• Will Ravens' Cut Blocks Make Steeler Game Even Uglier

    In the first game between the Ravens and the Steelers, not only did the Ravens embarrass the Steelers, they also used cut blocks by guard Marshal Yanda against Casey Hampton to create some big running lanes for Ray Rice. The Steelers didn't like it. Most linemen in the NFL don't cut block adjacent offensive linemen on stretch plays, but those that do really help their team run the ball. When Yanda put Hampton on the ground, the cut back lanes for Rice were there. Rice ran for over 100 yards which allowed Joe Flacco to play one of the best games he has ever played using play action passes. While there is nothing illegal about cutting defensive linemen, there is also nothing that makes a team crazier than that practice.

    The question now becomes, how will the Steelers respond? Will the Steelers' offensive line start cutting? Will they take some cheap shots at Marshal Yanda (who is the Ravens best offensive lineman and probably deserves Pro Bowl votes)? Will the Steelers simply try to win the game and not worry about what Yanda does to Hampton? I'm not sure, but I promise we will be watching on Sunday Night.

    Comments 21 Comments
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      The Steelers cheap shot somebody?? Noooooooo.
    1. Swami's Avatar
      Wow. I already had the Steelers playing the most fired-up they could possibly be due to the opening week beat-down. This fuel just adds to the fire - this will be Must-See T.V. Sunday!

      I am reminded of Buffalo whomping the Pats 31-0 in opening week in 2003 and losing by the same score in week #17. I could see a Steelers blowout coming.
    1. Cris Collinsworth's Avatar
      This will be awesome. Terrell Suggs has called out Hines Ward who didn't play on a bad ankle last week. Getting ugly already. There can be only one bully on the block. Bengals get Steelers next.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I don't think the Steelers will do, or will need to do anything different on Sunday. They'll be fired up enough, cheap shots will be taken by both sides either way, and Yanda could certainly be a target, but no more than Hines Ward has always been a target of Baltimore. The difference is (for me, anyway) is that it's thoroughly enjoyable when Ward gets into their heads.

      It's Steelers-Ravens week. Best rivalry in football. Can't wait.
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      THIS game is one to watch all the way through; I did the last two weeks but all should now *Sweeps Reference*.

      The Steelers are going to be aggressive. That win over NE last week was just what the Doctor Ordered to face the Week One bully Ravens. They go to Tom Brady in their own Playpen now it's time to invite the Ravens with their trash talk over to the backyard and knock them around. I think they are going to be very physical like any decent division rivalry should. They will have Clark, Polamalu and Taylor in full force and make plays. They will see that their technique will be different from the Patriots but I feel the Steelers will win the game.
    1. Skycatch's Avatar
      I wouldn't worry about the cut blocks affecting the outcome. No one can out cheap-shot the Steelers. Of course, I'm a Bengal fan. We remember Carson Palmer, Keith Rivers, and a few years back, the merry-go-round ride on Ken Anderson's face mask, that could have broken his neck.

      I just think Big Ben is so much better than Flacco that he'll take them to a win.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Skycatch View Post
      We remember Carson Palmer, Keith Rivers,
      I won't argue the cheapshot comment, and I don't remember the Kenny Anderson play you mention that must have happened 30+ years ago, but shouldn't you point out plays that were cheap shots?

      Just sayin'
    1. buzmeg's Avatar
      IMO there's a big difference between games played week #1 compared to games that will be played in week #9. It's obvious the Ravens were much better prepared on opening week and handed the Steelers an embarrassing loss in Baltimore.

