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bruce arians
billy cundiff
pittsburgh steelers
ben roethlisberger
yard field goal
bad memories
Ravens Doing Damage Sweep Steelers
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Ravens Doing Damage Sweep Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers were trying to erase the bad memories that were imprinted on them opening night by the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens beat the snot out of the Steelers that night, but Big Ben and crew haven't been the same team since then either. After starting the season 2-2 and getting beaten by teams that were thought to be passing them in the standings. They were said to be old and slow and no longer able to compete at the highest level.

Winning five games in a row changed that perception a little bit before last night's battle. Ben Roethlisberger was on a blistering tear over his last several games. He threw for five touchdowns against the Titans, and has now passed for over 300 yards in three consecutive games, a record for a Pittsburgh QB. Rashard Mendenhall was shut down by the Ravens defense, as they usually do, and only contributed 52 yards on 13 carries. This offense has become the Ben & Mike show almost on a weekly basis, and there are no signs that O Coordinator Bruce Arians has shown any signs of changing things.

The Steelers were down 10 coming into the fourth quarter, and that's when they kicked it into gear. Mendenhall scored on a short 1 yard run early in the fourthto trim the lead to 16-13. With less than five minutes to go, Big Ben hit Wallace for a 25 yard strike and the go ahead touchdown. At this point they appeared to be in control of a game that they desperately needed, more for their psyche than their record. Pittsburgh's defense held one more time, which gave them a chance to take a 7 point lead with a Shaun Suisham 47 yard field goal attempt. A delay of game penalty pushed it back five yards forcing a punt. That play would come back to haunt them.

Baltimore and Billy Cundiff were the difference nearly the entire game, as his three field goals were the only points the Ravens would score until late in the third period. Ray Rice who has punished the Steeler defense of late, was held to 43 yards on 18 attempts, a poor effort for the all-world Rice. Flacco was going to have to win this one on his own, and he did. He hit Anquan Boldin 7 times for 88 yards, and threw a would be game clinchingTDto rookie Torrey Smith that glanced off of his fingers in the waning moments of the game. Five plays later, Smith wasn't going to let this one fall. He corralled it in for the go ahead score with 8 seconds left to go and a 23-20 win in their pocket.

Baltimore and Pittsburgh exchanged places in the tight AFC North picture, and now sit atop at 6-2 while the Steelers are a half game back at 6-3. Conventional thinking says that this is a two team race, but the upstart Cincinnati Bengals are tied at the top with the same 6-2 record as the Ravens. This is going to be an interdivisional scrum all the way to the end, as both teams, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, both play the Bengals twice before the season ends. Those head to head matchups will determine who is going to reign supreme in the toughest division in football.


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