Ben Roethlisberger would have to play well to go the second Super Bowl of his career, as the Ravens defense stuffed Willie Parker and the run game for only 54 yards. Things got grim early as halfway through the first quarter Hines Ward left the game with an injury. The Steelers offense did not perform as well a last week, but that was expected due to the Ravens defense being tougher than the Chargers. But Big Ben would play well enough to lead his team past their rivals. Although getting sacked four times, he didn't turn the ball over and threw a 65 yard touchdown to Santonio Holmes on a wildly improvised play. The offense played mediocre, but was enough thanks to a stellar performance by the defense.
It was to be expected that both defenses would flourish in this bitter rivalry, as it had in the past two match-ups that year. The defense rattled the so-called unflappable Joe Flacco, forcing him to throw 3 interceptions and sacking him three times, and he had neither turned the ball over or gotten sacked in two playoff games. The defense overall forced 4 turnovers, including the forced fumble caused by the ferocious hit Ryan Clark put on Willis McGahee. There is debate on whether the hit was dirty or not, but no flag was thrown on the play. The turnovers were timely as three of the four were with under five minutes to play in the game. The turnovers counted for 10 points, with 7 of them due to a Ed Reed like play from Troy Polamalu. That play sealed the game for the Steelers, but the game ended when Tyrone Carter got the final interception and then Big Ben took a couple kneels and the game was over.
For the Super Bowl, the Steelers offense will have to play well and hopefully Hines Ward will be back. If the defense plays just as spectacular as they did Sunday night and force turnovers, the Cardinals and their subpar defense will be in trouble.