What The Hell Happened Last Night: The Ravens Beat The Steelers, And Byron Leftwich’s Arm Almost Fell Off
Welcome to the latest edition of “What The Hell Happened Last Night,” where we break down what you missed in the sports world so you don’t have to. We’re giving like that. Fairly busy night last night, so let’s get down to business.
Ravens edge Steelers, Leftwich banged up.
Ravens-Steelers is one of the most heated rivalries in today’s NFL, and last night’s game was exceptionally Ravens-Steelers-y: potential playoff position was on the line, tons of big hitting… and brutally ugly football. The Ravens escaped with 13-10 win despite gaining only 200 yards of offense. Their lone touchdown came on a Jacoby Jones punt return. Ray Rice was held to 40 yards on 20 carries.
And still, it was enough, thanks in part to Byron Leftwich playing in pain for almost the entire game. He made one fantastic play – a 31-yard touchdown scramble for the game’s first score – but as soon as the run was over, he grabbed his shoulder and winced. His discomfort showed in his final stats (18-of-39 passing for 201 yards, no touchdowns and an interception), and also on a deep throw on a desperation drive at the end of the game, when his normally powerful arm couldn’t even come close to delivering the ball to his intended target.
It was a huge win for the Ravens, who opened up some room between themselves and the Steelers in the AFC North: they now lead the division by two games. Not bad for a team dealing with some serious injury problems (Ray Lewis, Lardarius Webb). The two teams next play on December 2. We foresee… well, almost the exact same game. Except the Stelers won’t be wearing those throwbacks next time. Thankfully.
Around the Association…
It was a good night for stars: Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant both recorded triple doubles. Both their teams won, too: Durant’s Thunder over the Warriors, and Kobe’s Lakers over the Rockets. Dwight Howard added 28 points and 13 rebounds in the latter game: are the now 5-5 Lakers pulling it together? Seems that way. Besides that, perhaps last night’s most noteworthy result: the previously 1-9 Pistons blowing out the Celtics by 20. What the hell happened there, Celts?
College basketball upset watch
Oh look, an actual early-season upset! Unranked Oklahoma State not only beat No. 6 N.C. State, they dominated the Wolfpack, prevailing 76-56 and outscoring N.C. State exactly 38-28 in both halves. Wins like that can really help a coach on the hot seat… a coach like, say, OSU boss Travis Ford.
Aside from N.C. State, no other Top 25 teams lost last night, but it is worth pointing out that No. 23 UConn needed two overtimes to dispatch of Quinnipiac, 89-83. Early close calls against inferior competition are hardly rare on college basketball, but UConn can’t be feeling great that Quinnipiac didn’t even play lights out (they shot 39.4 percent as a team) and still hung around. And you just know every time UConn plays a substandard game, fans will just be thinking about how much they miss Jim Calhoun. We do not envy Kevin Ollie one bit.
Monday blues got you down? Well, remember, it’s also Monday…
…of a shortened holiday week.
Photos via Getty