Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ravens-Steelers III - Armageddon

...Or that's what Terrell Suggs would have you believe. That's right Sports Fans, it's come down to round three of the brutal battle we see every year between two formidable foes; the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

So Chris Legentil told you why the Steeler's might win I see...well now I'm going to tell you how, and why the Ravens will win. Sure, everyone says defense, penalties, turnovers, mistakes, even refs (according to Trent Dilfer) will decide this game. Yes all of those things will matter, but (as Chris pointed out) it will come down to offense. These are two outstanding teams defensively, no question. The Steelers have been strong all season, while the Ravens are really hitting their stride late in the season and now in the playoffs. But the Ravens, especially Joe Flacco, have shown they can attack you with their array of weapons on offense, and present arguably the most balanced team in the post-season.

So why do I believe in the Ravens going in to Sunday's game?
1) Super Bowl Caliber Defense - thirteen turnovers in the past three games. Yeah, that's right. Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, and you bet Ray Lewis. These guys aren't just players, they're forces...elements to be reckoned with on the football field. They know the Steelers better than anyone in the league, and you can bet they're going to bring the intensity with them to Pittsburgh.

2) Dangerous Offense - Sure they've left everyone scratching they're heads several times this year. With the addition of recievers Boldin, Houshmandzadeh, and Stallworth, the Ravens should be one of the most potent passing threats in the NFL. But it all comes down to Flacco. Sure Ray Rice has been his saving grace in times of uncertainty, and he's had trouble dealing with pressure this season, but the young QB has shown that he's still growing. "Joe Cool" silenced many doubters on Sunday when he lead the Ravens to a dominating win over the Kansas City Chiefs. On Saturday it will come down to him again. He has all his weapons, including Todd Heap, who showed how valuable the veteran Tight End is to the offense with his 100+ yard performance in Kansas City. Did I mention he was out when the Ravens played the Steelers in December. Interesting.

3) History - These two teams have a lot of history. Ben Roethlisberger seems to have the winning edge over the Ravens as of late, but even he openly admits to hating playing them. And the head-head record stands at 9-8 since 2003, pretty darn even. But how about the fact that the Ravens are 7-3 in road playoff games. That's the best in the NFL...ever. How's that for some history.

Both teams are as healthy as they can be right now, so no real excuses there. We could go on all week, back-and-fourth about who's better but the war will never be over. The next battle will be won on Saturday, and the way I see it, the Ravens are looking as good as ever. It's time. The steel curtain has held its shadow over Coach Harbaugh, young Flacco, and the city of Baltimore long enough. It's time for a new order.

Ravens 26 - Steelers 17

See you Saturday...

1 comment:

  1. Good Write-Up Alex. The Ravens defense is playing lights out as usual. I think some of the best offensive stars are Ray Rice and there still plenty good from Boldin this past season. I think Flacco will have a Good game and keep charge of the offense. I do expect a good, physical game from both that may stay clean and controversy free, we'll see.

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