Sunday's game was the seventh AFC Championship I've covered, but it was perhaps the best one that I've seen.
If you like football, you liked this game. The hitting was phenomenal. The chess match between the two teams was interesting to watch. And there were some great plays made out there.
That was the good.
The bad was the length. It just shouldn't take four hours to play an NFL game under any circumstances.
The officiating crew was an "all-star" group that included Tony Steratore at back judge. Tony is, for those of you who don't know, a Washington business owner and a McMurray resident.
Part of the problem with the length of the game, in my opinion, was that these guys weren't accustomed to working with each other. It led to a few more post-play huddles than usual.
© I thought going into this game that the play of Joe Flacco would be the difference – and I didn't mean that in a good way.
These really were two pretty evenly matched teams, with the only glaring difference being Flacco's inexperience. That proved to be the case.
Flacco never solved what the Steelers' defense was doing to him. Even though the Ravens generated more of a running game than the Steelers did, they couldn't take advantage of it.
© Limas Sweed, you've got to catch that deep ball. There's just no excuse for a guy who's paid to get open and catch the ball not to catch that pass.
On the plus side, that's two weeks in a row he's gotten himself wide open.
And he did come up with some catches later in the game while also making a crushing block on a catch by Heath Miller.
But you've got to catch the ones when you're wide open like that behind the defense.
© LaMarr Woodley has six sacks in three career postseason games. That's called a money player.
© We got a glimpse of what the Steelers offense might look like without Hines Ward and it wasn't pretty.
But Ward's got a few more years left in him and should be back for the Super Bowl. That gives some other guys – are you listening Sweed? – some time to polish their game.
© Ryan Clark's hit on Willis McGahee may have been the exclamation point on this game, but it was Carey Davis' decleater of Daren Stone on the opening kickoff that was the opening statement.
© Listeing to the radio on the way into the game, I heard my good friend Joe Starkey say that nobody has a winning record picking games in these playoffs.
Joe must not read this site – I don't know why – because I'm now 8-2 in these here playoffs picking games.
With that said, I'm picking … well you're just going to have to wait to see who I pick in the Super Bowl because I'm not even sure how I feel about this one yet.