“They Keep Asking for Us and We Keep Putting Them out of the Tournament.”

Timothy KesslerAnalyst IJanuary 16, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 15:  Defensive end Brett Keisel #99 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 31-24 in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

... and with that statement Hines Ward summed it up best, following the Steelers 31 to 24 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

The much anticipated rematch between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens lived up to the hype: a hard hitting, hard fought battle that came down to the final drive.

Much was riding on this one; the right to advance to the AFC Championship game. And as usual in this great rivalry, the Steelers pulled out the win.

Hines Ward said it best, “What better way to put the Ravens out of the tournament?”

What has discouraged me are all the excuses I have been hearing from Raven fans and Steelers haters following the game suggesting that the Ravens gave this one away and that the referees made a lot of bad calls.

Being a Steelers fan, I should be use to it by now.

Every team that loses has given the game away. That is because they were not as good as the team they were playing.

The Steelers were clearly the better team in this one.

The bye week definitely took its toll as the Steelers struggled to get back into the swing of things in the first half and gave Baltimore the big early lead.

It’s nothing that Baltimore did on their own, as they only mustered 96 yards of offense through the third quarter, and that is when they were supposedly ‘controlling the game'.

I believe the Steelers were controlling the game the entire time. Their play determined the momentum and score. They gave Baltimore hope in the first half and just as quickly took it away in the second half.

Here are a few statistics for all you number lovers to wrap your minds around.

The Steelers had nearly twice as many first downs, over twice as many rushing yards, over twice as many passing yards and over ten minutes more in time of possession!

Roethlisberger had two touchdowns and zero interceptions and a QB rating of over 100 while Flacco had one touchdown, one interception and sported a QB rating of 58!

Both teams had 2 fumbles, so as far as giving anything away, both teams did their part.

The Steelers did what they needed to take the victory. It surely was not handed to them in any way.

Pittsburgh’s defense held Baltimore to under 130 yards of total offense. And Roethlisberger did enough on offense to overcome a 21-7 half time deficit, which included a missed field goal and the free seven points to Baltimore from the dead ball play.

That brings Ben’s record against Baltimore since the 2006 season to 7-0, including two big playoff games.

The only time Pittsburgh lost to Baltimore in that span of time is when Ben did not play. Flacco is winless against Ben, yet Baltimore continues to get more respect. Why is that?

The Steelers have made it to five AFC Championships in the past ten seasons. They have won two out of the past five super bowls and have a chance of making it three out of the past six!

Many teams would love to make it to a single conference championship game, let alone one every other season for ten years. There are 32 teams in the NFL fighting to get there every season. That is a feat that should not be overlooked or taken lightly.

How many teams would love to win a single super bowl? Well, how about doing it every other year for six years? And would it take more than just a lucky team to accomplish that?

Of course it would. It would take a great team to accomplish it.

I am tired of hearing how it is bad calls on the part of the referees that cause Pittsburgh to win, and how it was bad calls that gave them their fifth super bowl win against Seattle.

News flash- Every team plays with the same referees and the very same rules. You win some, you lose some. You get some calls, you don't get others.

I am so sick of hearing how the Steelers won their sixth super bowl because they got to play an easy team.

News flash- Arizona beat every single team that the NFC had to offer. A bad team is not going to make it to the big show.

I also can live without hearing how the teams the Steelers play never seem to play up to their ability and somehow give the Steelers the win.

How many more excuses can one come up with to avoid having to admit how good the Steelers really are?

Nearly everyone outside of Pittsburgh predicted they would be lucky to finish the season at .500. Some even went as far as saying they would finish last in their division, even behind the Browns.

Those same people are the ones now using those excuses to try and help explain away why they were wrong.

Here’s an idea, how about just accept that you were wrong and give credit where credit is due.

To continue denying the Steelers the respect they deserve is only hurting your cause. The Steelers love proving their doubters wrong, and they are more successful at it than any other team.

 In finishing, I am going to quote Hines Ward for a third time as he surely has a way with words…

 “They’re going to be ticked about this for a long time.”  

 It's us against the world baby! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.


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