In today's edition of Sorting the Sunday Pile, we noted that Baltimore was highly motivated by last year's playoff lost to the Steelers. So motivated, in fact, that Jim Harbaugh and the Ravens decided to rub things in a bit, scoring on a fake extra point/two-point conversion, despite being up three touchdowns.
They also kept chunking the ball around with less than two minutes to go and up a lot of points. Predictably, this did not sit well with the Steelers, who plan to remember the Ravens actions, according to Hines Ward.
"It leaves a taste in your mouth," Ward said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The 2-point conversion [when the Ravens led, 27-7]. The passing at the end ...
"We'll remember everything."
Look, as Ryan and I said on the podcast, if you don't want someone to score on you, stop them. This is true in every game, but especially so in a rivalry game where there's so much hatred between the two sides.
And I'm with colleague Clark Judge (and, as you'll see below, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms) on the fact that the biggest storyline of this game is actually the emergence of the inexplicably hated-in-Baltimore Joe Flacco.
And it kind of stinks for the Ravens to have the rivalry storyline outweigh the importance of his first win in a head-to-head matchup with Ben Roethlisberger.
But what puzzles me the most is that the Ravens would waste an absolute lock of a two-point conversion on the home opener when they're up a ton of points. That's the sort of play that wins you a game later in the year if executed correctly.
Maybe the Ravens had designs on using it all along on Sunday, and maybe they wouldn't try to pull it off in a close game (why not?) and maybe Jim Harbaugh just wanted to kick the Steelers in the ribs while they were already lying unconscious on the turf at M&T Bank Stadium.
Any one of those is fine, and I have no problem with the sportsmanship issue. I just think it's stupid to get in a fistfight with a bear, knock said bear to the ground, and then stand there poking it with a stick for a few hours.
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