Last Thursday night’s NFL game found the Baltimore Ravens on the road at Heinz Field, where Pittsburgh Steelers fans openly hate on the Ravens in one of the great divisional rivalries.
The Steelers were without their offensive leader, Ben Roethlisberger, and the Ravens came in with a 0-3 record, having lost each of their first three games in heartbreaking fashion in the final minutes. The outcome was hard to predict. We caught up with Justin Forsett after the game and this is what he had to say:
On why the team was 0-3 coming in to Pittsburgh:
“I think that in the first few games, the one thing that we couldn’t do was finish the game like we wanted to. We couldn’t finish the drives like we wanted to, so, it was great to be able to go out [against Pittsburgh] and actually finish. Being in those close tough games, it’s disappointing knowing that you’re right there and just one play here or there would make the difference between us being 3-0 or 0-3 going into this game.”
On the environment when the Ravens and Steelers play:
“It was a playoff type atmosphere, a must win for us against our rivals in a game where it is probably the best rivalry in football. It’s a hostile environment. It’s pretty insane. It’s stuff you dream about when you’re a kid, you know; the type of atmosphere when the Ravens go up to Pittsburgh and play. You know that everyone in that stadium hates you and it’s a you-against-the-world mentality, you know? It’s fun football. We went out there knowing that we had to win that game.”
On battling through adversity as a team:
“We went through a lot of adversity and ups and downs in that game. We were down a couple points, but, our mental toughness kept us resilient as a team. We are a gritty team and it showed during that game. The ball didn’t bounce our way every time but we kept fighting, we kept plugging, and at the end of the game it paid dividends for us because we were able to make one more play than they did when Justin Tucker came on the field and kicked the game-winning field goal for us.”
On what it’s like to be the running back in an overtime game:
“It’s exciting to play in overtime. As a running back, you know that you’re going to touch the ball, you are going to have impact. It’s your time, it’s what all your training is is for; moments like this, when the pressure is on and the team is counting on you. Especially when we’ve had success throughout the game running the football, confidence is high and everybody knows that we can run the ball on them, so it was just our job to go out there and execute and we did.
The clock was ticking, we had the ball in our hands, and we were able to move it, guys were picking up blocks, with the offensive line, the fullback, and the wide receiver, it was a team effort and we came together to win the game in a crucial moment.”
On what it felt like to finally “Finish:”
“We had to battle through some adversity to finally finish. In this fourth game, being able to go out in a hostile environment in an overtime game and say, ‘Hey man, we finally finished,’ I think that’s going to pay big dividends for us down the road and it really all came together in that game to win it.”
Justin and the Ravens battled through adversity, overcame obstacles, had a little good fortune (Two missed, potential game-winning field goals by Pittsburgh’s Josh Scobee) and pulled together to win in one of the toughest environments in the NFL. If Baltimore goes on to have a successful 2015 season, the team and the fans will be able to point to a night when Forsett ran for 150 yards in a hostile environment and the team finished strong.