Pittsburgh "Smash Mouth Bowl" Champs, 13-10 in Classic Thiller
The Pittsburgh Steelers came into Baltimore backyard and defeated the Ravens 13-10 last night in one of the most physical and intense game of the NFL season. There was a lot on the line for both teams who entered the contest with identical 8-3 records.
The Steelers now 9-3 has a one-game lead on the Ravens (8-4).
The winner would have an inside track to winning the AFC North and potentially being one of the top 2 seeds for the playoffs and a first round bye.
Ben Roethlisberger came into the game with an injured foot from last weeks OT win vs. the Buffalo Bills. Ben being the competitor he is suited up to do battle against one of the best defensive teams in the NFL.
During the first drive of the game for the Steelers Roethlisberger suffered a broken nose with the Ravens drawing first blood in "Smash Mouth Bowl 2010" that lived up to the expectations that has become the most fierce rivalry in the league.
"I look like I went 12 rounds with [Manny] Pacquiao," Roethlisberger said after the game.
"The broken nose took a lot of the [foot] pain away,'' he also said.
The Ravens defense delivered a Mike Tyson left hook in the first quarter but Pittsburgh was able to pick them selves off the ground and fight on. Terrell Suggs for the Ravens was a man on mission and caused havoc for Big Ben all game long. He finished the game with 1 1/2 sacks. Suggs looked like the best player on the field for the entire game.
Baltimore had the game within grasps until Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and returned a Joe Frazier left hook in the 12th round on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco that caused a fumble that knocked out the Ravens and, set up the winning touchdown by Pittsburgh.
Polamalu came on a blitz from the blindside of Flacco. His turn-over put the Steelers in a first-and-goal situation that was converted on a 3rd down 9-yard pass from Roethlisberger to runningback Isaac Redman with 2:59 left to go in the game.
Flacco and the Ravens had one last chance to tie or win by a touchdown but was stopped on downs with seconds remaining to secure the win for Pittsburgh. Ravens coach John Harbaugh with 4th and 2 decided not to try a 44-45 yard field goal that would've tied the game at 13.
Harbaugh said after the game that he felt with the wind that the field goal was out of the kickers range. His decision will make him a huge target for the media and blog sites bloggers
"That's why we believe that this is the No. 1 rivalry in football," Tomlin said afterward. "It's a humbling thing to be a part of … We've got a big-time respect for that football team. They've earned it and hopefully we've earned their respect."
"Smash Mouth Bowl 2010" Pittsburgh 13-Ravens 10.