Notes: Ravens Get Rematch With Steelers

From Arrowhead Stadium

Over the last few seasons, it’s become one of the best rivalries in the NFL – Pittsburgh and Baltimore out of the AFC North.

They will face off again late Saturday afternoon in the first game of the divisional round in the playoffs.

“It seems like poetic justice – Pittsburgh in the playoffs at their place,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. “One of these days we’ll be good enough to earn the right to play them at our place.

“It will be a 60-minute game and I’m sure they’ll bring their A game and we’ll try to bring our A game. We’ll see what happens.”

The match-up will be the eighth game between these teams in the last three seasons. In the first seven, the Steelers own a 5-2 edge, but over the last two years they have split 2-2. Five of those games were decided by a field goal, with two in overtime.

“They (Pittsburgh) were game-planning for us, probably in the third quarter,” said Ravens WR Derrick Mason. “It might come down to the last drive, as it always does.”

If the Ravens play defense against the Steelers they way they did against the Chiefs, then they’ll have something to build on against Pittsburgh.

“We want to keep getting better at everything we do,” Harbaugh said. “We’re the third-ranked defensive scoring team in the league right now, so we’re not too shabby. I’m proud of the way our guys play. The bottom line is points. You can talk about yards and all that stuff, but points are what counts and finding a way to win.”

And now they face the Steelers again, after losing by three points and winning by three points earlier this season. Baltimore’s victory came at Heinz Field.

“It shouldn’t surprise you that these two teams are in the fight and at each other’s throats every year,” LB Terrell Suggs said. “This is the NFL at its best. This is what the world wants to see. They want to see Baltimore-Pittsburgh. Third one – this is Armageddon.

“We’ll give it to them.”


RT Barry Richardson left the field in the first half with a right ankle injury. He was replaced briefly by Ryan O’Callaghan, but was back on the field at the start of the second half.

In the third quarter OLB Mike Vrabel left the field for a few plays when he appeared to ding his left knee. He was replaced by Andy Studebaker but went back in the game.

Several times during the game, RB Jamaal Charles looked less than 100 percent as he came off the field. It appeared that Charles was wearing a brace of some kind on his right shoulder.


The Chiefs reported 72,190 tickets sold for the game. That was the biggest announced crowd of the season at Arrowhead Stadium. As always, there were a lot of empty seats visible in the upper level and club level. But there were more people in the stands than for any game since the regular-season opener on Monday night against San Diego.

And in the first half, the crowd was loud and made a lot of noise and got the attention of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

“This place was on fire the whole game,” Harbaugh said afterwards. “It’s a great place to play. So for us to come out here and pull out of victory in an environment like this, I think is a great accomplishment.”

Ravens QB Joe Flacco had a great time playing in front of the Arrowhead fans.

“It’s a lot of fun to come on the road and into places like this and be confident in yourself and be confident in your teammates that you’re going to get the job done,” Flacco said. “That’s really how we feel. We don’t have any doubt that we are going to come in here and win the football game.”


KICKOFFS – Ryan Succop had two kickoffs, both going towards the east end of the stadium. His opening kickoff went to the 1-yard line, and his next one went 5 yards deep in the end zone and was not returned.

PUNTS – Dustin Colquitt punted three times. His first went 54 yards and ended with a fair catch at the Ravens 15-yard line. Punt No. 2 was 48 yards and ended up in the end zone when S Ricky Price couldn’t control his body enough to down the ball at the 1-yard line. His third punt went 51 yards and ended up in the end zone for a touchback.

RETURNS – Javier Arenas caught one punt, and called for a fair catch. Dexter McCluster had four kickoff returns for 83 yards and averaging 20.8 yards. His returns were for 11, 12, 24 and 36 yards.

COVERAGE – With league leader David Reed out of the game with a wrist injury, the kickoff returns were handled by RB Jalen Parmele. He had only one chance, going for 29 yards. Lardarius Webb caught one punt for a fair catch. Ricky Price was given credit for the only special teams tackle of the game for the Chiefs.


Referee Mike Carey and his crew handled the game, and at times they had their hands full with the extracurricular stuff that was going on between the teams. At one point, Carey called time and told both coaches that they had to control their players better or they were going to start bouncing them out of the game.

On the day, they walked off only seven penalties for a total of 60 yards. Five of those were against the Chiefs:

  1. Offense        Branden Albert            false start                                minus-5
  2. Defense       Tamba Hali                    unnecessary roughness     minus-15
  3. Offense        Matt Cassel                    intentional grounding        minus-10
  4. Defense       Eric Berry                      illegal contact                        minus-5
  5. Punt Ret.    Demorrio Williams    offsides                                      minus-5

The call against Hali came because he ended up low on Flacco and hit him in the legs. Cassel’s intentional grounding call was a very poor decision on his part because he was still between the tackles and fired the ball out of bounds without a receiver in the area. The call on Williams gave Baltimore a first down, and eventually they scored their final touchdown.

Todd Haley threw his challenge flag twice. He lost the first one when after a replay review the placement of a third down play was not changed. His second flag was thrown on a play where Cassel lost the ball. Officials called it a fumble, but on review changed the ruling to an incomplete pass. On the season, Haley finished up at six of 10 on challenges.


WR Kevin Curtis was signed on Wednesday and he was on the active roster and played Sunday against Baltimore. He became the 57th player to play for the Chiefs this season.

His active status led to WR Chris Chambers being inactive for the game and it’s hard to see where he fits in the future of the team. The decision Sunday came down to special teams work, but Curtis was not among the players getting a lot of work with the first-team kicking units.

Besides Chambers, the other inactive players for the Chiefs were WR Quinten Lawrence, FB Mike Cox, S Reshard Langford, C Rudy Niswanger and DT Anthony Toribio. The third inactive QB was Tyler Palko.

For the Ravens, their inactive players were WR David Reed, S Tom Zbikowski, FB Jason McKie, ILB Tavares Gooden, DT Arthur Jones, TEs Davon Drew and Dennis Pitta and DT Lamar Divens.

No 2 quarterbacks Brodie Croyle and Marc Bulger were the only players who did not play on Sunday.

The Chiefs started in a three tight end alignment, so Leonard Pope, Tony Moeaki and Jake O’Connell all got credit for starts.

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