It's an old phrase that football coaches have repeated for years--you've gotta play the whole game.
The Ravens didn't Sunday night. The Steelers did and that's a big reason they pulled out the surprising 23-20 victory over the Ravens, a win that kept Pittsburgh alive in the AFC playoff hunt.
There's no question as to why the Steelers came back for the win. Despite playing with third-string quarterback Charlie Batch, the Steelers' offense didn't appear to miss a beat and pushed the Baltimore defense around in the second half.
Pittsburgh scored 17 points in the second half after Batch struggled throughout the first two quarters. The Ravens couldn't stop them on defense. Even more frustrating was that the Ravens took a 20-13 lead in the fourth quarter and gave up 10 unanswered points, all of which came in the final half of the quarter.
"We have to finish. We didn’t do a good job of that today," safety Bernard Pollard said afterwards. "Games like this, we need to be ready to go. We’ve got to finish, and today, we didn’t do a good job of it.”
The Ravens, for whatever reason, didn't seem to play with as much intensity in the second half as the first. In that first half, the Ravens kept Batch and the Steelers quiet for much of the time.
But somehow Pittsburgh opened things up on offense in the final two quarters, especially in the passing game. Did the Ravens overlook Batch a bit? They said that didn't happen, but in the end, the defense couldn't hold the Steelers in the second half, a problem that's unusual for coach John Harbaugh's team.
(on the Ravens-Steelers rivalry) “We didn’t care who their quarterback was, we knew it was going to be a tough game. For us, we just have to watch the film and figure out where we messed up. We’ve got to find out what we’ve got to get better at and move on.”