Ravens end Steelers' season, 27-0

The Steelers entered Sunday's game here at M&T Stadium thinking they could match Baltimore's physical style of play.

Not only could the Steelers not match Baltimore's physical style of play, they went out with a whimper, losing 27-0.

"It was a very pitiful performance out there today," said head coach Bill Cowher.

Pitiful would be one way to put it. Pathetic would be another. And putrid would probably wrap it up with a nice purple bow.

"I didn't think it would be like that," said Steelers running back Willie Parker. "I thought we would come in and get a win. We knew what was at stake, but they played us tough throughout the whole game."

How bad were the Steelers?

Bad enough that Roethlisberger was sacked nine times. Bad enough that they had minus- six yards in the second quarter. Bad enough that the game was over when Baltimore scored on a 20-yard touchdown catch by Todd Heap on its opening possession.

"We didn't show up," said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. "We fell behind and guys had their heads down. That's very uncharacteristic for us."

Though Sunday's performance is certainly a low point, it really just exemplified what has happened to this team on the road time and time again.

For whatever reason, the Steelers have been a very bad road team this season, something that is surprising for a team that was so good on the road last year.

Considering they returned largely the same roster that had just won a Super Bowl, it's hard to believe the talent isn't there.

That means the heart of this team has to come into question. A team that had the heart of a champion last season displayed none Sunday.

Maybe that's why the Ravens weren't crowing following their victory, treating it as just another day at the office.

In this case, the lions opened up their victim and found nothing beating in its chest.

© There wasn't much good to come out of this game. Roethlisberger was walking with a noticeable limp afterward and Troy Polamalu has what Cowher termed, "a serious knee injury."

But Polamalu was walking around the locker room with more ease than Roethlisberger, so go figure.

© I won't fault just the offensive line for the high number of sacks Sunday. On several occasions guys were coming in untouched. And that's a problem with the scheme, which can be attributed to the coaching.

The same goes for the way the Ravens gashed the Steelers with their running game in the first half.

© So let's see, they got outplayed physically and outcoached. Yep, that pretty much sums up a 27-0 beating.

© If you didn't blink, you got to see the changes Cowher made on the kickoff coverage unit.

It largely consisted of putting Chad Brown out there for Anthony Smith.

The Steelers only got to kick off once, though, so we don't know if that's a full-time change.

© Brett Keisel was back on kickoff return teams and the Steelers averaged just 15.0 yards per return. So much for that experiment.

© Not only did the Ravens have nine sacks, they also had nine quarterback hurries and 10 pass defenses. The Steelers had no sacks, one pass defense and one hurry. Both the hurry and the pass defense came on the same play when Keisel came through and batted down a Steve McNair pass.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.


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