Steelers Too Much for Ravens Yet Again

There's just something about the Baltimore Ravens that brings the best out of the Steelers. Pittsburgh smacked the Ravens all over the field in the first half of Sunday's game, grabbing a 28-3 lead, on route to a 31-18 victory in Baltimore for a fifth consecutive season.

Pittsburgh also smacked the baby bird Ravens some more after the game, reaffirming their disdain for the franchise they just love to play against.


"I never lost in that stadium, and I don't want to lose here. It's one of those rivalries where I don't like them and they don't like us", said Plaxico Burress, who scored two touchdowns against Baltimore yesterday. "I've loved playing against Baltimore. It gets my fire going".


Ouch. Please, anybody that is a member of the secondary, don't respond to this quote. You guys have been torched by Burress too many times over the last two seasons to keep yapping.


The Ravens in general should be humbled.


Yesterday's tiff with the Steelers was supposed to be a battle for first place, but at the end of the day, the game ended up being a showcase for the Steelers to further prove that the bizzaro AFC North belongs to them.


It will probably still belong to Pittsburgh a year from now, because for the time being, they are just the better team overall.


They've found a quarterback in Tommy Maddox who is precise with his reads, throws and decisions. They've got an offensive line that is quite possibly the best in football, with All Pro caliber players in Wayne Gandy, Alan Fanaca and Jeff Hartings plowing away at opposing defensive lines, whether they are in run or pass blocking situations. 


They've got a stable of running backs, and receivers who are all capable of burning teams in some manner or another.


I haven't even mentioned the Steelers' defense yet, which is starting to round back into its dominant form from last season, despite a mediocre showing against the Ravens yesterday.


We were all fooled into thinking that the Steelers were going to struggle this season simply because they limped to a 0-2 start, after being pummeled in back to back weeks against the Patriots and Raiders respectively.


But Pittsburgh has developed a trend of starting most seasons lethargically over the years. All they needed was to beat down the Cincinatti Bengals two weeks ago to pick themselves back up again. Man, the Bungles are the ultimate elixir, aren't they?


In any case, that's enough gushing about the Steelers, who are reestablishing their status as the best team in the AFC; let's get back to the Ravens.


Yesterday's showing by Baltimore was nothing short of dismal. Inexperience and lack of talent can be used as an excuse for Sunday's collapse to some degree, but the Ravens were simply making way too many mistakes at crucial junctures in Sunday's loss.


Overall, the Ravens committed 13 penalties which accounted for a total of 100 yards. One of those penalties was a holding call perpetrated by tight end Jon Jones, which negated a 24-yard reception snagged by Todd Heap. The catch made by Heap was a crucial one that would have gotten the Ravens inside the red zone, giving them a chance to cut down the Steelers' 7-0 lead in the first quarter.


Receiver Travis Taylor finally made a nice showing this season, catching seven catches for 82 yards, but he also committed two costly false start penalties in the third quarter of yesterday's game.


In one sequence, Cornell Brown was penalized three times in a row for various reasons.


As a whole, the team also turned the ball over five times. The Ravens' defense showed their youth, missing tackles, forgetting their assignments and gap responsibilities.


If you want to beat a team that's clearly more talented than yours, you just can't gift wrap the game for them.

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