I perused a bunch of local Steeler's sites and they all seem to have the same concern, and write the same phrase which includes "...the Ravens defense are licking their chops..." After being sacked nine times, the Steelers QB's were looking like a deer caught in headlights. In addition to the nine sacks, they were also hit and harrassed many more times than that. Notice that I said "Steeler's QB's" and not just Ben Roethlisberger, as backup Byron Leftwich appeared towards the end of the Eagles game. It was reported that Roethlisberger's hand was stepped on and they didn't want to risk further injury. However, after the pummeling he absorbed, perhaps this was the best thing to do at that point in the game. Remember, Big Ben had a sore shoulder before the game, and I can only imagine how sore his entire body was after that physical contest.
Now the Steelers have to get a quick case of amnesia and ready themselves for the same type of physical defense from the Baltimore Ravens. With the return to health of the majority of the Ravens' defense, they have enjoyed the ability to put the same kind of pressure on the opposing QB that they did in their record setting 2006 season. Last year, injuries in so many key defensive positions limited their ability to pressure, much less sack the QB and they went from the top of the league in that category in 2006 to the bottom in 2007. However, it appears the days of mediocrity are behind them as far as defense goes, and if the first two games are any indication, the future is bright for this squad.
While pundits can say look at who the Ravens played, as both teams they beat are now a combined 0-6, they must also say the same about the Steelers. Their two victories were over the winless Houston Texans and the same Browns the Ravens defeated, for a combined record of 0-5.
Those same web sites I visited spoke of a concern heading into the Ravens game of the embarrassing defeats to the Ravens in 2006, including the home victory that highlighted linebacker Bart Scott's vicious hit on Roethlisberger, as well as their trouncing at home in Pittsburgh later that season. Of course, us Baltimore fans are still stinging from the embarrassing showing on Monday Night Football last season in the Steel City.
Here's hoping we see more of the former than the latter memories listed above. Either way, both teams are looking forward to proving themselves next Monday night, although for different reasons. The Steelers want to return to excellence while the Ravens want to stay there.