When the Pittsburgh Steelers notched their first win of the season on Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it officially became Steelers week in Baltimore.
In what is arguably the greatest rivalry in the NFL, the Ravens and Steelers will write their 49th chapter on Sunday night in the Steel City. Unfortunately, the Steelers lead the all-time series 27-21 and Baltimore will head into this game looking to snap a three-game losing streak in the series.
Ahead of this week’s game, let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at the greatest Ravens moments in the Ravens/Steelers rivalry.
5) October 3,2010-TJ Houshmandzadeh wins it for Baltimore
In what was the Steelers fourth game without star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (who was serving the final game of a four game suspension for violating the NFL’S personal conduct policy), the Ravens found themselves trailing 14-10 with 1:08 left to play and no timeouts.
That’s when Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense took over at the Pittsburgh 40-yard line. Flacco connected with Anquan Boldin for back-to-back gains of nine and three yards to advance the ball to the Steelers 28-yard line. Next was 10-yard strike to T.J. Houshmandzadeh to get the ball into the red zone at the Pittsburgh 18.
On the next play, Flacco took the snap and pump-faked Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden out of his jock strap, allowing Houshmandzadeh to sneak behind him for the go-ahead 18-yard touchdown pass.
4) November 26, 2006-Bart Scott rocks Ben Roethlisberger in Ravens Sack Fest
In what was the best regular season in Ravens franchise history, the best moment of that year may have come against the Steelers. The Ravens were leading 14-0 at the 3:30 mark of the second quarter and were in search of their ninth win of the season in week 12.
On a second-and-eight from their own 14-yard line, Roethlisberger dropped back to pass looking to get the Steelers back in the contest. Bart Scott came off the left side of the defensive front untouched and leveled Roethlisberger clean notching the Ravens third sack of the day.
Roethlisberger stayed down on the field for several minutes trying to collect his thoughts after the bone-jarring hit from Scott. It was one of nine sacks on the day for the Ravens defense en route to a 27-0 home victory. The game is one of only three shutouts in the history of the rivalry.
3) September 11, 2011- Ravens throttle Steelers in season opener
The Ravens and Steelers rivalry was fresh off of a 31-24 Steelers triumph in the 2010 AFC divisional playoffs. That was a game that saw the Ravens blow a 21-7 halftime lead with three turnovers in the third quarter to help the Steelers complete the comeback.
The Ravens didn’t have to wait long to see their rivals as they welcomed the Super Bowl runner-ups to town for the 2011 season opener looking to avenge that loss. The Ravens once again jumped out to a 21-7 lead on the strength of two Flacco first half touchdown passes.
As they sat in the locker room, Ray Lewis spoke loudly after his teammates compared the two games.”They were saying, ‘We’ve been here before,” Lewis said. “No, we haven’t been here before. This is a whole new year.”
The Ravens responded well this time when Haloti Ngata forced a Rashard Mendenhall fumble on the first possession of the second half. Flacco found Ed Dickson on the next play for an 18-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 27-7 and the Ravens picked up the two-point conversion when Sam Koch rushed it in.
The Ravens would pick up a season-opening 35-7 win over the Steelers in what remains the Ravens’ most lopsided victory in the rivalry.
2) January 3, 2015- Ravens pick up first playoff win over Steelers
To this point in the rivalry, the Ravens were 0-3 against the Steelers in the playoffs. The Ravens caught a huge break in the game with Le’Veon Bell missing the contest due to a hyperextended right knee.
Flacco and the offense got off to a good start in the game taking their second possession 80 yards over eight plays and capping it off with a Bernard Pierce touchdown to give the Ravens a 7-3 lead. The teams alternated field goals on the next three possessions giving the Ravens a 10-9 halftime lead.
The Steelers cut it to 20-15 at the 11:01 mark of the fourth quarter but that was as close as they would get and the Ravens triumphed 30-17 for their first postseason win against the Steelers.
1) November 6, 2011- Flacco’s finest drive leads Ravens over Steelers
Ravens trail 20-16. 2:24 left to play. Flacco and the offense take over at their own eight-yard line.
No words can do this drive justice. Enjoy:
The win put the Ravens in a first place tie with the Bengals atop the AFC North. This drive is the best drive I have ever seen from a Ravens quarterback. This win also completed a season sweep of the Steelers which helped the Ravens with the AFC North and secure a home playoff game.
As Steelers week is upon us what are your favorite memories from the rivalry?
Image Credit: WNST