Wow. That's pretty much all that needs to be said after this win. The Steelers looked out of it for much of the game, but managed to keep the score close. Watching this game, I felt the Steelers had no chance of scoring two touchdowns, let alone win the game. But I was proven wrong. And I'm happy to be wrong. Here are some quick thoughts:
- Charlie Batch will be remembered for this win. Let's face it, he was awful for most of the contest. When he overthrew Mike Wallace in the endzone, I cursed at the TV and nearly turned the game off. But Chuck rallied the troops and made the plays necessary to win. His emotion in the huddle on the final drive and his embrace of Ben Roethlisberger after the final whistle show just how much it meant to the veteran.
- The defense put in another solid performance. Turnovers and three-and-outs presented some tough situations for the Steelers defense, but they created huge plays to turn the game on its head. James Harrison displayed a vintage move Steelers fans have been missing all year when he stripped Joe Flacco. Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen played so well they probably deserve their own bullet point. After coming in for injured Ike Taylor and struggling early, Allen rebounded nicely. Lewis continues to be a revelation this season.
- Shaun Suisham is money. Anyone remember Jeff Reed? No? Neither do I.
- The play of the offensive line should also get some credit. Batch had time to throw, especially in the fourth quarter. Batch looked skittish at times, but the line allowed him just enough time to find an open receiver.
- The fake bubble screen pass and throw to Heath Miller is an awesome play. Kudos, Mr. Haley.
- How are the Ravens a nine-win team? I'm sorry, but they just do not impress me. Neither does Joe Flacco.
- Ray Rice needed to touch the ball more. If the Steelers manage to face the Ravens in the playoffs, expect that to happen. I noticed that the Steelers eventually started to spy Rice with a middle linebacker. This negated Rice's impact out of the backfield, where he is quite dangerous.
- The Steelers are alive for another week. The win is huge, but the Steelers really need to close well to preserve their playoff spot. Get in the playoffs, make sure Ben is healthy, and anything can happen.
Next week the Steelers have the San Diego Chargers at home. They need to take care of business. A loss will negate all the momentum gained this week.