Let's get this out of the way.
Here's where Hines is obviously in the wrong:
1. Whether or not you make a practice of lying to doctors, you probably don't want to tell that to Bob Costas. Especially in the current climate of hand-wringing about player health issues.
2. Mentioning that anyone besides yourself in the locker room had issues with Ben missing the game. That creates open speculation about clubhouse issues that will go on until the team is able to roll off a series of wins. Because that eradicates any such BS.
If Ben has, through years of persistent physical abuse, been allowed a pass to miss a game following a concussion, Hines gets one for letting his frustration get the best of him. This interview was conducted just hours after Hines and the rest of the team found out about Ben's removal from the line-up. Think about that. Significant game coming the next day against your hated division rival and the guy you practiced with and assumed all week was a go suddenly cannot. You'd be a mite bit ticked as well. Did Hines react poorly? Sure. He's backed down from there. Will it create a huge rift in the team? I can't say for certain but I doubt it. Meanwhile, the Mike Florios of the world will continue to spin it in the usual "drama queen" direction he needs to foster page views. It's annoying as it is inevitable.
As much as it tremendously sucks for the Steelers to hang as close as they did in a game they had no business being in in the first place, they can take a lot of positives away.
Rashard Mendenhall ran for 95 yards on 24 carries. Not an amazing line, until you consider the Ravens KNEW he was coming on probably 20 of those carries. There were few surprises out of that offense yesterday. The fact they were able to generate whatever success they had is a huge testament to the improvement of the O-line.
As much as we want to beat up on Arians, it's the second straight week where the team has had a late lead, only to allow the opposition drive the field and take the game to OT, where they eventually prevailed. Dick LeBeau is not beyond reproach. This has happened too often this year for blame to keep getting deflected from him.
The team, thankfully, broke its eight-game streak of allowing special teams or defensive scores. It really had to be if were to keep it close. There were a few times the Ravens had chances to break returns, though those were mostly the result of penalties. The punt coverage was generally stellar.
William Gay is turning into a huge scapegoat on the team, not that he hasn't deserved it at times, but he might have had a better impact than Ike Taylor yesterday. Gay did force one turnover while Taylor and Ryan Clark were beat on deep passes they were in position to defend.
Again, this late in the season with the position the team is in, moral victories mean little. But the team fought hard enough that at full strength they have to know that they are more than capable of knocking out the next five games. They dropped three straight to fall to 7-5 in 2005 and went on to win it all. They can do it again.
And as much as Ravens dicksmacks are getting off on the Hines Ward interview about Ben, you had to enjoy Hines carrying Ed Reed for 10 yards after a reception in the second half yesterday. Nice tackling as always, Ed, you wimpy little centerfielder.