The Pittsburgh Steelers flexed their muscles this past weekend with their demolishing of the San Diego Chargers, running and throwing all over them in their 35-24 victory in cold and windy Heinz Field. They showed how powerful the offense could be when clicking on all cylinders. They protected Ben Roethlisberger after hearing how poor their pass protection has been. They opened huge holes for Fast Willie Parker, Mewelde Moore and Gary Russell when everyone had said their run game had been disappointing this season. They opened up the passing game with big completions and converted key third downs with passes spread all around to Santonio Holmes, Heath Miller and the always reliable and ever smiling Hines Ward. Their Special Teams broke a long one for a TD as all facets of the game turned in their favor. This shows everyone what this team can do when it is rested and prepared for their opponent, as well as why this team is favored by five points this weekend on their way to another Super Bowl and their 6th ring ("one for the other thumb?").
Uhhhh,.....not so quick, guys.
I'm sure while you were reading this, you kept checking the top of this page to make sure you were on th right blog. No, this is not the Steeler's blog, it is definitely the Baltimore Beatdown, so let's start beating down that first paragraph. The entire game against the Chargers was way more irrelevant for this coming weekend's game than the Ravens game at Tennessee. Which of the two games this past weekend do you think will more closely resemble the one coming up? Something tells me we won't see the track meet we saw in Pittsburgh, compared to the slugfest we saw in Nashville. It's not too impressive to me or most Ravens fans to see the physical Steelers toy with the wimpy Chargers for sixty minutes. Big deal that Big Ben was able to pick apart the 31st ranked pass defense. Big deal that they were able to run the ball for well over 100 yards against a team that looked almost afraid to stick their heads in there to slow down Parker. Big deal that a team from sunny Southern California looked like they couldn't wait to get out of the cold weather and start their vacations. Ravens fans were hoping for the upset so they could go to San Diego and push them all over the place, but Pittsburgh did it for us. Now we get what we wanted and we hope that Pittsburgh does as well.
This is the way it should be. Remember the third fight between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier? Ali pummeled the former champ who had defeated him the first time they met until he just couldn't take it anymore. While the Steelers overwhelmed a lightweight in the San Diego Chargers, the Ravens were trading punches with another heavyweight in the Tennessee Titans. This weekend, there will be no backing down, no timid tackling and no soft defense for the Steelers to make a highlight film of. This will be a war that the Ravens have been waging since they were almost counted out late in the regular season. However, they rose up and have punched the opposition in the mouth, knocking them out by standing toe-to-toe with them until they couldn't take it anymore and down they went for the count.
Baltimore will find a willing opponent in Pittsburgh for this backyard brawl. However, it is the Ravens who are more battle tested and ready to go at it. Don't give me any of the media hype about this team being tired after playing 18 straight weeks. These players are professionals, in tip top shape and running on adrenaline They can handle another sixty minutes Sunday and then take a break before playing sixty more on February 1st. The big deciding factor that will ensure a Ravens victory compared to the two prior losses is that this time they plan on playing ALL sixty minutes, not just fifty-nine.
"Down goes Pittsburgh, down goes Pittsburgh!"