As Stover confidently put it
afterward, it was like letting a golfer line up his putt. Stover's game-winner
capped a 30-yard drive that included an 11-yard Kyle Boller completion to
wideout Randy Hymes on 3rd-and-9 at the Ravens' 45. For Baltimore (3-7), the
victory over Pittsburgh (7-3) breaks a four-game losing streak as they defeated
the defending AFC North champions. After weeks of scrutiny and complaints about
why this team couldn't win, it was a piece of hard-earned validation to topple
an opponent that was riding an 11-game road winning streak.
2. Defensively, the Ravens savaged Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox for six sacks and flung him to the ground several more times. He was intercepted once and completed only 19 of 36 passes for 230 yards and a 70.4 passer rating. The Steelers managed only three receptions over 20 yards with a long reception of 32 yards to Hines Ward. Without injured starter Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh was rudderless. Maddox was inept except on a final scoring drive to get the Steelers into overtime.
3. The Ravens' offense rebounded slightly, breaking a touchdown drought of a dozen quarters in the second quarter on Hymes' leaping 3-yard touchdown catch from Boller. It had been 190 minutes without a touchdown until Hymes' acrobatic catch. That streak dated back to an Oct. 31 first-quarter touchdown catch from running back Chester Taylor in a 20-19 loss to the Steelers.
4. With the exception of an early interception, Boller didn't hurt the Ravens' chances of winning. Despite being sacked five times, Boller did throw his first touchdown pass of the season. He was erratic at times, completing 21 of 36 passes for 163 yards and finished with a 67.2 rating. One week after uncorking three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, it was a gradual, much-needed improvement.
5. Baltimore absolutely shut down the Steelers' vaunted rushing attack. Pittsburgh was limited to 70 yards on 25 carries, 2.8 per rush. Willie Parker was held to 59 yards on 18 carries and Jerome Bettis was stuffed twice for no yards.
In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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