Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Rivalry Revisited: 12/27/09 Steelers 23, Ravens 20

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.

December 27, 2009
Steelers 23, Ravens 20

The Steelers were riding a crazy high after one of the greatest last-second victories in team history, where Mike Wallace caught a pass in the end zone to beat the Packers on the last play of the game, snapping the Steelers 5-game losing streak. The Steelers playoff hopes weren't quite dead, and they needed a lot of pieces to fall into place. They needed to win out and get some help from other teams. The winning out had to start with this game against the Ravens, who were also in the thick of the playoff race.

The Steelers started fast with Woodley getting to Flacco and forcing a bad throw which Farrior picked off. The offense couldn't find the end zone but Reed gave us the early lead.

The teams trade field goals, making you wonder if the game was being played at Heinz Field or Nemacolin Woodlands Par 3.

The Steelers get the benefit of a pass interference call on Ward, and Mendenhall is able to pound it in from four yards out to give us a 13-3 lead. Mendenhall broke 1,000 yards on the season with that 4-yard carry.

Todd Heap-of-shit makes some touchdown catch. Marathon scoring for a Steelers-Ravens game in the first half.

Mendenhall and Ray Rice trade fumbles. We get knocked out of field goal range when Ben gets sacked.

The defense responds with Ike Taylor sacking Flacco to knock the Ravens out of field goal range. 

The Steelers come right back with the 2-minute offense, attacking the Ravens secondary. Santonio makes a great play on 3rd down, snagging one on a slant route and blowing past the corner, fighting through a safety that isn't Ed Reed to get to the end zone. The Steelers took a 20-10 lead into halftime. 

The Ravens come out with a heavy dose of Ray Rice who does all the leg work before Flacco finds Willie Gay overmatched against Todd Heap. Heap-of-shit scores.

Terrell Suggs nullifies a pick-six with an illegal block penalty, but the Ravens convert the turnover into 3 points and tie the game. 

The intensity builds as the clock ticks down and both teams flirt with the edges of field goal range with penalties and sacks forcing punts.

Tyler Grisham makes a big catch on 3rd down to keep a drive alive. Santonio does his Raven-killing and takes another slant upfield to get us into solid field goal range. Reed nails it with over 5 minutes to play, giving us the lead.

LaMarr Woodley makes two monster plays with the Ravens on the fringe of field goal range, sacking Flacco then forcing a fumble on 4th down that Ziggy recovers. 

The Steelers get the ball back with over 2 minutes to play and the Ravens have timeouts. Baltimore uses them up and on 3rd and 11, where a first down would ice the game, Ben goes downtown for Mike Wallace. The ball gets picked off, but Wallace got held before the throw and the penalty gives the Steelers the first down and the victory. 

The Steelers were still alive in the playoff race, though the Colts decision to rest their starters and play sac lamb to the Jets didn't help their cause. The Ravens were still in the playoff hunt as well, and as we know, wound up making the playoffs as a Wild Card. LaMarr Woodley had a monster game with 10 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and forced an interception.

The "There's Still Hope" Crowd:

The "Let's Blame the Refs" Crowd:

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