It would be clinched in a game that lived up to it’s promise, a defensive battle fighting for the reigns of the AFC North. For both Ravens and Steelers fans, it would lead to ulcers and, as usual, for me, my perfectly manicured nails, now jagged and bitten off. It would be a game that ended in a controversial call and my husband telling me to relax, the tip of the ball passed the goal line before Holmes fell forward. Of course, the win will be controversial and amongst fans and analyst will be discussed for a week or two longer.
In the end, the Steelers offense would drive from behind to set up the score that would potentially tie the game, unlike last week though, they chose to go for the win. Perhaps that call was controversial. Fans would only have the replays to go off of. Of course, there was no guarantee that they would have or wouldn’t have gotten the win without the call. Regardless of the controversy, the division was sealed with the Steelers touchdown and an interception by William Gay that kept the Ravens from scoring at the end.
I could go into what was bad in this game. It could have been the referee’s calls and non-calls. Ravens fans could argue about two calls that were overturned as being bad calls. Steelers fans could argue about the non-calls, especially on a punt return that led to a tackle by punter Mitch Berger, which eventually led to Ravens touchdown. I could mention the choke hold on James Harrison, but I won’t. I prefer to gripe on things that players have control over. Ike Taylor thinking that he was a Raven and allowing Raven’s quarterback Joe Flacco to run for a first down, when he was the one in perfect position to tackle him. Not sure why Ike decided to block a Ravens wide receiver. Speaking of wide receivers, the failure of the Steelers wide receivers to catch balls thrown to them have been hurting this offense during the season more then Ben Roethlisberger turning over the ball.
I could discuss what I liked in this game, the catches by Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger getting the ball down the field, once again driving from behind to keep the Steelers in the game. The team playing for a full 60 minutes. The Ryan Clark and William Gay interceptions. The defense keeping the Ravens to under 300 yards. No interceptions by Ben Roethlisberger, and his keeping faith with his receivers and the change up in Bruce Arians play calling. The best thing though, is the win and the division title. Oh yes, no injuries.
It was a road in which the Steelers were given no chance when they came into the season. Touted as having the hardest schedule in the NFL at the beginning, the experts and non-experts had the Steelers sitting at home for the playoffs. Some even had them having at best, an 8-8 season. But the season played out and what was predicted, it never panned out. The Steelers offense would come out as lackluster and their defense would prove to be stifling, seeking a spot in history. Somehow, they came out though as a team, and now, control their own destiny going into the playoffs.
Perhaps controlling that destiny isn’t a good thing, because, they seem to step up and give of themselves just a little more when their backs against the wall. But for now, for tonight, it’s the division title. Tomorrow, hopefully, they’ll see themselves as having their backs against the wall again for next Sunday, and the Sunday after, and so on, and so on.