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Flacco and the Offense Folds in Nightmare Second Half in Pittsburgh


On a day when he had the chance to turn the corner against his biggest rival, Ravens QB Joe Flacco folded like a deck of cards as Baltimore once again was unable to put away their biggest rival in a 31-24 loss.

Flacco looked like he was finally going to get past his rivals, as he helped the team get to a 21-7 halftime lead. He did a solid job in the first half, throwing for 12-of-18 for 82 yards and a TD. His TD to Todd Heap came after a Rashard Mendenhall fumble, and the crowd at Heinz Field was silent as it looked like the season was going to come to a close.

Then came his downfall – the second half.

The Steelers defense made adjustments, and after the Steelers offense was unable to move the ball on their first drive, they punted to the Baltimore offense. After a sack and short run, Flacco completed a pass to Ray Rice, but he fumbled the ball. The Steelers fell on it, and two plays later scored to get within a TD at 21-14.

After a Ravens 3-and-out, the Steelers had a drive going but eventually had to punt. Then came Flacco’s next miscue, as he was looking deep for Heap, and overthrew him. Ryan Clark came over from his safety spot, making the pick which set up the teams tying score to make it 21 all.

Another Ravens drive, another Flacco mistake. The QB couldn’t get a clean snap from center Matt Birk, fumbling the ball which was recovered by the Steelers at the Ravens 23.

The rest of the half was a struggle as well for Flacco and the Ravens offense. The team was able to put a short drive together after a good punt return to set up a Billy Cundiff field goal to tie the game at 24.

Then after the Steelers went on the game-winning drive, Flacco had one last shot to save his teams season. He was incomplete on first and second down, sacked on third down, and on fourth down wide out T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped a pass that would have continued the teams drive.

The gruesome numbers for Flacco in the second half – 4-of-12 passes for 43 yards and an interception and a fumble, and he was a big part of the team blowing a two touchdown lead as the Steelers outscored the Ravens 24-3 in the second half.

The Steelers continue to give Flacco nightmares. In three seasons with the Ravens, Flacco is 2-6 against Pittsburgh, and is 0-for-6 against his AFC North rival QB – Ben Roethlisberger.

“We had a good year this year. It’s just disappointing when you come up short,” said Flacco. “You feel like you have a team that can move on and win the Super Bowl. We have a special locker room, and guys are going to be disappointed. I’m disappointed.

“It’s tough to lose these kind of games, especially when you feel the way you feel about those guys. And how we felt as a team this year, which was pretty darn good. We felt we couldn’t be stopped at times.”

The turnovers turned the game around, but so did the inability for the Ravens to do anything with the ball in the last 30 minutes. Houshmandzadeh’s ended the game, but another drop, that of Anquan Boldin in the end zone, cost the team the ability to go up 28-24 with less than four minutes remaining. On the day the QB finished 16-for-30 for 125 yards.

One has to wonder just how much the Steelers are in Flacco’s head. For he and the Ravens, this one will for sure sting for quite some time.

“We don’t feel good about this one,” Flacco said. “When you look at those turnovers ? and then you could look at it and say we beat ourselves.”


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36 Responses to “Flacco and the Offense Folds in Nightmare Second Half in Pittsburgh”

  1. We can start with Flacco and work your way down to all the skill players. Rice fumbles, Boldin drops a TD, Housch drops a critical pass that would have been a first down and on and on.

    The Steelers have players that step up and make plays, while the Ravens come up short.

    When you can stop a 3rd and 18 when you rush 3 and drop 8 that’s not coaching that’s execution. And at that point you deserve to lose.

  2. Will says:

    It’s not fair nor a mark of journalistic integrity to blame flacco entirely ….. Rice’s fumble or two dropped passes that were on the money?? Come on man!!!!

  3. Pete says:

    Rivalry??? Steelers own the Ravens. Other than the disgust factor, there really isn’t much to call a rivalry anymore. Why all the shock about the 2nd- half collapse? It’s been that way all year! Absolutely inexcusable.

  4. spockmckoy says:

    Flacko is the new D. McNabb — good enough during the year; not good enough in the playoffs……Steelers fight till the end.

  5. Steve says:

    Rice fumbles, TJ and Bouldin drop critical passes and those things are Flacco’s fault? Really? Win as a team, lose as a team. Ravens just don’t make the plays the Steelers do

  6. Pete says:

    Not flacco fault,drops did it.

  7. Pete says:

    Great defense on both sides. Flacco and ravens,Typical of Mc Nabb and grossman , can’t win the big ones.

  8. Pete says:

    he he he he!

  9. Mark says:

    I love the Ravens. To make them better Harbaugh has to make the tough, but right decision, to fire Cam Cameron. He’s taken the offense as far as he can. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fire-Cam-Cameron-Now/126745340724335?created#!/pages/Fire-Cam-Cameron-Now/126745340724335?v=info

  10. greg jones says:

    Where the murder Ray lewis mouth now??????????????

