Taylor's Tuesday Thoughts: Ravens-Steelers Recap and Look ahead
This week, Taylor's Tuesday Thoughts is going to take a look back at one of the best recent rivalries in all of sports: the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
We'll recap last years three matchups, all won by the Steelers. From the Steelers overtime win, to Santonio Holmes' controversial touchdown catch, Taylor's Tuesday Thoughts has you covered.
Then, we'll give an in-depth look at the matchup and make our prediction.
Week 3: Steelers 23, Ravens 20 OT
Jeff Reid hit a 46-yard field goal in Overtime to give the Steelers the 3-point win in Week 3.
The Ravens couldn't hold on to a 13-3 halftime lead, as Joe Flacco was 16-31, for 192 yards and 1 touchdown. Le'ron McClain led the Ravens rushing attack with 63 yards on 16 attempts.
Pittsburgh stole momentum from the Ravens in the 3rd quarter, including a Joe Flacco fumble that was returned for a touchdown by LaMarr Woodley. Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes on a 38-yard touchdown pass. Both scores happened within 15 seconds of each other.
Baltimore fought back and tied it with 4:02 left in regulation. The Ravens won the coin toss at the beginning of overtime. They were forced to punt to the Steelers, however, which gave the Steelers the ball on the decisive drive.
Roethlisberger was 14-24, for 191 yards, and 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Santonio Holmes caught 3 passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.
With the win, Pittsburgh moved into first place at 3-1, ahead of the Ravens, who fell to 2-1.
Week 15: Steelers 13, Ravens 9
Santonio Holmes caught a 4-yard touchdown pass with 43 seconds left to give the Steelers a regular-season sweep of the Ravens, and clinched the AFC North Title in the process.
This game was every bit the defensive battle that it was hyped up to be, as the only touchdown in the game was the Roethlisberger-to-Holmes connection.
The Ravens led 6-3 at the half, and 9-3 after the 3rd quarter. However, the Steelers owned the 4th, scoring the final 10 points of the game to pull out the win.
After the loss, the Ravens fell to 9-5, while the Steelers improved to 11-3.
Flacco was 11-28 for 115 yards, and had 2 interceptions. Le'Ron McClain gained 87 yards on 23 carries and Mark Clayton had 3 receptions for 38 yards.
Roethlisberger was 22-40 for 246 yards and the lone touchdown. Willie Parker had 47 yards on 14 attempts and Hines Ward hauled in 107 yards on 8 receptions.
AFC Championship Game: Steelers 23, Ravens 14
Troy Polamalu intercepted Joe Flacco with 4:24 remaining in the game and returned it for a touchdown, putting the Steelers ahead by the final margin, 23-14.
The Steelers Defense held the Ravens offense in check for most of the game, and intercepted Flacco a total of 3 times. The Ravens struggled on 3rd down, going 3-13 for the game. Pittsburgh did fumble two times and lost one.
Roethlisberger was 16-33, for 255 yards and a touchdown. Santonio Holmes caught Roethlisberger's touchdown toss, burning Baltimore's defense for the third consecutive game. Willie Parker gained 47 yards on 24 carries, and Heath Miller caught 3 receptions for 62 yards.
In the season-ending loss for Baltimore, Flacco was 13-30, for 141 yards, 0 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Willis McGahee rushed for 60 yards on 20 carries before being carted off the field late in the ballgame. Todd Heap had 3 receptions for 26 yards.
Week 12, 2009: A Preview
Here are the big matchups for this week's game:
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Ravens Defensive Line:
If the Ravens line can pressure Roethlisberger and get a few sacks early, it will help the secondary out tremendously. Roethlisberger can beat you in so many different ways, so it is very important for the Ravens to pressure him and force him to make quick decisions and, hopefully, throw an interception.
Joe Flacco vs Steelers Secondary
Without Troy Polamalu, the Steelers secondary is vulnerable. Flacco needs to throw downfield early and give the offense some momentum. Flacco needs to avoid those turnovers that plagued him in last year's AFC Championship game. If that happens, look for the Ravens to get out to a fast start.
Ravens Special Teams vs. Steelers Special Teams
Last week against the Colts, the Ravens Special Teams arguably played their best game of the year. They gave the Ravens good starting field position and kept the Colts in their end of the field. Billy Cundiff also made 5 of 6 field goals. The winner of the field position battle will likely win this game.
PREDICTION: Steelers 17, Ravens 10
The Steelers are out to prove that last week's loss to the Chiefs was a fluke. The Ravens, even in the loss to Colts, proved that they can still play and contend for a playoff spot. Both teams need this game. With a loss, the Steelers would be 6-5, and still very much alive. If the Ravens lose, they would fall to 5-6, and likely be out of playoff contention. The Steelers come out and win a close, hard-fought game in Baltimore on Sunday night.