Ravens vs. Steelers: Why Pittsburgh's Comeback Proves They're Super Bowl Bound
At half time of the Steelers' Divisional Round matchup against the Ravens, it appeared as if the Steelers season was 30 minutes from ending. The Ravens had all of the momentum. They had scored 14 points off of two turnovers.
Then the Steelers went into their locker room. Whatever Mike Tomlin said fired the team up. They came out firing on all cylinders.
The Steelers became only the seventh team during the Super Bowl era to win a playoff game after trailing by at least 14 points at the half.
This victory gave the Steelers all of the momentum they need to win their seventh Super Bowl title.
The following slides will discuss why the Steelers are destined to win the Super Bowl.
Hines Ward is coming off of his statistically worst season since 2007 when he only gained 732 yards through the air. There has been speculation that Ward is over the hill.
However, against the Ravens, Hines proved that he can still come through for the Steelers in the clutch.
While he only had three catches, two of them were in key situations. He converted a critical third down and caught a touchdown pass.
His touchdown against the Ravens tied the game and provided the Steelers the momentum needed to win the game.
When Ward isn't catching passes, he's delivering crushing blocks.
Mendenhall only gained 46 yards on the ground, but his two touchdowns were very instrumental in the Steelers' win over the Ravens. His second touchdown was the game winner.
He likely would have had an even bigger impact on the game had the Steelers not fallen behind so early in the game.
While he did account for one of the Steelers turnovers, it was accidentally forced by Chris Kemoeatu's elbow while he was going to the ground. It was more of a freak accident than sloppy play by Mendenhall.
He is coming off of a season in which he gained more than 1,200 yards on the ground and scored 13 touchdowns. He did this behind an injury riddled offensive line.
Rashard is not always going to have huge numbers on the ground during every game, but he can make key plays and he provides balance to the offense.
Roethlisberger started the game slowly, but came through in the clutch. At times, Roethlisberger can be a little sloppy with the ball. However, he more than makes up for his mistakes by coming through in key situations. He threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
He led an 11 play, 65 yard drive that was capped by Mendenhall's winning touchdown. This was Roethlisberger's third game winning drive during the fourth quarter or overtime in a playoff game and his 26th overall.
No matter how a game unfolds, Ben Roethlisberger can give the Steelers a legitimate shot to win the game.
Ike Taylor is quite possibly the most underrated cornerback in the NFL. He can take away a team's top receiver more often than not. The biggest knock on Taylor is that he drops too many interceptions.
He helped hold the Ravens' Anquan Boldin to only one reception that went for a loss of two yards and defensed two passes in the Steelers' victory.
In a Steelers' secondary that often gets more than its share of the blame when things go south for Pittsburgh and doesn't get its share of the credit when things are going well, Ike Taylor silently makes plays.
In a game that Harrison faced a formidable left tackle in Michael Oher, he registered three sacks on Joe Flacco. To go with his sacks, he recorded 7 total tackles and two passes defensed.
Teams have a hard time blocking both Harrison and his fellow outside linebacker, LaMarr Woodley.
Harrison is an unstoppable force as both a pass rusher and a run stopper. He can also drop into the passing lanes to help with pass coverage.
James Harrison is going to terrorize an opponent's offense.
Troy had a relatively quiet game by his standards, recording only two tackles. However, Polamalu very rarely has these types of games. Expect Polamalu to come up with at least one key play in the AFC Championship.
The last time the Steelers advanced to the AFC Championship following the 2008 season, Troy took an interception back for a touchdown that helped seal a win for Pittsburgh.
Polamalu is the most dangerous defensive player in the NFL because he can hurt the offense in so many different ways.
Pittsburgh's offense has been clicking ever since they lost to the Patriots earlier this season. When you couple this with a defense that is always going to keep the Steelers in the game, you have a very dangerous team.
The Steelers have so many dangerous weapons that this slideshow doesn't even discuss.
Mike Wallace is one of the most dangerous deep threats in the league.
Heath Miller is a big target for Roethlisberger that can also pave the way for Mendenhall and the running game.
Ziggy Hood is filling in nicely for Aaron Smith.
Brett Keisel was just named as a Pro Bowl alternate.
Casey Hampton can take up two blockers on every snap.
James Farrior is a savvy veteran that quarterbacks Pittsburgh's defense.
Pittsburgh's only real weaknesses are the injury depleted offensive line and inconsistent kick coverage. These are the same Pittsburgh Steelers that have won two of the past five Super Bowls. If Pittsburgh can string together two more performances like they had against the Ravens, expect them to be the proud new owners of a seventh Lombardi Trophy.