  11. Joe says:

    How about its nobody’s fault. My Steelers just OWN the Ravens. Especially in the Post Season. How many of you poor excuse for “A Fan” will hop off the bus now?

    Steeler fans bleed black and gold weather we win or lose. And thats why our team steps it up. For STEELER NATION!

    What do you have?

  12. Joe, you deserved the win. The Steelers made plays when they need to while my Ravens don’t.

    But your comments about true fandom bore me. It’s another reason why I can’t stand Steelers fans. They are simply clueless.

    • Joe says:

      Matt, you seem to be the exception to the Ravens fan base. And I applaud you for that.

      As for Steeler fans being clueless, I quess we just don’t know what a true winning team is. (6 super bowls). And I guess we chased our team out of town, oh no that was the Baltimore Colts and your Baltimore fans.

      So next week I will be watching MY TEAM the original Pittsburgh franchise, and six time super bowl champion STEELERS play for the AFC championship. Even if they don’t make the super bowl, I won’t be clueless on knowing that some of the raven fans that were cheering yesterday won’t be there until they jump back on the bus later in the season, (IF its a winning season for you)

      God bless you

      • Tony says:

        Joe, give it up. I’ve finally realized it’s not going to do any good tying to educate the inexperienced. They have only been at it since ’96., and most of the fan base since 2000. The best way for them to learn is by putting their ‘melly feet in their mouths year after year. I’m 53 years old and have been a Steelers fan for 53 years and 9 months. Growing up in the ‘Burgh we didn’t have any opposition, and yinz still don’t. These raven fans will learn once they’re tired of looking foolish when they shoot their mouths off prior to a game and making excuses after they lose.

    • chuck says:

      Matty, boy, enjoy a winter without further Ratbird football. If you can’t win when spotted 14, well….

  13. Joe says:

    Well said Tony. Its almost as if we are brothers by the thought process.

  14. Dave says:

    Rothlisberger is a winner, the Steelers are a tough team, and Heinz field is a rough place to play for opposing teams. As a die-hard Ravens fan who attended the game yesterday, I must say that I was very impressed with the “show” the Steeler organization put on at Heinz field. They do a great job marketing the tough, hard-nosed persona that the Steelers have earned on the field over the decades. They also do a fantastic job keeping the fans pumped up – and I think it played a major role in the Ravens’ meltdown during the second half of the game. You could literally feel it slipping away from the Ravens. So kudos to the Steelers for making the critical plays and to the “good” fans for keeping them stoked.

    All that said, I will never bring my family to another game at Heinz field. During the game, my wife and 11-year old son were repeatedly pelted with cups, beer, and a constant river of the most foul-mouthed filth I’ve ever heard. After she came out of the restroom in tears (I had to escort her to the door), my wife wouldn’t tell me what happened at the time because she didn’t want our son to hear it. On our way out, my wife got spit on, and my son got shoved to the ground by a grown man (bad choice on his part).

    I expect to be heckled when I go to a visiting stadium. Hell, it’s the right thing to do! Fans should be vocal and supportive, but when it gets foul, physical or the targets are women and children, I draw the line.

    To be sure, there are hooligans at every venue, but never in my 30+ years of attending NFL and NCAA football games have I ever experienced such complete and utter human garbage than I did yesterday in Pittsburgh.

    Congratulations to the Steelers on the big victory. You earned it; the better team won. As for your fans, forgive me if I don’t share the same respect.

    • The Tony says:

      First of all Dave, the vulgarity that you experienced yesterday occurs in every stadium. Dave you probably should have stayed home with your family because you can not expect to go into a bitter rivals stadium during the playoffs and not get tormented. I am truly sorry for what happened to your family, but next time you might want to just stay home or not wear purple in Heinz Field

      • Dave says:

        Thank you, Tony, for your regards, but as for the rest of this response, I respectfully disagree. Verbal jousting among adults, is common – I stated that. I expect it and support it. Physical abuse directed at women and children by the likes of drunken Neanderthals is NOT acceptable anywhere. Except, apparently, in Steeler Nation, where this is simply classified as “torment”.

        The sense of entitlement exhibited by certain groups of fans is a fascinating phenomenon. Not only does their team’s victory illustrate the superiority of the fan base, but it justifies their uncivilized behavior.

        Fascinating.

  15. What you said happened to your family should never occur. However, its not any different for a Steeler fan in Baltimore, I’ve been to Raven games. If I remember correctly, Tony Siragusa was encouraging fans to beat up Steeler fans in the restrooms. Rooney would not have let a player say such a thing.

  16. I try to be gracious in defeat and you still want to take shots.

    Once again gentlemen you have no clue about the torment and horror of having your team ripped away from you. It also shows how little you know about the situation. I’d be happy to deliver a history lesson but I fear it would be lost on you. So here’s the short of it.

