In one of the craziest endings one will ever see to a pro football game, the Baltimore Ravens managed enough points to win a squeaker over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 22-20. A total of 16 of those points game off the foot of kicker Justin Tucker.
This was certainly the best all-around game for the Ravens in quite some time. There was running, passing, defense, kicking, return yards … just about everything. And all of it had a spark of life that has seemed to be missing as well.
The rivalry nature of the Ravens-Steelers maatch-up was much on display this evening as well. This surely created a great deal of interest around the country on this holiday evening – especially given the unique features of the ending of the game.
Two apparent Pittsburgh touchdowns were called back to within the one-yard line — once for a knee being down prior to the ball crossing the line, and a second time for a helmet loss in the same location (ending the play immediately). Though the Steelers would get the touchdown on a 4th-down pass play and thereby narrowing the score to 22-20, the conversion would fail, essentially sealing the win. Neither of those touchdowns would have been called back in the era before the video replay.
Another controversy that is sure to follow this game was the apparent interference position of Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin on the field during a Jacoby Jones run-back. It certainly seemed to affect the play, as Jones immediately pointed to it as if to say, “What was that?” Personally, I at first thought it was just a matter of Tomlin looking at the play on the on the stadium display without immediate awareness of where he was, but when later seeing his sly grin, it appeared to give evidence to intentional action.
Certainly Tomlin should not have been in the six-foot white sideline area … where I saw a penalty called on a coach for this very infraction in a NFL game just this past weekend. This area is to be for the refs to run the sidelines, and in the video, the ref passed inside Tomlin as he ran to watch the play. There should have been a penalty for that, at a minimum.
If you have not seen the play, or want to check it out … it is here. In the post-game interview, Jones said this was the first time he has ever been run down from behind.
First T-Shirt Winner Announced …
We have a contest winner of the first “The Baltimore Wire” T-shirt for the closest guess of the winner and final score. It will go to Stan Stouffer of Hagerstown, MD, who predicted the Ravens to prevail 20-17. This was on our Facebook page … so in the future look for another contest and “like” our page. Stan is my former Athletic Director at Williamsport High School where I was a coach and he was a teacher. We’re both in the “retired” category from those endeavors.
Check back in coming days for analyses and thoughts about the game and where this victory positions the Ravens for the final four games of the season.