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Week 9 Post-Game Show
Steelers at Ravens (9-6)
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Steelers at Ravens (9-6)
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Key Stats & Facts
• ZERO TD's allowed by Steeler defense in last 4 games (and only one TD in last 5): Outstanding! Of course, players like Porter, Kirkland, Gildon, Flowers, Washington, Holmes, Scott, and Von Oelhoffen deserve TONS of credit. But let's not forget defensive coordinator Tim Lewis who, after a horrendous start to the season which saw the Steelers give up one big play after another, has transformed this defense into one of the league's most fearsome.
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• Stewart 9 of 18, 130 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int, 32 yds rushing: Once again, deceptively modest numbers for Stewart which don't begin to tell the story. Unlike his conterpart Trent Dilfer, Kordell was poised and mistake-free against one of the league's best defenses. The Steelers are now 4-0 this season when Stewart sees significant action, and I think perhaps the REAL Kordell Stewart has finally emerged.
• Qadry Ismail 3 catches, 40 yards, 0 TD: In his previous 3 meetings with Pittsburgh, Ismail amassed 13 receptions for 360 yards & 4 TDs... but DeWayne Washington OWNED the Missle Sunday. Twice Dilfer went deep to Ismail, and twice DeWayne was right there, including his pivotal INT in the endzone.
• Jerome Bettis 18 carries, 65 yards: Speaking of deceptively modest numbers, the Bus was far more productive than his stats indicate. After only 4 touches for 15 yards in the 1st half, Bettis took control late in the game and was integral in allowing the Steelers to chew up the clock.
• TE Shannon Sharpe 3 catches for 35 yards: Coming into the game, I considered containing Sharpe one of the primary keys to victory. Aside from one drive (in which he caught all 3 of his passes), Sharpe was virtually non-existent. Hats off to Levon Kirkland and Earl Holmes for shutting up (and down) this loud-mouth.

Quote of the Game:
"Football is played the way we played it today. It's physical, it's exciting, it's emotional, and whoever comes out with the `W,' that's all that matters."
--- Kordell Stewart ---

Redemption & Atonement!
Steelers Win 5th Straight, Leapfrog into 2nd Place!
Article by McMillen & Wife

Washington picks off a pass in the end zone as Steelers win 5th in a row and move past Ravens into 2nd place.
No, we're not preaching the Holy Gospel here, bruthas & sistas. But considering Pittsburgh's dismal start this season, 5 straight wins (not to mention the manner in which the games have been won) does seem almost miraculous. The Steeler faithful witnessed both redemption and atonement in this game. Not in the biblical sense, of course... but undeniably on team and individual levels.

As a team, the Steelers, who were all but written off as basement dwellars by many fans (myself included) early in the year, have truly redeemed themselves as a REAL contender in this league. The same defense that was a laughing-stock just 6 short weeks ago is now instilling the fear of God in opposing offenses. An offensive line that didn't figure to make a dent in opposing defenses is now spearheading one of the league's top rushing attacks.

Then there is the surprising atonement of Kordell Stewart, not only with his teammates, but with the fans. Suddenly, Pittsburgh's most recent prodigal son is winning legions of us over again. Not as the exciting, free-for-all playmaker he was early in his career, but rather as a solid rock who is methodically steering our team toward a playoff berth with his smart, poised play. Bruthas and sistas, who'da thunk it? I must admit, I never saw it coming... not THIS soon... but I sure am glad it did.

I think what is highlighted above all else in the victory over Baltimore is Pittsburgh's commitment to playing for the full 60 minutes. We've talked about this before, but nowhere has it been more evident than it was in this game.

The Steelers were pretty much smacked around for the first thirty minutes, both offensively and defensively. If not for the Trent Dilfer fumble at the Steeler 9 on that opening drive, one has to wonder what the outcome might've been. Early on, Dilfer pretty much had his way with a surprisingly sluggish Steeler defense, hitting 8 of his first 10 passes for 104 yards. To make things worse, RB Jamal Lewis was shredding Pittsburgh, piling up 69 yards on 12 carries by halftime. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's offense was showing few signs of life. By intermission, the Steelers had managed just 84 total yards; Bettis could muster no more than 15 yards on a paltry 4 carries, and Kordell was sacked 3 times while completing only 4 passes.

Ah, but this is a new era for this team, my brethren.

To open the 2nd half, Pittsburgh ran Bettis on 4 of their first 5 plays (matching his touch total for the entire first half), the last of which was a 14-yard blast up the middle. Result? On Pittsburgh's 6th play of the 3rd quarter, Kordell Stewart hit a wide open Hines Ward streaking down the right sideline for a 45-yard bomb, the game's only TD. Yes, give credit to Kordell for the throw and to Ward for the catch... but also give credit to the Bus for loosening up the defense and to the coaches for making the adjustment. This is the kind of thing we wouldn't have seen a year ago. The Ravens fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and just like that, the Steelers added a FG to take the lead.

