The entire city of Pittsburgh just had Thanksgiving early. We feasted in fine fashion.
The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens 43-23. It wasn’t that the Steelers won that is noteworthy. It was the way that the Steelers won. The Steelers beat Baltimore like they were in a third world country.
On a night when the Steelers retired “Mean” Joe Greene’s No. 75, the Steelers played good old-fashioned Steelers football. They played smash-mouth, intimidating, and blisteringly furious football. The game was vintage. I didn’t know that when we turned back the clocks an hour, we would be turning back time. Vintage Brilliance.
Quick recap. The first quarter started and the Ravens were imposing their will on the Steelers and the Steelers offense was not in rhythm. The second quarter started and Ben got sacked three times on three consecutive plays. It wasn’t pretty. And then the Steelers defense started playing like they had good sense. They forced a fumble and an interception. James Harrison led the defense with two sacks, four brutalizing hits on Flacco and protected the house long enough for the offense to awaken. He was brilliant.
Finally, the offense got in rhythm. Scratch that. Our running game was nonexistent. But Ben Roethlisberger shook off those hard jolting hits and played like he was teaching a clinic on how to be Hall of Fame quarterback. After the second quarter the game was never in doubt.
For the second week in a row, Roethlisberger threw for six touchdowns. This time to five different targets. Now that takes superior skill. Every receiver was chomping at the bit trying to be the next player to get in the end zone. It was gloriously fun to see him make history.
“I don’t think any of us are surprised by anything he does,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of Roethlisberger. “We have been looking at it for some time.”
The 12 touchdown passes over the last two games broke the mark of 11 set by Tom Flores for Oakland in the AFL in 1963 and matched by New England’s Tom Brady in 2007. Congrats, Ben. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that your contract year is next year. Nothing at all. Just you playing some beautiful football. Excellent work.
Meanwhile, the Raven’s quarterback, Joe Flacco got hit so many times that he wasn’t even looking downfield anymore. He was just curling up trying to protect himself from the rushes, sacks, and hurries. Flacco was sacked four times, threw an interception, hit numerously and felt pressure all night. It was not a night to remember for him. Instead, it is one that he will happily try to forget.
I was watching Flacco get hit like I was a fat kid in a free candy line. It was delectable. That was how Pittsburgh Steelers are supposed to play football. The Ravens’ defense was angry and trying to fight. It was cute. Grown men acting like children because their pride was hurt.
When the Steeler lost to Cleveland Browns earlier, they were last in their division and sitting at 3-3. Currently, the Steelers are second in their division and are 6-3. They are ahead of Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. Order is being restored.
Next week, the Steelers play the New York Jets (1-8). Now that’s going to be some fine dining.
(Source for this story was AP)
Alexis Sara Cobb may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (724) 561-8082 Follow her on Twitter: @alexissara