On Second Thought: Steelers at Ravens
by Homer J.
As usual this is Rebecca editing Homer’s stream-of-consciousness game notes. I presume he will let us know if I manage to edit them into something he didn’t mean. However, there is little doubt how he feels this week, as he sent me this addendum, which seems like a good way to start the article…
About the best thing you can say about Sunday’s loss is that they have closed all access to the Greenfield Bridge in Pittsburgh, and they are going to blow it up on Monday. So that negates one final exit route for those Steeler fans who believe they have no reason to live after this totally unexpected loss.
Of course, Pittsburgh – as the social scientist Reggie “Crusher” Lisowski once observed, is the only city where a guy can commit suicide jumping out his basement window, because there are so many places to end it all after this Gloomy Sunday.
For Homer, this also means listening to the incessant yammering of Redskin fans in DC, since the .500 skins have won the NFC Least Division. They will be going to the playoffs, while the Steelers will be playing golf in two weeks. Until the ‘Skins are one and done, Homer will have to bear the pain of listening to these idiots and he will envy the deaf.
Happy New Year. Yeah, sure. Well, have a healthy one. The NFL Player Selection Meeting is only four months away. Maybe we’ll get a shutdown corner this year.
I need a beer. (Game notes follow the jump.)
First Steelers drive:
Good solid drive, but couldn’t get a yard on 4th and 1.
First Ravens drive:
Quick pass to Aiken for first down at PIT 22. Mallett looks like Unitas here so far.
Baltimore offense cut through Steelers and had their way from the moment they got their hands on the ball. Steeler D seemed a half a step too slow from the first snap, and Shazier had trouble with the Baltimore offensive line. 15 plays, 75 yards 7 minutes plus.
Not the start we were looking for.
Next Steelers series:
Incomplete to Wheaton….4th and 6. Ben throws behind Wheaton and was lucky it wasn’t intercepted. Had he led Wheaton, it would have likely been a TD.
Boswell 34 yard field goal. 7-3 baltimore. It’s never, ever, ever easy, is it?
Next Ravens series:
Baltimore gets 14 on first down…Running thru the Steelers. Their offensive line is imposing its will.
Allen off the right side, for five. Steelers still have been unable to stop the Baltimore juggernaut.
Finally throws incompletion….Poor pass… Field goal attempt.
Justin Tucker field goal is good…..10-3 baltimore.
11 plays 61 yards….4:47
Maybe the Steelers defense should be renamed the E-Z Pass….because too many teams are going right through it without stopping.
Next Steelers series:
Ben play action, tries to hit Will Johnson, throws what should have been INT, but defender drops football. Lucky break.
Berry punts….No return.
Next Ravens series:
Mallett hits a receiver who actually drops the ball, but fails to get the first down. No reason to challenge, since the “great diving catch” was still four yards short and will result in a punt.
Ben throws into triple coverage – intercepted by Darryl Smith.
He had Heath short, and got greedy. That’s only the fifth interception for Baltimore all season,
Mallett threads the needle…Hits Butler for 16…beats Boykin.
Fans who have been screaming for Boykin are getting him, but they’re not getting great coverage.
Gonna try 50 yard field goal in strong right to left wind. Kick is perfect. 13-3.
At halftime, merciful halftime, it is clear that the Steelers need a break and fifteen minutes to regroup. All Homer can say is that they are being badly abused by a quarterback who has only been with his team for 12 days. Good thing he hasn’t been there for a fortnight, or we’d really been in trouble.
Baltimore gets the second half kickoff, so a three and out is badly needed.
[They got it.] Punt to AB….Who is stopped cold at the 21.
D-will for the TD, and Spaeth called for personal foul after the play. Pat good. 13-10 BAL.
Ben intercepted on pass to AB….Intercepted by Jimmy Smith.
Mallett hits Juszczyk, who beats Shazier badly, down to the three yard line. This has been, so far, Shazier’s worst game of the year.
Allen takes it in from the three….Giving Baltimore at 20-10 lead.
Ben to Wheaton in end zone. Clearly interferance. 1st and goal.
They go empty set, and Homer says “interception,” and the ball was then tipped and intercepted and returned 100 yards, but a Ravens player was offsides. That was the biggest break in history.
D-will goes outside for the touchdown. 20-17. Homer is still gobsmacked that he called the pick, and the refs caught the offsides.
Baltimore is running straight ahead at the Steelers and kicking their butts. 2nd and 5.
Allen for three …3rd and 2. And absolute must stop here. Steelers only have one time out left.
Tuitt with huge stop on 3rd…Making it 4th and 2. Punt from PIT 42.
Steelers get lucky again, as punt rolls into end zone.
Ben gets max protection, and goes deep for Bryant, who can’t make the diving catch.
4th and 15. Here’s the game right here—Pass to Wheaton…Defender fans on it, and then the ball goes through Wheaton’s hands.
There’s an empty feeling in the pit of Homer’s stomach. The French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre spent much time contemplating meaninglessness and nothingness. Homer feels his pain right now.
We all do.
Quarterback: C-. Two major interceptions. Wasted two critical time outs early in the third quarter. We needed them.
Running back: A. DeAngelo Williams was the only guy who really showed up for the whole game. He was terrific.
Offensive line: B. Created space for Williams to run. Gave Ben enough protection most of the time, but gave up a couple of critical sacks.
Wide receivers and tight ends: B-. Didn’t really get open that often. Missed a couple of catchable passes.
Defensive line: D. Didn’t really put any pressure on Mallett, and were often ineffective against the run.
Linebackers: D. Were ineffective against both the run and the pass. As good as Shazier has looked at times this year, that’s how bad he looked at times today.
Defensive backs: C-. They didn’t show much, either.
Coaching: F. They weren’t prepared. They made a critical error in the first quarter, going for it on the first possession on 4th down, giving up three points. Coulda used those points. And, once again, the defense looked more like the E-Z Pass lane on the Delaware turnpike….Plus, Courtney Upshaw bailed out the worst call of the year, when he went offsides on the 100 yard pick six.