Saturday, January 15, 2011

Playoff Recap: Ravens/Steelers

Let's get this weekend's action started.  First up is the much anticipated heavyweight fight of NFC North powerhouses (sorry, Cincy and Cleveland, but I'm not near at all talking about you).

1.  The Steelers defender mauls Todd Heap.  No flag.  The next possession, Mike Wallace engages in what I'd argue is about as textbook an offensive pass interference as there is, and there is a flag for defensive pass interference?  I'm getting a bit of a premonition that the refs are going to be deciding this game.  I hope I'm wrong.

2.  The E-Trade babies are frickin' hilarious.

3.  PLAY TO THE WHISTLE.  On the play with the fumble, I yelled "Live ball!  Pick it up!"  Way too many people were standing around picking their proverbial asses with no whistle anywhere in sight (in sound?).  Anyway, finally, someone picked it up (Redding).  Again, why am I not a coach?

4.  I will NOT mess with Sasquatch.  Thanks to Jack Links Beef Jerkey for the public service announcement.

5.  Lose the turnover battle = Go home.  (Update: This was originally written for Pittsburgh, but now it's for Baltimore).

6.  Uh oh...You can't tell me I didn't call it.  The holding call on the punt return touchdown might be the single worst holding call I've ever seen in my many years of football watching.  That cost the Ravens 4 points.  Unbelievable.  Just...Beyond the realm of belief.

7.  The Steelers are deep in Ravens territory trying to take the lead near the 2 minute warning.  The holding call on the Ravens defensive lineman was pretty bad.  When I saw the flag, I yelled, "They finally saw the hold on the Steelers RT."  Apparently not.  BS Automatic first down for Pittsburgh.  (Update: They scored on 3rd down.  That would have been a field goal if not for that holding call.  I hate it when refs decide outcomes.)

8.  I can't understand why Baltimore hasn't taken more shots down the field (have they even taken one yet?) to try to keep the defense honest and open things up?

9.  Well, I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if the refs hadn't given the Steelers a free four points with the bad hold and hadn't docked the Ravens four points on the garbage hold call on the punt return.  By my estimation, it would have been a whole different ballgame.  While Baltimore didn't necessarily deserve to win after blowing such a halftime lead and turning the ball over drive after drive, I think they have a pretty legitimate gripe with the way the officiating was conducted.  In the biggest situations, the refs seemed to have given breaks to Pittsburgh (Corollary: They did so at Baltimore's expense).

Up next: Green Bay at Atlanta.


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