Pittsburgh's 2nd half adjustments on defense proved equally devastating to the Ratbirds. Lewis eeked out just 24 yards on 7 carries for the rest of the game (13 yards of which came on a single run), and Dilfer was crucified, completing just 3 of his last 14 passes. Dilfer also threw a crucial drive-ending interception in the end zone durning the 3rd quarter (thank you, DeWayne Washington). Shannon Sharpe, who had three receptions on a single drive in the 1st half, was completely shut out by Kirkland and Holmes in the 2nd half. The Ravens did threaten twice in the 4th quarter, moving to the Steeler 37 and 33 respectively, but were ultimately forced to punt both times.

Which brings me to the real moment of truth in this game... the drive that truly defined the Steelers as a team of "60-Minute Men." Following Baltimore's punt from the Pittsburgh 33, Kordell Stewart took over at the Steeler 9 with more than 7-1/2 long minutes remaining. Now, it's not an enviable position for even a high-powered offense to be facing the AFC's top-rated defense in the shadow of their own goal post... and in a hostile environment, to boot. But there the struggling Steeler offense was, clinging to an uneasy 3-point lead with the game on the line. Six weeks ago, we lost games like this... but not now. Kordell Stewart calmly drove the Steelers 40 yards to midfield, draining the clock to 2:54 in the process and setting up a Josh Miller punt which pinned the Ravens at their own 10. Now, 2:54 is plenty of time to drive the length of the field. But after hitting Ismail for 20 yards, Dilfer misfired on 4 consecutive passes and the Ravens turned the ball (and the game) over to the Steelers on downs.

Vengence is mine, sayeth the Lord... but on THIS Sunday, revenge belonged to our beloved Steelers. Congratualtions!

On final note: As glorious as this win was, I do have a few words of caution as long as we're having this little "spiritual revival"... we'd better start praying that the Steelers discover their passing game. Sooner or later, we're gonna have to score some serious points to win, and right now, this team doesn't look like they're capable. Burress and Edwards need to start producing... I hate to even think about the possibility of BOTH of these guys being busts. Yoi!

Next victim: the Tennessee Tuxedos. The revenge tour continues...

Tim McMillen
Webmaster, McMillen and Wife

Fan Smak & Analysis
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Woodcock17
Well, since I've been outed as the fan of the purple and black, here's my take:

First off, the Steelers outplayed us Sunday, at least offensively. It was close, in fact otherwise a draw, but the Steelers got the big play when they needed it, and we didn't. Overall, I think Pittsburgh showed a little more depth and versatility than in week 1 against us, not to mention confidence.

On our side of the ball, the Ravens played, as always, great defense. In fact, we're now #1 in the league on defense. With help from tenacious Steeler D, we killed ourselves in this game, just like last week with the Titans, on turnovers. In addition, our offense wasn't moving the ball between the 20s. We got in the red zone once, and Dilfer (who I think was marginally better than Banks would've been had he started) fumbled the ball away.

Losing three games while giving up 10, 14, and 9 points sucks. When Billick took over as our coach I had figured that the offense would take 2 years to come around. This is the 2nd year and after Week four, the offense disappeared. So far the players have been taking the hit for our poor offense, but at this point, the coaches need to realize they don't have Moss and Carter at wideout, and they don't have Brad Johnson or Randall Cunningham at QB. Their challenge will be to come up with a productive game plan that acknowledges this talent. It's still better talent on offense than they had a year ago, when they won seven of the last 9. From here on, the game plans need to come under more scrutiny.

Submitted by Jim Grant
I enjoyed my helping of Rat-bird from the unfriendly confines of Piss-Net Stadium. In a word the win was.....gritty and the kind playoff teams have to have. Playoffs while still a long shot, are reachable unless the steelers fade. I also thought Stewart played a very good road game. He didn't turn it over and he managed the team well. My game ball would go to the Bus though for his pivotal first downs that kept the clock moving in the second half. All in all, a great steeler win.

Submitted by Oz
Damn! What a game. Our defense is the bomb. But before I get carried away, can I just say how pissed off I am that after the game yesterday on all the post game shows they still managed to find away to discredit the Steelers by saying Baltimore still hasn't scored in five games. Blah, blah, blah, I didn't really hear anybody giving the Steelers a bit of credit for keeping Baltimore out of the end zone. Fine, it's really fine. That may benefit the Steelers I suppose, if you don't take us seriously, well don't be shocked when we bite you in the a**!!!!

Memo to Kevin Gilbride--please open up the play book and let Kordell throw the bomb more often.

