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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

On location: Ravens 22, Steelers 20

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

BALTIMORE — Looking ahead to kickoff …

Game: Steelers (5-6) vs. Baltimore Ravens (5-6)

Time: 8:32 p.m.

Site: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

TV, radio: NBC (national), WDVE-FM, ESPN Radio 970

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Steelers page. Alan Robinson, Mark Kaboly, Ralph Paulk and I are on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. DJ says:

    Two keys: Keep Torrey Smith from the big play behind our coverage and Ray Rice from chewing us up underneath our coverage and we stand a great shot.

    A big test tonight for both Worilds and Jones covering the short routes.

  2. Rbilak says:

    1. Worst Thanksgiving memory, The Bettis coin Flip game.

    2. Really think Steelers should win. As always turnovers. Have not seen if Pitta is playing, but he is Flacco’s safety blanket. Can’t wait for rest of Flacco’s contract to kick in. They will not be a factor in division for the remainder of it.

    3. Punting, huge advantage for Koch, hopefully Colbert studies film and sees what a real punter does.

    4. Ravens Oline, pretty bad, Shipley starts and Blind Side is Mr Off Side and Mr Wrong Side.

    5. I see LaMarr Woodley-Doubtful, is out again. Salary cap aside, doesn’t matter if the guy constantly misses large portion of year due to muscle pulls. #93 has had many injuries too. He played two outstanding games, today will be the true test. If so, he may force Colbert to rethink plans. Can’t develop him like Lewis or Vrabel for other team to benefit.

    6. Haley had great game plan vs Ravens, they went away from tendencies and it confused them badly.

    7. Cam Heyward, that is how you play defensive end, you are allowed to make plays. He could be huge today.

    8. OBVIOUSLY, Tomlin has kept team together. A win today and a playoff birth is highly likely, never thought it possible after 0-4. They are a flawed team, but they didn’t quit. Let’s see what tonight brings.

  3. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Steelers only win on Thanksgiving Day took place 63 years ago, November 23, 1950. A 28-17 victory in Chicago over the Cardinals. Tonight will be their 7th Thanksgiving appearance, all away from Pittsburgh.

  4. Milo Hamilton says:

    The blind side false starts on every pass play. Watch him.

  5. Drew71 says:

    On this day, just Thankful that the game thread is up on time.

    Somebody must have Cued the Bolton.

  6. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where’s the Pitt game thread?

  7. Rbilak says:

    Agree every play and still gets beat. He played better in the movie!

  8. The Pirate thread is up.

  9. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ll take 100 on the under.

  10. Can’t wait for ST.

  11. theplanisworking says:

    I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day today.
    If you ate too much turkey, you will fall asleep during the game.

    Today is Marc-Andre Fleury’s birthday.
    Is he starting at safety tonight? ;)

  12. JohninOshkosh says:

    Nothing says Thanksgiving like Selena Gomez lip syncing.

  13. Drew71 says:

    I wish she’d teach my wife how to lip sync. And it would be a special bonus if she did it without moving her lips. Or anything.

  14. Naje says:

    A little hype from Hines? “…straight up hatred in this house…”

    I enjoy this rivalry. This game is among the league’s best every year. Little hatred on the field never hurt anything. I guess.

  15. Lad 9 says:

    I like the visitors tonight. 24-13. Lets go Steelers!!

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think the winner of tonight’s game makes the playoffs.

  17. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oher false starts on every pass play, they never call it, & it’s sooooooo frustrating.

  18. Lad 9 says:

    Milo, definitely saw Oher move early on that TD.

  19. Bizrow says:

    I was 7 months old

    Reminds me of the PBC ;-)

  20. Bizrow says:


  21. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, that no huddle thing and all the points they were scoring with it were really annoying. I like this much better.

  22. Rob says:

    I’m sorry what did you say about Torrey Smmith?

  23. Milo Hamilton says:

    The kicker forgot the snap count. Don’t think I’ve seen that one before.

  24. Rob says:

    Dear Jason Worilds, I’m sorry for saying bad things about you. Keep up the great work.

  25. Chuck H says:

    Steelers better have their running game going tonight or they are done for. You can’t do it with just the pass.

  26. Milo Hamilton says:

    The way their defense is playing, not only is Baltimore going to make the playoffs, they’re going to make some noise once they get there.

