You might recall that after the Baltimore Ravens came into Heinz Field and (for the most part) had their way with the Pittsburgh Steelers, with quarterback Joe Flacco posting the best game he has ever had against the team, the veteran told reporters that he felt it was relatively easy, and almost sounded disappointed with the fight.
“It’s not like today was the toughest Pittsburgh Steeler games I’ve ever played”, he said. “I’ve played really really tough football games against these guys and probably thrown for 150 but I take pride in some of those games because I battled really really hard”.
The Steelers were listening. And they want to make Flacco regret his words. In a classic case of ‘bulletin board material’, a notion invoked far more frequently than is actually merited, the defense is fired up to prove to the Ravens quarterback that that game was an anomaly.
For one thing, they were missing Mike Hilton and Morgan Burnett, and were still figuring out the rotation at right outside cornerback. It was also the game in which Vince Williams was injured. So there were some personnel things going on.
“I don’t like that comment because I feel like Baltimore week, I’m already preparing my body as if there’s going to be a bruising”, safety Sean Davis said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, when reminded of Flacco’s comments. “We’ll see if he has the same response after this game”.
With that loss, the Steelers fell to a record of 1-2-1 on the season, which was their worst record that far into a season since 2013, when they lost their first four games. This team has since won their past three contests, including the past two against divisional opponents, and now they are looking to knock another one off—the only one that beat them, so far.
“I just feel like we move so much better” since the first game against the Ravens, Davis said. “I just feel like we’re a better team. We look different on defense”. And there are some differences, especially coming out of the bye week with the incorporation of a fixed dime package. “We’re a different team; we’re not the same guys who played them four weeks ago”.
Davis, who had six tackles in the game, including three that counted as defensive stops, continued his remarks. “In my head, I’m preparing for a bruising”, he added. “Maybe he got lucky, he might have escaped a couple. It’s going to be a physical one for sure”.
In his third season, the former second-round pick is in his first year working as the team’s starting free safety. Rookie Terrell Edmunds has been the primary starter at strong safety and has grown a fair bit since the first game against the Ravens. Even Joe Haden had a rare ugly rep in which he gave up a touchdown early in the game.
Flacco surely won’t have such an easy game this time around. The defense will make sure of that.