The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Central Maryland area, owing to the incessant crying of Baltimore Ravens fans following their team’s 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I went to check the game box score and unfortunately, it had a comment section. You should see all the whining and crying about the officiating, but I can’t fault the Rattie fans too badly… it’s all they have left. They don’t dare call out their team for playing sloppy, reckless, undisciplined football.
The Ravens committed 11 penalties for 113 yards and every goddamned one of them was a legitimate call. If they don’t want the calls, then don’t commit the penalties. Don’t grab hold of receivers 5 yards past the line of scrimmage. Don’t plow into guys 3 seconds after the play goes the other way, or when the runner is 5 yards out of bounds. Don’t pull guy’s jerseys up over their heads when they’re running down the field trying to tackle. Don’t climb on a receiver’s back like he’s wearing you as a backpack. Just don’t do that stupid shit and the penalty problem goes away.
Oh, and catch the ball instead of letting it clank off your facemask when you’re open by 5 yards in the end zone. Derek Mason (and Rashard Mendenhall) need to heed that well.
While the Ratbird fans babble about beating themselves for every loss, this is one time where it’s close to the truth. Stupid penalties and dropped balls doomed their game, that and Lamar Woodley coming around end to whack Flacco. Flacco is going to be seeing Woodley in his sleep.
One to the game notes:
* Early Steeler drives were halted by the Steelers themselves, due to errant passes and dropped balls. Farrior’s interception return deep into Ravens territory only resulted in 3 points, after Mendy dropped one right in his hands, at the goal line.
* Stefan Logan finally earned his keep with 4 kick returns for 129 yards. The Ratbirds started pooch kicking to avoid him.
* Ben was his usual escape-artist self when faced with the rush. The Ratties weren’t facing our 3rd stringer this time; they drew the gunslinger. I just wish he would have been a little more accurate today. He threw into the feet of a number of open receivers. But it was a Pro Bowl play when he recognized the “Freedom” he had when the Rats jumped offside and hit
William Mike Wallace on a 50-yard bomb from his own 6-yard line.
* Where’s Hines? Hines Ward was tearing it up early, taking first time starting corner Carr to school. Then he disappeared… I assume his hammy was acting up but nothing was ever mentioned by the announcers. I didn’t notice until someone named Grisham made his first career catch. I was like, “Who the hell is he?” The announcers said he just came up from the practice squad. So late, all we could put on the field was Santonio, Wallace and this Grisham guy. I even saw our fullback/tight end Johnson downfield on a pattern. I hope Hines is good to go next week for the ‘Phins game. We need all our guns.
* Ben directed a killer 2-minute drill, marching from the 3-yard line down to score in a minute and thirty seconds. In fact, it was a false start penalty that put them back to the 3. This is where all the Ratbird-fan whining about the fix being in falls apart. The Steelers may have only been called for 4 penalties, but 1 put them on the 3 and 2 other calls erased sacks by the defense. I don’t know why I even address that stuff… it’s not like you reason with the deluded.
* The dreaded 4th quarter defense showed up early in the 3rd quarter, when the Ratties ran 22 plays to 4 for the Steelers. It’s a wonder they only scored 10 although much of the credit goes to the Rats’ own ineptitude and undisciplined play. That said, the D came through in the 4th, with a lot of pressure on Flacco. In fact, he was pretty well harassed all day and hit quite a number of times. Joe’s going to need a little extra time in the hot tub tomorrow.
* Self-defeating to the bitter end, Rats pick off a late pass and return it about 50 yards only to have it called back on an illegal contact penalty. Undo! Undo! And yes, it most certainly was a penalty. This is something only the Ratties can fix. Second-year coach John Harbaugh has his work cut out for him to change the culture of his team; that culture being, “play reckless and undisciplined and blame everyone else for the bad penalties.”
* I almost wish I was going to work Monday, just to argue with the faithful and celebrate with the underground, secret society of Steeler fans there. OK, maybe not so secret… These are shots of my office cube from after last year’s AFC Championship Game:
Cuz I’m all about the subtlety, you know. (Note: that is NOT a Browns helmet in the corner there... that's the helmet of my alma mater, the Bowling Green State University Falcons.)
Now, on to the Penguins game at 7:00… Let’s Go Pens!