    Last edited by Kipper; Oct-07-2012 at 11:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    I realized while doing this that I had been forgetting to include what each teams records were. I decided to continue to not put them as to not screw with tradition since we are 3-0

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    Ravens-Steelers Preview
    STATS LLC

    A destructive defense and a productive running game have kept the Pittsburgh Steelers rolling right along without Ben Roethlisberger, but the Baltimore Ravens plan on providing a stiffer test to their bitter AFC North rivals.

    At Heinz Field, they rarely have.

    The Steelers look to continue their home dominance of the Ravens on Sunday as they seek their first 4-0 start in 31 years in their final test before Roethlisberger's return.

    Pittsburgh has done more than most expected without its suspended quarterback, who can rejoin the team Monday as it heads into its bye week.

    After surviving on an attacking defense and the legs of running back Rashard Mendenhall for two games, it was veteran Charlie Batch who provided a boost last Sunday at Tampa. Batch, starting for the injured Dennis Dixon, matched a career high with three touchdown passes in a 38-13 win.

    "The standard for expectation doesn't change for us," said Mendenhall, who ran for 143 yards and a touchdown. "Nobody's going to care if you lose a game because somebody's not here or somebody's hurt. Those kind of things happen."

    Ravens coach John Harbaugh, for one, hasn't been surprised at how well the Steelers have performed without Roethlisberger. A win Sunday would give Pittsburgh its first 4-0 start since 1979, when it went on to win its fourth Super Bowl.

    "We're not surprised they're 3-0, but we don't care," Harbaugh said. "We're going to play the game."

    While the Steelers lead the NFL in giving up 11.0 points per game, Baltimore (2-1) boasts the No. 1 total defense with an average of 244.3 yards allowed. The Ravens have held the Steelers under 100 yards on the ground in nine of their last 10 meetings.

    Baltimore has shown some rare vulnerability on the ground, though, even in victory. Peyton Hillis ran for 144 yards in Cleveland's 24-17 loss last Sunday in Baltimore, the most rushing yards the Ravens have allowed since 2005.

    Rather than concentrating on how his offense can match the Browns' production, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin expressed concern with Hillis' big day.

    "I'd have felt better if Peyton Hillis had run for 40 as opposed to 140 because I know the type of men that play for that (Baltimore) team," said Tomlin, who called the Ravens-Steelers rivalry the best in the NFL. "Great defenses like the Baltimore Ravens usually bounce back quickly."

    Mendenhall, who's averaged 3.2 yards per carry in the series, knows the Ravens' punishing style all too well. Linebacker Ray Lewis broke Mendenhall's collar bone and knocked him out for the season when the running back was a rookie in 2008.

    The Steelers rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to win that game 23-20 in overtime at Heinz Field, something they're used to doing versus Baltimore. Pittsburgh is 9-1 in its last 10 home games against the Ravens, including two playoff wins.

    None of the four regular-season meetings since 2008 have been decided by more than four points.

    "I'd be lying if I told you it was just another game," Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It's a little bit more than that. ... This is the game on the schedule that we circle and we definitely look forward to.

    "Maybe because we don't like these guys. We respect them, but we don't like them."

    Part of the Ravens' recent struggles in Pittsburgh can be traced to Joe Flacco, who's thrown four interceptions and posted a 59.2 passer rating at Heinz Field.

    It looks like Flacco will head into Sunday's matchup with arguably his best offensive weapon available. Running back Ray Rice, who snapped the Steelers' 33-game streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher with 141 yards in a 23-20 loss at Pittsburgh on Dec. 27, said Thursday that his bruised right knee shouldn't keep him from playing.

    "It's just getting better each day," Rice said. "I'm just going out there working because I know it's just a bruise. I got a second opinion, got everything I needed to do. Once you find out it's just a bruise, you've got new life again."

    Pittsburgh's defense has forced a league-high 10 turnovers -- five interceptions -- with All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu healthy, but this will be its first taste of a Baltimore offense with Anquan Boldin in the fold. Flacco connected with the Ravens' prized offseason acquisition for three touchdowns against Cleveland, part of an eight-catch, 142-yard day.

    "Anquan showed today why we wanted him to be a Raven," Harbaugh said. "He's our kind of guy."