  27. Milo Hamilton says:

    Just hang on. He’s due to get hurt soon.

  28. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Has done very well over the last month.

  29. Drew71 says:

    Maybe they can bring Selena Gomez back.

  30. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    This game is the season. This is the must win game of the season.

    10-0 at the half and the offense looks lethargic.

    like seeing Worlds and Heyward all over the field.

    Suisham? WTH was that?

    Ben looking pretty good. I think Sanders is the man to go to tonight.

  31. florida steeler says:

    Ben is missing his receivers and what the hell was Suisham doing?? All the guy does all week is practice field goals and kickoffs and he doesn’t know the snap count??
    Ike is sting up the place–again.

  32. Rbilak says:

    First half Observations

    1. Ike Taylor looks his age.

    2. Sanders always drops an easy pass

    3. Mike Adams still can’t handle outside pass rush

    4. Woodley can continue to sit out

    5. Running the ball, just to run the ball was stupid.

    6. Sorry I see nothing special about Bell. Not terrible, not good. Just nothing to be excited about.

    7. Beachum is playing well at left tackle.

    8. Brett Keisel may have played last game as a Steeler.

    9. Half time adjustments now determine if this is a playoff team.

  33. Rbilak says:

    Kicker watched Charlie Brown special and flashed back to it. That is all I can figure.

  34. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Must stop them on this drive.

  35. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh well, the season got interesting for 4 days anyway.

  36. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Like Taylor is actually covering pretty well.

    Got beat once. Had the penalty, but has still won more battles than he’s lost far. Let’s see if he can win the war.

  37. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    That’s a run Bell has been missing all season.

  38. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I’ll call that dance “The Manny”

  39. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Not yet….don’t pack it in yet. Holding them to a FG was big.

  40. Dom says:

    Big time touchdown from Big Ben.

  41. Milo Hamilton says:

    As I was saying …

  42. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Here’s a question: why does anyone kick the ball to Jones?

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    Clark must have said something about Rice’s momma.

  44. Steelkings says:

    That thing that Tomlin did should get him fired. How embarrassing!

  45. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Collinsworth making a bigger deal out of it than what it was.

  46. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Hey Milo, so much for Oher not getting called. 3 tonight and has the most penalties since 09

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’s hard to make a comeback when the other team scores every time they have the ball.

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    They’ve called 3. They’ve missed at least 10. Including their touchdown & the long pass that got them there.

  49. Arriba Wilver says:

    Get him fired????

  50. Steelkings says:

    No he didnt. That was an embarrassment

  51. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Nobody’s perfect

  52. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Agree with that

  53. Milo Hamilton says:

    I loved the movie, by the way. :)

  54. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    My wife did too

  55. Steelkings says:

    Just another example of the chaos of the Steelers coaching staff. That was cheap and un-sportsman like. nice example.

  56. Steelkings says:

    Im going to set the over and under of Tomlins fine at 25,000.

  57. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    You’re kidding right?

  58. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    You think he’s the 1st one to ever pull that, if intentional?

  59. Dom says:

    Bell for the touchdown. Time to get a turnover.

  60. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least they can go for 2 after Baltimore kicks another field goal.

  61. Dom says:

    I’ll say under.

  62. Steelkings says:

    If intentional?

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    As I was saying …

  64. Steelkings says:

    No I’m not. That was awful! more than awful and will be talked about all week

  65. Steelkings says:

    He’s a head coach…..

  66. Milo Hamilton says:

    It wasn’t intentional. He was watching the play on the video board & lost track of where he was standing.

  67. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    You might be on to something here

  68. DJ says:

    Someone explain to me what is being accomplished by blitzing Polamalu every other play . . . other than big plays by the Ravens.

  69. Steelkings says:

    Maybe Tomlin can run into the locker room and get in a uniform and become a player coach

  70. Steelkings says:

    Tomlin has sideline coverage

  71. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Agree. Not intentional

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    Remember Cowher that Monday night in Jacksonville ? I thought he really was going to tackle that guy.

  73. DJ says:

    #6. Sorry but I see a lot to get excited about.

    Big body, great hands, excellent body lean, rarely goes down after first contact, fluid runner.

    Stats aren’t telling the full story on Bell.

  74. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Or any official. My favorite Cowher moment was when he shoved the penalty picture in his pocket.

  75. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    That was scary.