Submitted by Mike Clark
I'm getting tired of all the "Stewart vs Graham" debates going on all over the place. The truth of the matter is that neither one of them has been very effective. I don't get to watch too many games cause I live in Deadskins country. I did get to watch this one though since Baltimore is nearby and the redskins are playing Monday night. I saw dismal offensive performance. Hines Ward was at least three steps behind the db on the Touchdown toss and actually had to Stop...Wait ....and then fight with the defender for the ball at the 5 yard line. The defender fell down and he trotted into the endzone....THAT PLAY WAS ALL WARD. I am sick of watching all the passes that float over the outstretched hands of our young receivers, or behind them, or skip off the ground in front of them. Then everybody yells "Burress and Edwards need to start producing" Come on!!!! Somebody has to throw the ball to them before they can catch it!!!

The defense is the ONLY reason we are winning these football games. Here are some numbers:

First three weeks allowed 20.66 points per game, and scored 13.3 Last Five Weeks allowed 4.4 points per game, and scored 18 Overall allowed 10.5 points per game, and scored 16.25

First three games 4 Touchdowns total, 0 pass and 4 run; and 4 Field Goals Last five games 8 Touchdowns total, 3 pass and 5 run and 11 Field Goals Overall 12 Touchdowns total, 3 PASS and 9 Run and 15 Field Goals

Q. What if the defense allows just 4.4 points per game for the rest of the season? A. I'm glad you asked. Here are my projections

1.) We would win the Superbowl
2.) They would finish the season having only yielded 120 points (gotta be a record!)
3.) Sandy could be the starting quarterback and we'd still be winning (talk about confusing the defense!! Eh? Eh?)

(BEGIN OFF TOPIC RANT.....Just to add a personal note of disgust...I am forced to go to a bar to watch my beloved steelers play. I go to a place where the door reads....HOME OF THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS!!! Yet when I step inside I find that the redskins are on more television sets than the Steelers. It's true I've counted. Why can't the friggin' deadskin fans stay home and watch the game for free? They can gather at any of the 10 million or so homes in the DC metropolitan area....DAMN that really burns me up. During the Cleveland game I could actually only hear John Madden and Pat "ImissedTheCall" Sumeral on the redskins game. END OFF TOPIC RANT)

Always have been, am now, and forever shall be, a Steelers fan Maybe not as optimistic as some though

Mike C.

My two favorite teams are
1.) Steelers
2.) Whoever plays the Redskins (unless a Redskins victory helps the
Steelers in some way)

Submitted by Ray Burtner
I've noticed on MANY Steeler sites today a similar theme : Kordell Sucks. Now, I will be the first to admit that he STILL isn't striking any fear into anyone, but SUCKS may be a bit too harsh. The bottom line is this: He didn't turn the ball over and put the defense in any compromising situations. Frankly, I'm glad to see us return to the RUNNING TEAM form that worked so well for us in the past. Grind it out, pass when you need to, and keep the defense fresh and off the field so they can reek havoc on the opposing offenses when they are called on. I'm still not sold on Stewart as the final answer, but with our defense playing the way it is, and The Bus rolling the way he is, he doesn't have to WIN games for us. Just please don't LOSE any for us.

Now lets beat the Titans.

Submitted by BC
I think it stinks living out here in California when my favorite team for the last 27 years plays in Pittsburgh. I don't get to see any of the games. I do enjoy this site very much and am glad you have it Tim. Thank you very much. This is truly my favorite site. I get all my information from yours and my fellow Steelers fans pre and post game smack. Maybe, if we keep on winning, have a play-off season, and do well in the play-offs, then I might get to see a game once in a while again. I'm looking forward to catch next week's smack. Here's what I would like to see next week, Steelers 17 Titans 14. Here we go Steelers, here we go! BC

Submitted by Keith "KT" Thomas
The Steelers took to the road today with the latest installment of their revenge tour 2000 and came away with a hard-fought victory against the Baltimore Ravens.

There are a lot of different things I thought to say while watching today's game.

At first blush I thought that the Ravens came in with a good game plan. They went down the field immediately and were in scoring position when Flowers recovered the fumble. Jamal Lewis was running well, and the Ravens were executing perfectly to Shannon Sharpe.

Also at first glance I wanted to say that the offense remains a serious concern. (And it does, to a degree.) The offensive line wasn't playing very well, as the Ravens defenders continually swarmed into the backfield. Kordell was a little tentative on the runs and his passing seemed to be to high, to short, and when it was on the mark, our receivers continued to drop the ball.

So part of me wanted to say that the offensive effort was looked much the same as it did in the last two weeks.

The difference, however, is that the quality of the defense was much better. I thought that the Steelers made the necessary adjustments in the second half, on both sides of the ball.