    Pittsburgh's plus-six turnover margin is tied for the league's best, while Baltimore's minus-six is tied for the NFL's worst.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/nflpre...meId=301003023

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    This Week's Line

    2010 Trends (Regular Season)
    The Ravens are 1-2 ATS.
    The Ravens are 1-1 ATS away.
    The Ravens are 1-0 ATS as the underdog.
    The Ravens are 1-0 ATS as an away underdog.
    The Steelers are 3-0 ATS.
    The Steelers are 1-0 ATS at home.
    The Steelers are 2-0 ATS as the underdog.
    The Steelers are 1-0 ATS as a home underdog.

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    Key Matchups

    Lewis vs. Mendenhall

    Last week in a win over the Browns, the Ravens uncharacteristically allowed 173 rushing yards, including 144 to backup running back Peyton Hillis. Is that reason for the Steelers to feel optimistic about their chances of running the ball?

    Coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t think so. He believes the Ravens were so embarrassed by getting gashed by the Browns that they’ve worked overtime this past week to fix their run defense. And with linebacker Ray Lewis, pictured, among the Raven defenders who got gashed, he figures to be especially fired up.

    Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has made three starts against the Ravens. In 2008, he carried nine times for 30 yards before having his season end with a broken shoulder. It was Lewis who provided the vicious hit that shattered Mendenhall’s shoulder. Last year, Mendenhall ran for 95 yards in a 20-17 overtime loss in Baltimore but was held to 36 yards later in the season in a 23-20 win in Pittsburgh.

    Ngata vs. Kemoeatu

    For those who enjoy interior play at the line of scrimmage, this promises to be a brutal battle between two warriors with Tongan ancestry.

    Haloti Ngata, the right defensive end in the Ravens’ 3-4 defense, is a former first-round draft pick (2006). He’s a load at 6-foot-4, 350 pounds and made the Pro Bowl for the first time last year. He already has a sack this season (two weeks ago vs. the Jets), but he’s especially effective in stuffing the run.

    Tomlin said that there will be times that Ngata must be double-teamed because “he’s as dominant a defensive lineman as there is in football right now.”

    Regardless if the Steelers double-team Ngata or play him straight up, left guard Chris Kemoeatu will be the man most responsible for trying to stop him. Kemoeatu (6-3, 344), who’s nearly as big as Ngata, is a physical player who plays with a mean streak.

    Boldin vs. Taylor

    When watching videotape of Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin burning the Browns’ secondary, Tomlin called it a “horror show.” Boldin has already caught 20 passes this year, including three for touchdowns, all against Cleveland

    “He has more catches than our entire wide receiver corps,” Tomlin said.

    Boldin, who came to Baltimore in a trade with Arizona, was acquired to give third-year quarterback Joe Flacco a prolific pass-catching threat. He played in three Pro Bowls with the Cardinals.

    Ike Taylor, the Steelers’ best shut-down cornerback, historically shadows an opposing team’s best receiver regardless of where he lines up. His job today will be to shut down Boldin.

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    Five questions

    Does James Harrison still carry ill will toward the Ravens for cutting him in 2004?

    “No,” said Harrison, the Steelers’ star outside linebacker. “I mean, the Steelers let me go three times, too.” Harrison spent two seasons (2002-2003) with the Steelers, briefly on the 53-man active roster but mostly on the practice squad. After the Steelers cut him for a third time, Harrison signed with Baltimore in 2004. After two days of off-season workouts in the spring of ’04, Harrison was cut by the Ravens and re-signed by the Steelers when Clark Haggans broke his hand.

    Who’s the last Steelers running back to rush for over 100 yards vs. the Ravens?

    It’s been six seasons since the Steelers last had a back accomplish the feat against Baltimore. The last to do so was Jerome Bettis, who ran for 117 on Dec. 26, 2004.

    How have the Ravens fared in recent years against backup quarterbacks?

    Since the start of the 2007 season, the Ravens are 10-2 when playing against teams forced to start backup QBs. That streak includes a win over Charlie Batch, who starts today for the Steelers.

    What do Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau have in common?

    Both entered the coaching profession as the special teams coach for the Eagles. LeBeau, 73, coached Philadelphia’s special teams from 1973-75. Harbaugh, 48, coached in Philly from 1998-2007, nine years as special teams coach and one year as secondary coach.

    How rare is it for a Steelers’ wide receiver to catch TD passes of 40 yards or more twice in the same game?