    As soon as Bob Irsay traded the Rams with Carol Rosenbloom in 1972 for ownership of the Colts he wanted to move the team. It had nothing to do with a supposed non-support of the team. He systematically dismanteled the club and still the first 4 home dates were sellouts in 1982 – how’s that for non-support. He went on local tv drunk and delivered a 14 minute speech laced with expletives about how he would never move the team even though he had met with officials in Arizona and Indianapolis. Of course weeks later he moved under the cover of darkness and left for Indy.

    Good luck beating the Jets.

    • The Tony says:

      Here is another History lesson.

      The Pirates have 18 consecutive losing seasons. We know what its like to have a rich history and now just simply defeat.

  17. You can’t compare a team that was taken with one that simply makes no secret about not wanting to compete. They are still there and so is the history. Johnny Unitas is listed as an Indianapolis Colt in the Hall of Fame – it’s insulting. If you want to compare the Pirates to a team then let me show you the Orioles. Another Baltimore team that has been sabotaged by worthless ownership.

    And what’s the average attendance at a Pirates game these days?

    That’s why your comments about true fandom are foolish. The Steelers are always in the mix that’s why they are constantly supported. You think if they had a run of 18 years on non playoff football that they’d still be so popular?

    By the way didn’t the Penguins almost fold – twice?

    So please, this idea that Pittsburgh fans are the best around just doesn’t wash.

    • The Tony says:

      The Penguins almost folded due to poor ownership with their lack of money, not lack of interest. In the final hour a man stepped up that you may have heard of… Mario Lemieux bought the Penguins. Since then we have been to two consecutive Cups winning one.

      The Pirates last season attendance ranked 25th in the MLB, two spots above the 27th O’s.

      We are still the City of Champions.

      Enjoy eating your crab cakes whilst you dwell with your defeat as the Steelers win their 7th Lombardi Trophy!

  18. Once again the record must be set straight.

    I asked you to show your work.

    Here’s mine:
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

    2010 attendance

    Orioles 21,662
    Pittsburgh 19,918

    Overall

    Orioles 1,733,018
    Pittsburgh 1,613, 399

    The NHL also gave you Sydney Crosby.

    Good luck beating a team that already proved they can beat you at Heinz.

    • The Tony says:

      Really Matt? Yes the Jets did beat the Steelers. However we played without Troy, and Matt you should know more than anyone the importance of having Troy on the field. Also there was a no pass interference call on Sanders in the endzone which would have given the Steelers the win that was not called. I can not sit here and make excuses for a loss though. Just like Ben beating the Ravens, we beat the JETS seven straight at home.

      How did the NHL give us Crosby? Can you please elaborate?

      Yet somehow the Pirates rank 25th in attendance while the O’s 27th

      BTW, How are the Terps fairing out in Hoops this year?

  19. Yes I do. I think Troy is a tremendous ball player. I’m also amazed that the Steelers defense becomes so beatable when he doesn’t play.

    If you think that a lottery can’t be manipulated then you’re more naive than I thought. The NBA does the same thing. The Pens needed a draw and they got in Crosby.

    BTW – I’ll go slow. Click the link above. It shows that you’re wrong. The Orioles are above the Pirates in both average attendance and overall attendance for 2010.

    The Terps since you brought it up are doing just fine considering they lost 3 of 5 starters (75% of scoring) and still manage to compete with Top 25 teams on a regular basis. I can only guess that you cheer for Pitt which plays the ugliest style of ball in the college game. Playing games in the 50’s is beautiful to watch.

  20. And can’t win a title.

    I’ll always savor 2002. Fear the Turtle!

    • The Tony says:

      I agree Pitt Hoops are major choke artists. However The Terps haven’t been relevant since 2002.

      Lets just agree that Its going to be a Pitt-MD National Championship

      and

      Buccos vs O’s World Series

  21. Dave says:

    They won the ACC last season going 24-9 and lost on a buzzer beater to MSU or they would have gone to the Sweet Sixteen.

    I relish the Maryland championship because I know they will never get back there again. So agreed on that point.

    My WS will be if the O’s get to .500 this season. By no means a safe bet.

    • curt says:

      Dave I’m sorry to hear about your experience at Heinz Field. I don’t care for any behavior like that. I’m a die hard Steeler fan I root for my team thick or thin, but to verbally or physically assault somebody because they root for the opposing team is absolutely rediculous. What has happened to the fabric of our society for people to act like this, it really shows what class they have. To me these are not real fans they are radicals. Real fans respect the game of football and respect their fellow man no matter what team they support, its called sportmanship. What ever happened to a good hand shake and may the best team win mentality. This is one reason I don,t attend games people get hammered and start acting like morons.

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