National Football League
Ravens gear up for Steelers after win
National Football League

Ravens gear up for Steelers after win

Published Jan. 9, 2011 12:00 a.m. ET

The Baltimore Ravens are looking for redemption when they play the Pittsburgh Steelers in a divisional playoff game Saturday.

A month ago, the Ravens were three minutes from sweeping their biggest rival and gaining an inside track for a first-round bye. But a Joe Flacco fumble late in the fourth quarter led to a 13-10 loss to Pittsburgh.

Now, Baltimore is seeking payback by knocking the Steelers out of the playoffs.

"I think it's going to be World War III," safety Dawan Landry said. "The last one left a bad taste in our mouths."


The Steelers ended the Ravens' run as defending Super Bowl champions in January 2002 and beat the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game in January 2009.

"It's going to be a bloodbath," guard Ben Grubbs said, "a train wreck."

This sets up rivalry weekend in the AFC next weekend. The Ravens play at Pittsburgh, and the New York Jets head to New England.

"This is the NFL at its best," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "This is what the world wants to see. This is Armageddon for all four teams, and there can only be one winner at the end."

The Ravens are rallying around the tragedy surrounding safety Ed Reed's brother.

In the locker room after the Ravens' 30-7 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, wide receiver Derrick Mason handed the game ball to Reed in memory of his brother, Brian Reed, who has been missing in Louisiana since police say he jumped into the Mississippi River to elude officers on Friday. Police called off the search a day before the game.

Reed held up the game ball as teammates huddled around him.

"My family would appreciate this and so would my brother," Reed said. "My brother would want us to beat Pittsburgh."

Several players said Reed will serve as motivation for this year's Super Bowl run.

"I told the guys (Saturday), 'Let's keep Ed on the field as long as possible because it gives him something to think about,' " Mason said. "When it's over, that's the hard part. Hopefully, he won't get off the field until February."

After waiting four years for a chance to appear in the playoffs and then seven years for the opportunity to play a home game, the Chiefs went out of the postseason almost as quickly as they came in.

With a squad that had minimal experience in January, the Chiefs' loss to the Ravens was a record-setting defeat for the Kansas City franchise, as it has now lost an NFL-record seven consecutive playoff games.

The Chiefs had just 22 players on their roster with postseason experience, compared to 42 for the Ravens. That imbalance was visible in the second half when the Chiefs self-destructed with turnovers, penalties and sacks of quarterback Matt Cassel.

"I don't feel like they are such a superior team to us that we didn't have an opportunity in this game," said Cassel, who struggled throughout the game and finished with a 20.4 passer rating. "We went into half at 10-7 (behind) and the game was in reach. In the second half, it was a lot of bad football on our part."

There's no mystery to that bad football. The Chiefs did all those things that will get a team beat, whether it's the preseason or the postseason. They were simply awful in the second half, being outscored 20-0 because they:

• Turned the ball over four times with three Cassel interceptions and a fumble by wide receive Dexter McCluster.
• Allowed three sacks, costing them 17 yards of offense and getting their quarterback bruised and battered.
• Committed four penalties for 39 yards.
• Converted one of six third downs on offense in the third and fourth quarters.

"We just didn't execute in the first half well enough," coach Todd Haley said. "We could have been in a much better situation. In the second half, we didn't execute a whole bunch. There were good things and there were bad things, and the bad things clearly outweighed the good things."


Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more