Why Steelers vs Ravens Rivalry is Still So Bitter ?
It’s difficult to imagine a rivalry in the NFL to compare with that between the Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers Game. Described by Sports Illustrated as the 2nd rivalry in the entire NFL, the competitiveness goes back to their first meeting on September 8th, 1996, which the Steelers won convincingly.
Since then, they’ve met 46 times in total, and continue to meet twice per year unless they’re drawn in the postseason. At present, the Pittsburgh Steelers are leading their rivals in overall games 25-21. But this is a gap, the Baltimore Ravens are fiercely keen to reduce.
In overall games, the Steelers remain ahead of the Ravens with an overall average of 24.9 points per game, against Baltimore’s 21.4.
The last time they faced each other on the gridiron was 26th December 2016. In that game, the Steelers pipped the Ravens 31-27 and took the AFC North title. Some consider it the greatest game in the history of the Steelers vs Ravens Rivalry
History of the Steelers vs Ravens Rivalry
Many people are unclear about the history of the animosity between the Steelers and the Ravens. But perhaps one of the reasons for their intense rivalry is their relative equality of success. Both teams play in the AFC North and annually play for its crown, and both teams have won the Super Bowl twice a piece. Their games tend to be very physical, with both teams being known for their rigorous defense.
Due to the geographical closeness of the two teams, there’s a good chance that families living in the area have members that are Ravens fans, and members that are Steelers fans. This makes winning or losing to their bitter rivals, a bitter family affair.
Memorable Moments in the Rivalry
Things got more than a little personal on the field when the Raven’s Terrell Suggs suggested the team had a bounty on the head of Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. Although Suggs later laughed this off as a joke, the NFL investigated the matter, stoking the fire between the teams.
But if you want personal, Ryan Clark’s violent hit on Willis McGahee in the 2008 ACS Championship knocked McGahee out cold, in a move that these days would see Clark punished with a penalty.
Then there was that time in 2010, when Ben Roethlisberger, already playing with a broken foot, had his nose broken by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. The NFL fined Ngata $15,000 for the tackle, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh only fanned the flames of rivalry between the teams when he said that he was glad’ about it.
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