The view from Pittsburgh

The view from Pittsburgh
December 3, 2012, 2:45 pm
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The Steelers media had plenty of credit and plenty of blame to go around in dissecting the Steelers' 23-20 win at Baltimore on Sunday. Credit went primarily to Charlie Batch and to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, blame mainly to the Ravens' play-calling (12 carries for Ray Rice?) and some critical mistakes. And that whole Ray-Rice-and-the-Terrible-Towel-on-his-head thing just won't go away.

Here is how some Steelers media saw the game:

Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Charlie Batch, who turns 38 Wednesday, threw a surprise party Sunday in Baltimore for 71,442 people who were not among his closest pals.

Many came dressed in purple, and some of the participants knocked the old quarterback around as if he were a piñata. He never broke, though, and he came bearing gifts for the minority in the crowd -- a 23-20 Steelers victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Ravens."

Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"The inevitable emotional conflagration we know as Steelers-Ravens played out in all of its gory glory again Sunday in the fading Chesapeake twilight, this time with the focus on one of its often undersold elements: Ravenesque stupidity.

In an unmatched NFL rivalry that usually goes into the books on a field goal (as have eight of the past 13 meetings), the winner is often enough merely the team that keeps its head. Fortunately for the Steelers, there was no cooler head in this crucible than the one inside the helmet of Charlie Batch, the oldest man in either uniform.

The Ravens still lead the AFC North Division comfortably, but they started making full brain-lock mental errors before they even left the playing field at Heinz Field two weeks ago. Ray Rice walked out of Heinz Field with a terrible towel on his head, then head coach John Harbaugh yipped that the tougher team had won that game, but in order to lose here in Charm City to an 8-point underdog manned by its backup backup quarterback, the Ravens needed something even more stupid.

Even more stupid than torching their next-to-last timeout to challenge a Batch incompletion the naked eye could see from Eutaw Street. ...

Paul Kruger delivered. Batch had just released a 10-yard out pass to Mike Wallace at the Ravens 34 when Kruger chose that moment to give the quarterback the old Lindsay Lohan.

That's right, late and high.

Roughing the passer, first down Steelers at the 19, and on top of that, cornerback Chykie Brown was hurt on the play, costing the Ravens their final timeout."

Mark Kaboly, Tribune-Review

"Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice up the middle” took on a life of its own this past week following the now clutch fourth-and-29 conversion the diminutive Baltimore running back converted a week ago in San Diego. It even spawned a T-shirt that was adorned by many of the 71,442 Baltimore Ravens fans (Sunday) ... Following the Ravens’ 23-20 loss to the Steelers, there was another favorite being thrown around the Baltimore locker room, and this one is well known by Ravens fans:

Why didn’t Ray Rice touch the ball more than 13 times?

Sure, it wasn’t as catchy as “Hey Diddle, Diddle,” but it was apropos."

Bob Labriola, Steelers Digest

"Within 24 hours of an embarrassing showing on the shores of Lake Erie, Coach Mike Tomlin had changed his depth chart at running back and wide receiver, he picked a rookie seventh-round draft pick to start at right tackle, and he moved his All-Pro center to left guard. ...

The immediate challenge was to incorporate these moves into the kind of performance they were going to need to defeat the kind of team the Ravens are. The most accurate way to describe the 2012 Ravens is as a find-a-way team, a team capable of winning with four takeaways compensating for a defense that allowed 214 yards rushing one week, with a punt return for a touchdown another week, with the conversion of a fourth-and-29 the week after that.

The 2012 Steelers were a team still finding itself, even though it’s early December, and the root cause of this situation has been a never-ending series of injuries that has prevented the continuity of personnel necessary for an on-field identity to form. Their strength lies somewhere else, and make no mistake, that characteristic was at the foundation of their 23-20 victory over the Ravens."

Alan Robinson, Tribune-Review

"Ben Roethlisberger was the first to greet Charlie Batch, grabbing him tightly for a 30-second bear hug that summed up everything about this emotional day, this resilient team, this improbable win.

The quarterback who was too hurt to play knew exactly what was going through the mind of the quarterback who was being called too old to play.

The Steelers had just beaten the Ravens team they supposedly couldn’t beat — not in this stadium, not under these circumstances, not with this man at the controls, and it meant everything to both of them."