Greetings, Steeler Nation. I hope you’re enjoying your non-denominational holiday breaks. I certainly am, especially with one of the best football games of the season coming up on Sunday! Yes, I said it. The Steelers/Ravens game on Sunday at 1:00 will be one of the best of 2009. Why? Jump.
The Ravens have a win-and-in scenario right now, and if Cincinnati falters, Baltimore could still technically win the division. The Bengals play the Chiefs though, so they pretty much have this division wrapped up. Baltimore is cruising right now with their last two victories being by a combained 80-something points. Last time we saw them, Ray Rice torched the defense. Flacco was strong. Our backup backup QB made his first start and played well but ultimately lost the game in overtime.
Remember, that was in the midst of a 5-game losing streak. During that streak, the Steelers lost to the Chiefs, Raiders, and Browns. All were inferior teams, but we let them each play a close game and ultimately make the deciding play. Baltimore is clearly a better football team, but we still saw the Steelers play up to their level and take them to OT.
After that game, everyone felt pretty good about the team. We put up a fight and sans a few defensive lapses, played well enough to win, especially with a brand new QB under center. They just came a little bit short of a victory. Well, last week we saw the Steelers play up to the level of a playoff-bound team in the Green Bay Packers. They played a close offensive game and this time, they finally came away with a win.
We know the Steelers will play a close game with Baltimore. It will be exciting, perhaps for the wrong reasons. But it’s going to be a great game. It’s a division rivalry with the playoffs on the line. They got it done in crunch time last week. Can they do it again? It will likely come down to one play, or one risky decision to, say, onside kick with a lead on the scoreboard to either put the nail in the coffin or give up the quick score so your offense has time to drive down and re-take the game. Either way, it’ll make for a great game. As Mike Tomlin says about the Ravens, “they always bring out the best in us.”
I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Here We Go.