Ravens week. The week the Steelers battle their evil twins. Every little Baltimore mention in the media this week gets under my skin, where normally I can ignore the blather. For example, Ray-Ray was introduced on Mike and Mike this morning as "Future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis." He just snickered and said "How are you guys doing?" Ugh. Really? He's not in yet, so can we put the gold jacket back on the hanger? I'm sure Ray-Ray will put on 40+lbs after he retires, so that jacket everyone is fitting him for might need to be let out a bit. He also continued the usual Baltimore whining about the refs. He starts talking about this week's matchup at the 6:30 mark. Listen at the risk to your lunch.
Anyway, to get a feel for our nemesis, I started drinking early this afternoon and then pointed my browser towards Baltimore Beatdown. I wanted to see what the Ravens faithful (followers? Posse? Groupies?) thought about their 2-1 team. I wasn't surprised when the analysis wasn't that deep. Take a shot or five and follow me over the jump.
Baltimore fans supply today's blinding flash of the obvious. They realize that the Ravens thrive when they get turnovers for their offense to work on a short field. Wow. I just didn't know that was the secret to successful football. I mean, the seven turnovers the Steelers got against Tennessee didn't have anything to do with our victory, and Brett Keisel's TAINT last game wasn't important at all. (Not to mention a certain safety's play two years ago. Had to put that in.)
Anyway, snark aside, the Raven fans are worried about their defense and ineffective running game. Here's an example link. From the post,
Here is the bottom line on the Ravens substandard stats to date.
1. The -6 Turnover Ratio (Worst in the league?)
2. Flacco’s 66.3 QB Rating (27th in league)
3. Offense 89 rushing yards per game (23rd in league)
4. Defense giving up 127.7 rushing yards per game (22nd in league)
5. Defense having five (5) total sacks (tied for 18th in league)
Arg, these guys still sound like us last year. Complaining about a lack of sacks, poor rushing, bad play calling and what happens to their pass D when the all-world safety is out of the lineup. Giving up too much offense to the Cleveland Browns. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
So, to beat the Ravens, we have to game plan against ourselves with Troy out of the lineup. How did other teams beat us last year? Short passes off 3 step drops. No turnovers. Keep our D on the field and tire them out. Get them frustrated into stupid mistakes and penalties. Convert 3rd downs. Did I mention no turnovers? (I'm looking at you, Chaz Batch. Let's be real; you got lucky Mike '60 minutes' Wallace bailed you out a few times. Let's not try to be lucky again this week, huh? We'll settle for very good.)
Wow. That's real in-depth analysis, I know. But nobody said this game has to be so complicated. After all, Dennis Dixon almost beat these guys last year, but what killed the Steelers? A turnover in OT. Don't lose the physical battle and hold onto the ball and the Steelers will be looking at (shhhhhh) 4-0.