Steelers Lock Up AFC North With Tense Win in Baltimore

13-9 was the final score as Roethlisberger led the team on a 92 yard drive in the last 4 minutes of the game, culminating in a questionable touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 42 seconds remaining.  I say questionable as the ruling on the field was that Holmes was just outside the endzone when he gains possession of the ball.  It was reviewed and Walt Coleman determined that Holmes had two feet in the end zone with control of the ball and it was therefor a TD.  Speaking as a Steelers fan, I’m not sure about that call.  It was clear that Holmes’ feet were in the endzone, but its where the ball is, and he caught the ball out in front of his body leaning forward and he then fell back out of the end zone.  You can argue that the ball was denting the goalline (and therefore a score) when it first touched his hands, but I’m not convinced.  I’ll take it however.  The other key to this game was the Steelers defense holding Baltimore to 3 field goals from within the red zone, including in the 3rd quarter when the Ravens got the ball on the 14 yard line after a Holmes fumble.  Baltimore is a very very solid football team and to be able to go into their barn and drive the field for that win at the end of the game is huge.  The Ravens will make the playoffs if they win their last two games (or split and get a small measure of help) and they are going to be a tough, tough out for someone in January; quite possibly the Steelers.  With that defense and that running game, and the solid play of the rookie Flacco, they definitely have something going in Baltimore for this season and presumably the next few.

As for the Steelers, they now face a Titanic [sorry] showdown in Nashville next Sunday.  With Tennessee losing to Houston today, the Steelers will now claim the #1 seed if they beat the Titans and hold serve Week 17 against Cleveland.  Conversely, the Titans would clinch the #1 seed if they beat the Steelers.  Not that I sweat who is seeded 1st and 2nd as much as some other people will.  The last 3 Super Bowl champions were a #5, #3, and #6 respectively in their conference playoffs.  Still, the bye with a divisional round game at Heinz Field is a nice thing to lock up, and you might as well try to get the top overall seed since its attainable.


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