I thought that Gilbride was able to time some of his play calls perfectly, giving Bettis room to run just when the Ravens were coming in with all out pass Blitzes. Dan Krider still looks a little green at fullback, but I think he shows some promise. (I really liked his effort on the pass he caught.) The passing game still has a LONG WAY to go, but it seems like Gilbride/Cowher/Stewart took the time they needed, and got the downfield matchup that needed on the deep pass to Ward. Likewise while we didn't dominate on the run the way we did in weeks past, we were able to run the ball when we needed to chew up the clock. The offense wasn't pretty, and there still is much work to be done on the passing game (our receivers NEED to catch better), but today, against the NFL's best defense, it was enough.

The Steelers defense has now gone 5, count them, 5 games without a meaningful touchdown. Today I thought they turned in another stealer, team-driven performance. They created turnovers when they needed to. Dewayne Washington had another all-pro day. Jason Gildon didn't record a sack, but he got into Dilfer's face a few times. Joey Poter was there for (I think) two sacks which came on third downs. While we might not be able to say that we stuffed Jamal Lewis the way we stuff Corey Dillon and Curtis Martin, we did clamp down on him in the second half and contained him well. Anisley Battles (28) impressed me in preseason and he came up big today defending Dilfer's last pass.

The Steelers' defense might not have any stars of the caliber of Rod Woodson or Greg Lloyd, but they continue to demonstrate that they are a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.

With eight games played and eight more to go the Steelers stand at 5-3 after starting an ugly 0-3. Today they met the first of two all-important mid-season road tests. It wasn't pretty, but they were equal to the task. Next week we face a Tennessee team that we should have beaten in week three, but this Tennessee team is playing better now than it was then.

But so are the Steelers.

Bring it on!


Submitted by Paul Spillane
Kordell, you're my hero?

Well not quite.

I have been on the Trade Kordell bandwagon for quite some time now. I find it amazing how fans can turn tail and run to anything that results in a win.

Sure the Steelers are on a roll with 5 wins, but the truth still remains that Kordell is no longer the amazing "Slash". He's not even a good QB.

To hear the comment that he said he wants to get 200 total yards for a game is unthinkable. As far as Kordell is concerned, he's awful!! Graham is no better, but Kordell simply put: SUCKS!

I mean he hasn't gone over 140 yards passing this year. Nor has he had a QB rating above 100.0 (expect for the game vs. the Browns when he attempted & completed ONE pass). You cannot expect to win with a QB like Stewart OR Graham. We need to think of the future and look somewhere else. I don't know where but Steeler fans are all doomed if they think that Kordell will rally this team to the promise land.

However don't get me wrong, we should ride the wave as far as it will take us, but don't expect too much. Kordell doesn't have what it takes to be a successful QB in the NFL. Sure he can run but he can throw. And isn't that what quarterbacks do???

Without the defense (as usual) and others (Bettis, and some of the WR's) this team would be in shambles. Also give credit to Coach Cowher with maintaining discipline and commitment to the Steeler program. In my mind, he is one of the greatest coaches in the history of the NFL. I know it's a bit early for Canton, but it's true.

I never lost faith in the Steelers ( and I NEVER will), week after week I believe we can win, but my faith in our QB's has gone, especially Kordell. We should slash Kordell and look to the horizon for something better. Let's not become comfortable with this level of offensive play. We can do better than this.

However, for now second place feels mighty nice!

Paul Spillane
Floral Park, NY
(Long Island Steeler Country)

Submitted by Mike DeLancey
Damn, what a great win. I don't care if it is too early or not, but I am thinking "PLAYOFFS"

I did not get to see the game on TV, had to work so I listened to Myron on the broadcast. I do have several observations based on what I heard. Our so called #1 receiver (Plaxico) is still missing too many catchable balls. And, why in the hell did we give up on the running game so quickly in the first half? Bettis got 65 yds, mostly in the 2nd half.I am beginning to think that more of this blame for low production should go to Gillbride. Without saying, the defense was again great and Kordell played very well against a great defense. I agree with Tim's comments regarding Kordell. I think this kid is finally coming around and can lead this team back to the playoffs. He is playing real smart, unlike the past.

Visit my web page at

Ps. Steelers 20 Titans 13 for #6

Submitted by Joe Roberts
Darn it all, I'm starting to believe. When's the last time ANY NFL team went four straight games without allowing a TD? The No Name Curtain is leading the Steelers back into contention. Pick up a win next week in the Stinkhole on the Cumberland (that's Nashville for the uneducated) and the Steelers should finish 11-5 at worst. Who needs an offense anyway? Just tell the offense to hold 'em until the defense gets back onto the field.

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MVP Award
Who deserves the game ball for the win over the Ratbirds?
D. Washington
 ( 29%)
Kordell Stewart
 ( 23%)
Hines Ward
 ( 23%)
Joey Porter
 ( 18%)
Lee Flowers
 ( 6%)
Jerome Bettis
 ( 3%)
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Sandy's Record
2000: 58-29
'99 total 78-59
'98 total 117-69