2008 AFC Championship Steelers 23 vs Ravens 14
mcmillenandwife
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09-01-2017, 03:38 PM

2008 AFC Championship Steelers 23 vs Ravens 14

Pittsburgh wins the rubber match, holding the Ravens to 184 yds and forcing 5 turnovers en route to their 7th trip to the Super Bowl. Ben comes out slinging it, splitting safeties Leonhard and Reed on 3rd & 12 with a perfect 20-yd dart to Ward, who breaks away for a 45-yd gain to set up an early FG. The Steelers get another chance after a Townsend INT of a terrible Flacco pass. Following a clutch but costly 3rd and 10 conversion that sends Ward to the slideline with a knee sprain, Ben hits Santonio Holmes for what appears to be a TD on a beautiful seam route. But the officials overturn the play and rule it incomplete (incorrectly, in my opinion), so the Steelers settle for another Reed FG. A Parker fumble sets up Baltimore in Steeler territory, but the Ravens fail to convert on 4th and inches thanks to an amazing, perfectly-timed leap over center by Polamalu, who then throttles Flacco for no gain. Early in the 2nd quarter, Ben comes through on another 3rd and long, shuffling left to avoid the rush, then stepping up and throwing back across the field to Holmes who avoids a slipping DB, breaks into the open and weaves 65 yds for a TD to make it 13-0. After a long punt return sets up a McGahee TD, the Steelers blow two golden opportunities to score before halftime. First, a WIDE open Limas Sweed drops a perfect 50-yd TD bomb from Ben (and then costs the Steelers a timeout by acting like he is hurt). The Steelers then drive to the Ravens 11-yd line but fail to spike the ball before time in the half expires, leaving 3 more points on the field. Midway through the 3rd, Reed hits his 3rd FG of the game, making it 16–7. But the Ravens take advantage of a short field thanks to a terrible punt and narrow the score to 16-14 on a McGahee 1-yd plunge, then force a punt and get the ball back on their own 14 with 6 minutes to play. On 3rd and 13 with 4 minutes remaining, Polamalu reads Flacco's eyes, steps under the route run by Derrick Mason to intercept the pass and cuts back across the field, evading most of the Ravens' roster on his way to the end zone for a wild 40-yd TD return, sealing a trip to Super Bowl XLIII. 
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