    It’s extremely rare. When Mike Wallace did it last week with TD receptions of 46 and 41 yards, he became just the fifth Steeler to do so.

    The others are: Louis Lipps, Dec. 4, 1988 vs. Houston; Lynn Swann, Dec. 2, 1979 vs. Cincinnati; Gary Ballman, Sept. 25 1966 vs. Washington; and Ray Mathews, Oct. 17, 1954 vs. Cleveland.

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    INJURY REPORT

    Guard Trai Essex (ankle) and nose tackle Chris Hoke (knee). Quarterback Dennis Dixon (knee) was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list on Saturday.

    Ravens running back Ray Rice (bruised knee) is questionable but has said he’ll play. Also questionable for the Ravens are starting defensive end Cory Redding (concussion) and two backups, linebacker Edgar Jones (thigh) and tackle Tony Moll (hip).

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    When the Ravens have the ball: QB Joe Flacco has struggled against the Steelers' defense, throwing six INTs and only three TDs in the past four games against them. After throwing four INTs in Week 2 against the Bengals, he came back with three TD passes in last week's victory against the Browns. It is not known how effective RB Ray Rice (knee contusion) will be, but he has practiced and is expected to play. Rice had 229 yards rushing and 81 yards receiving in two games against the Steelers last season and is the only back in the past 37 games to rush for more than 100 yards against them. The Steelers' defense leads the league in points allowed (33) and takeaways (10) after three games.

    When the Steelers have the ball: QB Charlie Batch will start his second game in a row. Batch, though, does not have to worry about Pro Bowl S Ed Reed (hip), who is on the physically unable to perform list. Without Reed, who leads all active players in interceptions (46) since 2002, the Ravens do not have an interception in three games. They will have to make sure they don't let WR Mike Wallace, who has catches of 52, 46 and 41, get behind them. The Ravens' defense is ranked No. 1 overall in the league, but was uncharacteristically leaky against the Browns, especially against the run when they allowed RB Peyton Hillis to rush for 144 yards on 22 carries. They will have to tighten up against RB Rashard Mendenhall, who is third in the AFC with 332 yards rushing and has three runs of 20 yards or longer.

    KEEP AN EYE ON ...

    WR Anquan Boldin ... He had three touchdown catches against the Browns, emerging as the type of big-play receiver the Ravens were hoping to provide for QB Joe Flacco. Boldin is a strong, physical receiver who runs well after the catch, making him a good matchup for physical CBs Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor. They have done a good job of not letting receivers get behind them.

    INTANGIBLES

    The Steelers have won four in a row and nine of the past 10 against the Ravens at Heinz Field. However, that doesn't accurately reflect the competitive closeness of the teams. The last six games -- two of which were overtime -- have been decided by a total of 28 points. The Steelers' regular-season home record of 58-22-1 is the league's fourth-best since 2000.
    Keys to victory ...

    To win, the Ravens must ...

    1 Keep Flacco from TOs. He has six interceptions and three lost fumbles in five career games against the Steelers.

    2 Heed the speed. Without Ed Reed, the Steelers will test the middle of the field with deep throws to Wallace, who averages 26.7 yards per catch.

    3 Latch on to Batch. He does a good job of stepping up in the pocket, forcing the Ravens to get an inside rush to push him outside his protection.

    To win, the Steelers must ...

    1 Dice Rice. They have already held Michael Turner, Chris Johnson and Cadillac Williams to a combined 89 yards on 41 carries in three games.

    2 Be Raven-ous on the ground. The Steelers have not had a 100-yard rusher against the Ravens since Jerome Bettis in December 2004, a span of 11 games.

    3 Be bold with Anquan. McFadden has done a good job not letting the play get behind him, something that plagued the secondary a year ago.

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10






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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    I had this from a few seasons ago when the Ratbirds went 1-and-done in the playoffs...



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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    In!!!

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    Quote Originally Posted by Beezy View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    In!!!
    "Top of the mornin' to 'ya!".... Let's get a big win today!....

    ....HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!....

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    CBS is covering the game in just about all of the entire midwest...

    ... except Yuma.

    I'll be down at the bar watching the game so I'll miss yet another GDT.

    Let's put this baby to rest.

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    Default Re: Game 4 : Steelers vs. Ravens : 10.03.10

    any word on whether the steelers are wearing throwbacks or not? they tend to usually wear them at home against Baltimore

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