    Still is. Prayers to Bell.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    That 2 point play he’s been saving all these years.

  77. Steelkings says:

    helmet to helmet

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    Is Chris Kunitz out there ?

  79. Milo Hamilton says:

    Not on a runner.

  80. Frankie says:

    Sanders can leave now

  81. Milo Hamilton says:

    Emmanuel Sanders continues to do whatever’s necessary to not make a play.

  82. Dom says:

    Yeah, we might need him to play center.

  83. DJ says:

    Sanders stops on that play, instead of fading backwards, and there’s a penalty.

  84. J Walter Weatherman says:

    When you call a back shoulder fade to Sanders with the game on the line, you deserve to lose.

    Nice game by Suisham.

  85. Steelkings says:

    Sanders cant catch

  86. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yes and yes.

  87. Steelag70 says:

    And that’s the game folks…sure hope Bell is ok…

  88. florida steeler says:

    Nice game by Suisham and Sanders–send both of them out of town!!!!

  89. DJ says:

    Hate going to Sanders there. Not a “body up” guy.

    Would have taken my chances with Heath in traffic. Antonio Brown second.

  90. Steelkings says:

    Another nice game by the coaching staff

  91. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Season over. Not even worth arguing or talking about.

    Valiant effort, just not good enough.

    Typical Steelers/Ravens game though.

  92. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Dumbest rule ever applied on the Bell helmet play. Have to imagine that will be amended in the offseason. If a guy is running down the field without a helmet, that’s one thing. If a guy is in the process of going down on a tackle, how do you not give him the forward progress, no matter where his helmet came off? Dumb.

  93. Steelkings says:

    How bout scoring in the 1st half?

  94. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Actually, its a good rule. Have you seen the recent NFL troubles with concussions?

  95. Arriba Wilver says:

    They need to change the name of that penalty. ” Illegal touching?”

  96. DJ says:

    The rule was amended a few years ago to make it what it is right now.

  97. Steelag70 says:

    It’s the Jason Whitten rule…

  98. J Walter Weatherman says:

    You must not have read my full statement. There should be limitations to the rule. A ball carrier shouldn’t be allowed to run down the field without a helmet. He should be entitled to forward progress if his helmet comes off while being tackled. Not too difficult to amend that.

  99. Steelag70 says:

    A few positives from tonight’s game:

    Bell continues to get better each game…he is going to be a good one. I hope he’s ok though.

    Another outstanding game for Worilds…Some guys are just more comfortable playing in a certain spot.

    More steps forward for the offensive line.

  100. theplanisworking says:

    Very good point. When you start the game with a 1950’s conservative gameplan, it is tough to score. Why not run the no-huddle from games beginning?

    Simply inexcusable.
    Now, the Steelers got many more injuries.

    Maybe we can finally dismiss this silly “playoffs” talk. This team was/is not good enough. Wins against Buffalo and Cleveland were cute, but the opposition was horrible. All that did was ruin Pittsburgh’s draft position.

    The standard is indeed the standard!

  101. florida steeler says:

    And, all he does all week is kick the damn ball. Horrible onside kick.

  102. Milo Hamilton says:

    Baltimore scored on every 2nd half possession except for the kneel down. They punted once all night.

  103. BreakTheStreak says:

    Emanuel “limas sweed” sanders dropped 3 passes. Which coach likes that guy?? Haley? Tomlin? Week after week he drops big passes. Good riddance to him. Pleas take him tomorrow New England

  104. DJ says:

    We took a lot of chances trying to get to Flacco tonight and were burned on several.

    That said, Ike was horrible again, but had little help from either safety.

    Seemed Troy was not in a position to make anything happen tonight. Didn’t like how he was deployed. Blitzed too frequently and swallowed up at the line so just one less D-back for Flacco to account for.

  105. Chuck H says:

    What is the matter with Ben’s arm or hand? He kept throwing the ball into the ground in the first half. Anyhow, the season is over for the Stillers. Get some new coaches and offensive coordinator for next season.

  106. Ghost says:

    I’m too drained to come up with an apt metaphor, so I’ll just mix two together to get what I want said. With these Steelers, the heart is willing… but they just don’t have enough bullets.

  107. Ghost says:

    Yep. I admire the guys’ effort, I really do. But this year was never for real. “Cute” for the Cleveland and Buffalo wins is about right. Losing to a so-so Baltimore squad, and getting blown to smithereens by New England, is also about right.

