For the people that like to see the football games that feature Tom Brady and Peyton Manning lighting up scoreboards, you better turn your eyes, because this one will be ugly to you! Field goals may even be hard to come by. This game is going to challenge the collective manhood of these teams.
Seriously, this is a matchup of defensive teams that could result in multiple trips to the hospital. Many doctors and ambulance should be on the field to get ready to cart a lot of players off the field. I'm not a historian, but I can't think of two defensive juggernauts that faced off like this in the last 15 years.
What also makes this matchup so electric is not only the hatred, but the fact that these teams have traded absolute ass-kickings the last two years. Seriously, I had to turn the television off in 2006 and pray that Roethlisberger was OK after that 27-0 drubbing in 2006.
The Steelers and the Ravens don't like one another! In fact, they flat out hate one another. Is there respect? Yes, yes there is! But the Steelers and Ravens are so similar that it's scary.They've met in the playoffs in the 2001 season, and they've won seven of the last eight AFC North titles between them. No wonder the hatred for one another!
Here's a sample of the hard-hitting hatred: Joey Porter wanted to fight Ray Lewis after a game in 2003. (He called for him to come off of his team bus!) Hines Ward leveled Bart Scott and Ed Reed last year.
Ray Lewis knocked Rashard Mendenhall out for the year this year. Bart Scott delivered a head-turning hit (if you're a Steelers fan) to Ben Roethlisberger and bragged about it to Sports Illustrated. Joey Porter knocked Todd Heap out for a few games in 2004 when he hit the hobbled tight end. There have been talks of bounties and other things we don't even know of. This is nasty stuff!
Here are some of the similarities of the two teams: Ed Reed and Troy Polamulu are the best two safeties in the NFL. Who's better? It all depends on who you ask. Either one could win Defensive Player of the Year. (Even though James Harrison should win it, slam-dunk style to me!)
James Harrison and Terrell Suggs are beasts that are almost impossible to block and can change the momentum of a game in one play. (Imagine how scary the Ravens would be if they still had him.) Ray Lewis and James Farrior are ageless defenders that command the respect of their defense and man the middle.
As far as the offenses go, it will be a long day for both, especially the Steelers and their suspect offensive line. If Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense can quickly get rid of the ball, they may have a chance to score a touchdown or two.
If Ben Roethlisberger dances around with the ball and looks around and waits too long, he's going to get creamed! If that happens the Steelers will get shutout just like they did in 2006 when they lost 27-0. (Arguably the worst game Bill Cowher ever coached!)
Also, you know the Ravens are going to bring the blitz damn near every play. You know they are going to send more blitzers than the Steelers have blockers. This game is going to be the ultimate litmus test of how smart Roethlisberger and Bruce Arians are. If they aren't up for the challenge they have NO SHOT in this game!
On the other side, if Joe Flacco struggles and throws a pick or two, the Ravens are going to be put in terrible field position which would put their defense in a compromised position. This happened in the 35-7 game that the Steelers blew the Ravens out in 2007.
Furthermore, you can cancel each team having a good running game in this contest. It simply won't happen. The Ravens have a better shot at running the ball because the Steelers' line is so bad and so suspect. They will be lucky to have 75 yards rushing all game.
Also, memo to Bruce Arians and Mike Tomlin, STOP TRYING TO PUNCH IT ONE FROM THE ONE-YARD LINE! Your offensive line sucks and Jerome Bettis doesn't play for the Steelers anymore. You're not going to get a touchdown that way; be creative!
This game might be the hardest hitting game since a Steelers vs. Raiders game of the 1970's. There will be a lot of trash talking and a lot of personal fouls called. If Bruce Arians has any hope to stay as offensive coordinator he better call a smart game and coach Ben Roethlisberger this week on how to get rid of the ball quickly, because if he doesn't, this game is over before it ever started.
I am a diehard Steelers fan, but even I think it may be a bit much to ask them to win this game after the last couple of weeks they've had. The Steelers schedule has been brutal and it may catch up them now.
The Steelers' offense still isn't a unit that can be believed in. Until they are, they won't go anywhere in the playoffs. I think Baltimore will win this game and they'll win the division too!
I'm gonna go punch a wall now, because I'm already so mad at Bruce Arians. Eff him!
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