      Current games have shown the Steelers are playing at a much higher level than the Ravens and the upcoming game is in Pittsburgh. I'll take the Steelers in this one as Big Ben is currently performing head and shoulders above Flacco.
    1. FrzzerBwler's Avatar
      The Kenny Anderson face mask was pretty brutal. Imagine a QB doing a Linda Blair head spin w/o the special effects. Think it was around '82. The Keith Rivers and Carson injuries were football plays. Nothing more , nothing less.Carson's knee? How many times in the past did you see a D-lineman on the ground crawl to the QB trying to get the sack? Many. River's was on a turnover, aka, keep your head on a swivel. Opposing fans hate Hines Ward because he plays hard, if they had a receiver that played like Ward they would love him.
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      I won't argue the cheapshot comment, and I don't remember the Kenny Anderson play you mention that must have happened 30+ years ago, but shouldn't you point out plays that were cheap shots?

      Just sayin'
    1. Turk Schonert's Avatar
      This is one of my favorite rivalry games in the NFL. Drove down to Pittsburgh last year for the game, thought about going Sunday night but will probably stay home and catch it on NBC so I can listen to my boy and Al. This game is usually determined by turnovers and explosive plays. Big Ben gives the Steelers a greater opportunity for an explosive play occurring on offense. Both defenses have explosive playmaking in them. I wouldn't be surprised to see a special teams trick play in this game. The Steelers were out physicalled in the first game ... they won't let that happen again. I like the Steelers in this one.
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      I'm agreeing with Turk here. I can't imagine Pittsburgh letting Baltimore physically dominate them again. Right now, Baltimore's offense is in disarray a bit as well, and I'm taking Pittsburgh.
    1. FrzzerBwler's Avatar
      Have to figure Steelers will not have 7 turnovers again like Week 1.
    1. OverTheTop's Avatar
      Steelers will respond by telling Ziggy hood or Cameron Heyward to periodically line up over the guard and if he slants and dives at Casey's legs continuously then one of those DE's will jump on top of whoever the blocker is and get his own cheap shot in..... Don't think it's illegal to block a player into the ground that already has his forward momentum pointed towards the ground.
    1. Skycatch's Avatar
      On the Carson Palmer play, the ball was gone, Henry had it way down the field and Kimo lunges into the knee. Saw Steelers fans celebrating and high fiving all over the place on a 60 yard gain for the Bengals.

      Hines Ward? There's nothing wrong with a good hard block. Then there's the "lay in the grass" waiting for a blind side stuff that Ward does. Seems to me a lot of players have questioned Ward's tactics.

      Not questioning Ward's record of toughness and effectiveness and his ability to catch the football and take a shot, though.
    1. StarvinMarvin's Avatar
      I could be way outta my mind here but 1 thing I'll be watching for is how much the zebras try to control things with their flags in the new era of sissyball. Wouldn't be shocked if each team ended up with 15-20 flags. I hope the officials don't end up determining the winner.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Yanda won't back down from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams try to bully the opponent. The best way to deal with a bully is to hit him right in the mouth. That is what Baltimore did to Pittsburgh the first time. That is why these battles are normally close....2 bullies hitting each other in the mouth. The best way to get a cutback lane for your RB is to do what Yanda did...get a defender on the ground. When the defense is cut in half, there is a natural cutback lane for the back. You can't make a tackle on the ground. You have to stay on your feet and separate from blocks. My question is the strength of the Steelers defense, the linebacker corps is crippled right now. Harrison is supposedly trying to play, but he will have a lot of rust and dust on him. Woodley is out. Farrior is nicked up. The ranks are thin at LB. It will be interesting to see the ajustments LeBeau makes with personnel and schematics.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Is there some kind of drought in Pittsburgh?

      The field is cutting up badly and clods of dust are flying. I'm surprised the field is in such bad shape.
    1. Colts01's Avatar
      Glad for Smith that he did not drop that one.Another great Steelers /Ravens game.
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Flacco made a bunch of clutch throws on that final drive. Amazing that the Ravens drive over 90 yards to snatch the game form Pittsburgh on the road. Hell of a game.
    1. Curtis's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Is there some kind of drought in Pittsburgh?

      The field is cutting up badly and clods of dust are flying. I'm surprised the field is in such bad shape.
      Heinz and Soldier are terrible fields. Toss down that fake grass or hire better groundskeeper.