  108. Tim says:

    To nit pick about this loss is ridiculous. Great game great effort. They played their guts out. Its hard to be perfect when the other guy is wailing as hard as you. Sanders has to make that catch. Thats it.

  109. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Never expected the Steelers to make the playoffs, and barely expected them to win this eve.
    But….Hard to take seeing those low-life Ravens get the victory. Can’t wait till those head hunters are eliminated.

  110. Jim S. says:

    It was a great effort by the Steelers tonight. But, this team is just lacking in so many areas.

    * Our team speed is a huge liability. Look who Balt has returning kicks compared to J. Dwyer and Emmanuel Sanders.

    * The lack of speed carries over to WR, where it is most important. Brown can get deep. That is it. Balt has blazers.

    * Sanders dropped at least 3, maybe 4 catchable, critical balls. That is unforgiveable.

    * The defense was not good. Balt scored on all but one possession, I believe. We could not get off the field on 3rd down. How many 3rd & 8/9 did Balt convert? A bunch.

    * Part of the 3rd down conversion issue, as I have been saying all year, is that too often Troy is just freelancing. He just seems to be playing sand lot ball. That might work against rookies, but Flacco and Brady know how to isolate him and take full advantage of the spots on the field they know he is vacating. I feel like we have 10 guys playing defense a lot of the time, and everyone is afraid to tell it like it is because of all Troy has meant to this team.

    * I thought Ben was terrific again. The game would not have even been close without stellar play from him and Le’Veon Bell. Bell is the real deal.

    * I have no idea what Tomlin was doing on the kickoff where he interfered. Get off the field! That was embarrassing, and I just tuned into SportsCenter and Sal Pal says it is all anyone could talk about after the game. The Ravens all decided he did it on purpose. John Harbaugh even asked if Tomlin was credited with a tackle. Embarrassing is all I can say.

    * I guess Sal Pal didn’t want to ask about what appeared to be a double H2H that injured Bell on the play where he scored at the end. As it turned out, because of the stupid NFL rule that a play is dead as soon as a player’s helmet comes off, Bell lost his TD and the Ravens were rewarded for that hit. I admit I don’t even know any more what is an illegal helmet hit. But, they sure seemed to lead with their helmets there. I doubt we’ll see Bell for at least next week. He sure looked to be seeing stars on the way off the field.

    They battled, but this team just does not have enough talent. Grit only takes you so far. And, now that the OLine was finally playing well, a bunch of them are injured again. Oh well, need to find a way to run the table and slide in at 9-7.

  111. Jim S. says:

    Oh & to add insult to injury, after just watching the replay, on the 2 point conversion to Sanders he was clearly shielded from having a chance at the ball by the Ravens defender – who had his back to the QB the entire time and lunged at Sanders with his arms up. Clear blown call. Could have tied the game. Had that been New England there, ESPN would have spent the better part of a week whining. As it is, it will never get a peep outside of Pittsburgh.

  112. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Pretty sure I read the whole thing. Still think it’s a good safety call.

  113. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    But yet, he some say he should’ve caught it. Dumb play. Should’ve gone to Brown on a slant.

  114. DJ says:

    Agree with both you and NorCal.

    Was probably a penalty as it was, but if Sanders just stops and waits for that ball, he is going to be interfered with by the D-back who was facing Sanders the entire time. Got to use football instincts some times and a lot of guys don’t have that.

    That said, and as NorCal points out, hated the decision to go to him. Sanders is not a receiver who bodies up, which is what you need down tight to the goal line. The play was the same as the preceding one that they scored on but Ben immediately elected at the line where he was going. In that situation, I’m looking Heath first, Brown next and, if my QB has time, Cotchery third.

    One thing this team needs in next year’s draft is a big body WR who can both catch in traffic and get deep . . . another Plaxico, but with better hands.

  115. Jim S. says:

    Well, Ben said afterward that there isn’t time to think about more than one option there. He’s probably right. You go with your first instinct. He got the pass in Sanders’ hands, and he didn’t catch it. As I said, that could easily have been a penalty. You can’t fail to turn around AND stick your hands up to block the receiver’s vision – at least, that has always been my interpretation.

    But, all that will be talked about is our coach looking like a fool, watchig the big screen and backing on to the field … then, chuckling about it.

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