Monday, January 10, 2011

The Rivalry Revisited: 9/29/08 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.

September 29, 2008
Steelers 23, Ravens 20 (OT)

The Steelers came back to Heinz Field after getting physically dominated by the Eagles the week prior. Most fans, after seeing the Eagles blitz the shit out of the Steelers line, ringing up 9 sacks, had a bad feeling about facing the Ravens D.

Kendall Simmons had about 30 false starts at the beginning of the game then got hurt later in the game. 

The game started slow, with the teams trading field goals in the first quarter. Ben threw an interception that set up the Ravens first score.

What a quote from our game recap.

Man, Mitch Berger sucked.

The Ravens had 3 chances in the red zone in the first quarter and got 13 points out of it. The Steelers trailed 13-3 at the half.

Mendenhall broke his collarbone at the beginning of the 3rd Quarter. Even back in 2008, Arians thought throwing on 3rd and 1 was a good idea.

This game really wasn't going anywhere until the middle of the 3rd, when a 3-play sequence broke the game open. On a 3rd and 4, Ben hits Santonio on a quick slant. Holmes does the rest himself, spinning past McAllister and blowing past Ed Reed for the score.

What a couple of pictures. Props to those photographers.

Renegade blasts during the break. Patrick Bailey makes a huge special teams tackle. On the first play from scrimmage, James Harrison  blasts through the line and knocks the ball away from Flacco. Woodley scooped it up and rumbled in for the go-ahead score.

Big-time turn of events that really turned the tide of the game. 14 points in 20 seconds will do that.

The Steelers got a shot to put the game away in the 4th quarter with a 3rd and goal at the 1, but rather than a QB sneak or a run up the middle, Arians calls for a Mewelde Moore run to the outside. Gee, that sounds familiar (See: Kansas City '09, NY Jets '10, etc).

LeRon McClain tied the game up with a touchdown run with about 4 minutes left.

Rather than let Ben go after the Ravens secondary and try to win the game, Arians kept it conservative. The Steelers wound up punting with about 2 minutes still on the clock.

Lawrence Timmons made a big-time sack in overtime to force a punt.

Mewelde Moore had a HUGE overtime, gaining 24 yards on a 3rd and 8 dump-down to get us into field goal range. Rather than just kicking it and going home, Arians sticks with the motif offense and Moore gets brought down in the backfield, setting up a 3rd and 14. Arians went 5-wide and Ben flipped one to Moore over the blitz for a gain of 7.

Reed nailed it from 46 and sent the Ravens packing.

Our outside linebackers had a hell of a game. Harrison had 10 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 1 Forced Fumble. Woodley had 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Fumble Recovery, and 1 Touchdown. Wow.

After the O-line got dominated by the Eagles the week before, Darnell Stapleton taking over for Kendall Simmons might have been one of the best things that happened to the Steelers during this season. After the game, the Steelers went on to mount an inspired come-from-behind victory over the Jaguars and smoke the Bengals 38-10. The Ravens lost their next two, losing to the Titans 13-10 and Colts 31-3. 

Steeler Nation Reacts:

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