Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Rivalry Revisited: 1/18/09 Steelers 23, Ravens 14

On Saturday, the Steelers and Ravens will face off for the 8th time in the last 3 seasons. It's the playoffs. The intensity is already through the roof. If you're like me, you're going out of your mind asking why it isn't Saturday yet.

Glad it's not just me.

To help you get through the week and get you pumped for the game, we're going to take a look back at the last 7 meetings between the Steelers and the Ravens, dating back to the 2008 season. To put some perspective on how both fanbases reacted to the game, I tried to assemble a short list of game recaps from Steelers and Ravens bloggers.

January 18, 2009
Steelers 23, Ravens 14

What a game. What an atmosphere. There's nothing quite like an AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh. For me, this was the 6th one I had attended. I'll be honest, I didn't have that sinking feeling in my stomach that I did going into the 2004 Championship Game against New England. You knew this was going to be a battle, but you also knew that we could beat Baltimore. We had done it twice already this season.

The Ravens beat the Titans in the divisional round after knocking Chris Johnson out of the game. That was really the difference in the game. Tennessee had the edge until Johnson went out. The Steelers, led by a Santonio Holmes punt return for a score and a great ground effort from Fast Willie Parker, beat the Chargers 35-24 in the divisional round.

Styx sang the national anthem for the Chargers game. The crowd chanted "Bring Back Styx!" as Martina McBride came out for the anthem.

The Steelers got the ball first and went right after the Ravens secondary, taking an early 3-0 lead on a Jeff Reed field goal.

Deshea makes another big-time interception which leads to 3 more points. Hines got hurt and was out for the rest of the game. This became a big story that he had a broken leg or something later in the week. Not even close. Dude came out and played in the Super Bowl.

Parker fumbles on the Steelers next drive, but Polamalu introduces the Troy Play(TM) to the league, jumping over the line and stuffing Flacco on 4th and 1.

First time I remember seeing Troy do that. Everyone made a big deal out of it this year in Tennessee, but they forgot about this stop on 4th and 1 in the AFC Championship game, which might have been an even bigger play.

Ben does his Ben thing, stepping up and scrambling away from pressure before throwing back across the field to Holmes on the far sideline. Holmes gets behind the corner, makes the catch, turns it upfield and gets a caravan of blockers in Nate Washington and Heath Miller (who was blocking in the backfield at the start of the play) to lead him all the way to the end zone.

After a horrible punt by Mitch Berger on the Steelers next drive, the Ravens had great field position and cashed in. A ticky-tacky Pass Interference call on B-Mac in the end zone gave the Ravens the ball on the 1, and they pounded it in, cutting the lead to 13-7.

Limas Sweed (remember him? He's the president of the Mike Wallace Fan Club now) dropped a sure touchdown on the next drive then faked an injury, forcing the Steelers to use their last timeout. Ben is forced to check-down to Moore with 16 seconds to play and the Steelers can't get the spike off before the clock runs out, wasting a chance for points. 13-7 Steelers at the half.

The defense comes out and does its thing with Troy blowing up a bootleg from Flacco.

Carey Davis and Heath Miller pull in passes to convert two 3rd and longs on the next drive, setting up a Jeff Reed field goal to stretch the lead to 9.

The Steelers had the ball again as the 3rd quarter ended and faced a 3rd and 8 to start the 4th. Somehow, Limas Sweed made a catch to move the chains. Wait, what? That is followed by one of the worst play calls of the season: Arians going 5-wide on 3rd and 1. Not only does the incompletion stop the clock, but it's followed by a horrendous punt by Berger that gave the Ravens the ball near midfield.

The Ravens get another gift Pass Interference call, this time on Ike, and they pound it in from the 1. 16-14 with 9 1/2 minutes to go. We got ourselves a game.

The Steelers went run-run-pass-punt, giving the Ravens the ball back with around 7 minutes to play. Woodley makes a huge sack to set up a 3rd and long where Flacco throws the ball right to Troy, who runs it back across the field and splits the Ravens, finding his way to the end zone to put the game away.

The Ravens came back out and Ryan Clark laid one of the biggest hits you'll ever see on Willis McGahee. That's a fine in 2010. It wasn't in 2008 and the league said it was a legal hit.


The Steelers recovered the fumble and were able to run the clock down to the two minute warning. Flacco threw another pick to Ty Carter and that was all she wrote.

Gatorade city


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