Steelers/Ravens Post-game Report
The Steelers absolutely dominated the Baltimore Ravens in their own building last night.� The Ravens are a highly regarded, defending Super bowl champion team that has now been physically dominated twice this year by your Pittsburgh Steelers.� This is no fluke; this is not luck nor is it the end of the story.� The Steelers should have sent notice to every team in this league that they are the ones to beat in the AFC.� Not since the first game of the year when the Steelers found themselves in a funk against the Jags have the Steelers even been remotely outclassed in a football game.� Key observations:
As mentioned earlier in the year, Kordell Stewart is having a Pro-Bowl season.� There is not another QB in the AFC that I would rather having playing or the Steelers.� Wow!� What one QB coach can do for a young man is beyond me. Stewart has been receiving constant tutelage on his bad habits and shortcomings and constant reinforcement on his finer abilities the entire year.� It has paid off in a huge way.� Players like Stewart, Brain Griese and Jeff Garcia are clear examples that most QBs coming into the league need to be developed.� For four years I have been gripping about a QB coach � the end result of now actually having one is nothing short of astounding.
The Offiating in the game last night was perhaps the worst I�ve seen all year.� The officials were for too much a factor in the outcome of this game, but they themselves cannot be blamed.� There is no doubt that with all of the trash talking that went on this week, Paul Tagliabue sent a league directive to the officiating crew to keep this game under wraps and to watch for �Taunting� or what it deems as negative behavior.� This is not a league for the rearing of little girls � these are grown, professional men playing in the National Football League.� The penalties for �Taunting� that were called came at very bad times and were by no means egregious.� But once the officials started on the road of calling an extra tight game, there was no turning back.� Furthermore, all NFL games are quickly becoming overly concerned about protecting players � especially the QB.� The NFL should be a league that not only rewards aggressive behavior, it should encourage it.� Physical domination and intimidation are at the essence of football, always have been, always will be.� The league is attempting to control something they shouldn�t and really can�t control.� This is why the officials are liable to have an adverse impact at critical junctures during the game.� I would hate to see the two very subjective calls made last night made in the Super Bowl�
The Special teams play of the Steelers last night was the worst performance of any unit in recent history.� Brown kicking the ball to the 20-yard line and the coverage unit allowing a minimum of 20 yards per return is unforgivable.� The Punt coverage was just as lax � allowing huge chinks of yardage to keep the Ravens in the game.�� Perhaps it would be better to just kick the ball out of bounds on all kick-offs and punts.� Fortunately, the Steeler defense held the Raven offense in check, but a better offense in the playoffs won�t be so accommodating.
Speaking of Brown and his kickoffs, the Steelers should attempt to bring in a new kicker and Kris Brown should be waived.� It won�t matter if Brown makes his next 10 field goals leading all the way to the Super Bowl.� His head is gone wide right.� The next critical field goal that Brown has will be in the playoffs and all of those misses will come flooding back into Browns psyche at exactly that point in time.� The Steelers cannot afford to pin the post-season hopes on the foot of Kris Brown.� If they do, Steeler fans everywhere could be very disappointed in January.
The Steeler defense was awesome once again for a good portion of this game.� The run blitzing was especially encouraging to see, as was the Steelers ability to hold Shannon Sharpe in check all night.� The Steeler defense once again fell into a funk at the end of the game.� How many times this season have the Steelers meekly took the field with a few minutes to play and allowed opposing teams the luxury of a red carpet to the end-zone.� How many more on-side kicks will it take before one is recovered and the Steelers suddenly find themselves a fluke play away form going home in January?� The killer instinct does not exist in this football team.� It needs to come from somewhere soon or the Steelers will risk true success when it counts most � in the postseason.
The Steeler wide receivers are among the best in football.� Can this be true?� They do a fine job of running routes and getting open, but they also do an excellent job in the running game.� It was Burress� turn last night for the most part until Shaw hit the deep seam route down the middle to exclamate what was an awesome performance by the Steeler receivers.
Though there are some problems with this team, they are few and far between.� The Steelers are simply better than most teams in the NFL.� The Ravens, an upper echelon team, has been physically dominated twice by the Steelers.� Steelers domination will continue straight into the playoffs. I�ve heard comments around the NFL that �New England is not a team you want to play�� or the �Saints could beat some people in the playoffs�.� These type of ridiculous comments surface every year, but no one wants to talk about the prospect of facing the Steelers.� Woe to those teams that must face the Steelers for they will not survive for very long.� The Men of Steel are well on their way.