NFL Nation: MNF4 Ravens

Ravens-Steelers in overtime

September, 30, 2008

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Surprised?

Well, you shouldn't be.

The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have staged a tremendous, physical battle in front of a national audience and it's going to take five periods to settle this one.

Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco led a nine-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to tie the score at 20-20 near the four-minute mark. Both teams exchanged possessions and were unable to score before the end of regulation.

Let's see how this one finishes out.

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- The faithful in Heinz Field needed a lift and they got one courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh scored on back-to-back plays from the line of scrimmage when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected on a 38-yard touchdown to Santonio Holmes, and Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley returned a Joe Flacco fumble for a score to give the Steelers a 17-13 lead.

Flacco had been very composed up until that first mistake. Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison forced the fumble.

After a quiet two quarters, Heinz Field is rocking.

Did Flacco just do that?

September, 29, 2008

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco might have made the play of the week in the AFC North.

On a third down in the third quarter, Flacco scrambled to the left sideline, then changed directions and scrambled all the way to the right sideline and fired a 26-yard completion to receiver Derrick Mason.

Baltimore punted three plays later, but Flacco's play was still impressive.

In other news, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie tailback Rashard Mendenhall has a left shoulder injury after banging it on a running play in the third quarter. His return is questionable. Pittsburgh is already down a tailback with Willie Parker (knee) inactive.

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- The Baltimore Ravens lead the Pittsburgh Steelers 13-3 in front a quiet and somewhat shocked crowd at Heinz Field. Baltimore won the field position battle in the first half and was able to turn it into points.

Here are some halftime observations:

  • Both of these teams are doing a lot of jawing, which was expected. Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes and Ravens linebacker Antwan Barnes were flagged for offsetting personal foul penalties after briefly trading blows in the first quarter. Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither also earned a personal foul penalty.
  • In the first half, it appears these two teams are racing to see who can get the most hits on the opposing quarterbacks. The Steelers and Ravens are bringing a lot of pressure and so far it has resulted in four sacks and several more hits on quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco.
  • Speaking of Flacco, he looks solid playing in his first NFL road game. He's composed and the coaching staff hasn't been afraid to let him take shots downfield. Flacco's led three scoring drives in the first half, including a four-yard touchdown pass. Overall he's completed 12-of-21 passes for 106 yards.
  • There were two significant injuries right before halftime. Baltimore tailback Willis McGahee has an unspecified injury, and Pittsburgh starting guard Kendall Simmons hurt his right ankle. Simmons' return is doubtful.

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- The big stage doesn't look too big for Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco.

In his first NFL road game, Flacco led his team to its first scoring drive near the end of the first quarter, which was capped by Matt Stover's 33-yard field goal. The Ravens and Steelers are tied 3-3 in the second quarter.

The Steelers are pressuring often and the Ravens are picking up the rush and allowing Flacco some time to operate. Still, this has been a defensive struggle where teams are trading punts.

It will be interesting to see if Flacco can keep his composure in the hostile environment of Heinz Field for four quarters.

Reed, Steelers strike first

September, 29, 2008

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Reed hit a 49-yard field goal to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 3-0 lead over the Baltimore Ravens.

Heinz Field can be a tough place to kick. But it's early in the season and the field conditions are ideal, Reed nailed the kick with room to spare.

The field goal capped an 11-play, 45-yard scoring drive by the Steelers, who are winning the field position game right now. Both of Baltimore's possessions began inside the 20 and the team has gone three-and-out both times.

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- One play. One injury.

Pittsburgh Steelers backup linebacker Andre Frazier was immobilized and taken off the field following the opening kickoff of tonight's game between the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.

The injury was announced as a spine injury. It halted play for about 15 minutes.

Steelers legends honored

September, 29, 2008

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- 20 former Pittsburgh Steelers were honored before tonight's kickoff against the Baltimore Ravens.

Among the many notables were former running back Bill Dudley, defensive back Carnell Lake, receiver Louis Lipps and linebackers Jason Gildon and Kevin Greene. The tribute was fitting considering tonight's game should be an old-school slugfest.

Now, onto kickoff.

Ravens and Steelers inactives

September, 29, 2008

Posted by's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Here are the inactives for tonight's AFC North showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers:


WR Limas Sweed

RB Willie Parker

OT Tony Hills

OT Trai Essex

LB Donovan Woods

DT Casey Hampton

DE Brett Keisel

QB Dennis Dixon


CB Samari Rolle

CB Evan Oglesby

S Dawan Landry

LB Nick Greisen

OT Oniel Cousins

OG David Hale

DT Kelly Gregg

QB Troy Smith