1. In a decisive blitzkrieg that nearly knocked out Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, thoroughly embarrassed Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and prompted Steelers coach Bill Cowher to label it a pitiful performance from his team, the Baltimore Ravens trounced the defending Super Bowl champions Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Tying a Ravens franchise record with nine sacks that also ties the most allowed by the Steelers in team history, including two apiece from defensive ends Trevor Pryce and Terrell Suggs, a deafening hit from linebacker Bart Scott and a sack and forced fumble from nickel back Corey Ivy that Adalius Thomas scooped up for a 57-yard touchdown return, the Ravens manufactured a 27-0 rout. It marks the second shutout of the season for Baltimore, which advanced to 9-2, and represents the first shutout of the Steelers by Baltimore since the Ravens’ Super Bowl campaign. Afterward, Roethlisberger said the sack from Scott was the hardest he’s ever been hit in his life, a wind-sucking shot that virtually eliminated the Steelers (4-7) from playoff contention and advanced the Ravens one step closer to clinching the AFC North title if they defeat the Cincinnati Bengals for the second time this season Thursday night.