Ravens Roost

May 20, 2010 10:25 AM

Have the Ravens moved past the Steelers?

In the NFL there are many rivalries though none may be as intense as when theravens steelers.jpg Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers go to war.  These two teams have a common hatred of each other and it shows every time they meet. While the Ravens haven't been in the league for a long period of time by NFL standards they have become the team the Steelers hate to see line up against them. The two teams current record against each other has Pittsburgh with an edge, 19 wins to the Ravens 11, with two of those Raven losses coming in the playoffs in 2002 and 2009. During much of that span the Ravens were a defensive team first and foremost but that has now changed, and changed in a big way just this off season. Have the Ravens now moved past their hated rival?

Face it, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in turmoil with their starting quarterback and serial woman abuser Ben Roethlisberger being suspended for the first six games of this coming season. Add to that the fact that the team choose to get rid of wide receiver Santonio Holmes and the Steeler offense suddenly has been dropped down a few notches.

On the other hand the Ravens have bolstered their offense with the addition of wide outs Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth, and drafted two promising tight ends in Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. Suddenly the Ravens have an offense that can hurt you in many ways, deep down field, across the middle, and receivers who can make serious yards after the catch. Add in Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McLain and the Ravens now have weapons that can attack any team anywhere on the field.

The black and yellow didn't seem to address many of their problem areas in the draft with the exception of C/G Maurkice Pouncey. And yes, their uniforms are black and yellow not black and gold as they proclaim. If you grew up with only the 5 pack of crayons as a child, which I'm sure many Pittsburgh natives did, then you colored the kings crown yellow and said it was gold. Well, it wasn't. The stripes on the Steelers uniforms are yellow with a slight bit of orange added in. It's the same color as the double lines they paint down the center of the roadway, and they don't call them the double "golden" lines now do they? If you want to see gold on an NFL uniform I suggest you watch a 49er's or Saints game and you'll see the difference. I rest my case.

The Ravens general manager, Ozzie Newsome has said for the past few years that the teams goal was to overcome the Pittsburgh Steelers and as far as I can see he may have finally reached that goal.
 The Steelers offensive line is bad as witnessed by the number of sacks they given up in recent years, though some of that can be attributed to Big Boob holding onto the ball far too long. The Ravens on the other hand have built a solid young athletic offensive line that is just now poised to reach their prime. Advantage Ravens.

Joe Flacco is the antithesis of Roethlisberger from a moral stand point and he too is just coming into his own. Flacco's numbers in his first two seasons were better then the numbers Joe Montana and John Elway produced in their first two seasons. Flacco has said he sees no problem throwing for over 4,000 yards this season with the new weapons the team has given him, and I have no reason to doubt him. I'll call this one even for now.

The Steelers have said they want to get back to being a smash mouth running team once again, the problem is they don't have quality running backs to carry out that mission. And when they face the Ravens they'll have to run through not only Haloti Ngata and Kelley Gregg but also newly added defensive tackle Terrence "Mount" Cody. Advantage Ravens.

The Steelers are also known as a defensive team but last season they finished behind the Ravens in total defense. The Steelers defense is certainly opportunistic but the Ravens vaunted D just keeps beating the life out of teams until they finally give up. While the Ravens defese started out slow under newly appointed defensive coordinator Gregg Mattison they bounced back with a fury to wind up as the number 3 defense in all of the NFL last season. This year they have Mattison's defense down pat, and will be adding to their pass rush formations.   Advantage Ravens.

All I can say is when these two teams line up against each other this coming season I wouldn't bet against the Ravens. That would be foolish.  

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