clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ravens-Steelers still one of the best NFL rivalries

Ever since Ray Lewis retired, no one has taken the rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers nearly as seriously as they used to.

Rob Carr

Over the last few years, the Ravens-Steelers rivalry has diminished in the eyes of fans and reporters. Why is that? I'm not so sure.

Ever since 2008, each of the regular season games between each other have been decided by a whopping three points or less except for one. Which other two teams can say that about their competitions?

When Ray Lewis retired following the 2012 season, everyone thought that this was the end of an era, and that included the era in which the Ravens-Steelers rivalry is no longer the best in football. Ray Lewis' retirement did indeed mark the end of an era, but it didn't mark the end of this fierce rivalry one bit.

Looking back at last years games between the two, which were the first two games between the Ravens and the Steelers that didn't include Lewis, they were both very tightly contested games, and both well played on both sides.

The two teams played their first game in week seven of the regular season in Pittsburgh. It was a close game throughout that came down to the final seconds.

The Ravens were down 16-9 with under three minutes to go, but Joe Flacco delivered in the clutch, leading Baltimore into the end zone to tie the game. However, Ben Roethlisberger would make some clutch throws of his own to set up a 42-yard game-winning field goal by Shaun Suisham, as the Steelers beat the Ravens 19-16.

The next time they played was on Thanksgiving night in what was one of the most memorable games of the year. The reason it was so memorable, was because of a particular play that occurred in the third quarter.

Ravens' kick returner Jacoby Jones was taking back a kick that he received. He hit the next level and had a clear path to the end zone. However, Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin put his foot on the field of play and caused Jones to move away, leading to him getting tackled by a Steelers' defender.

It didn't cost the Ravens the game though, as their early 16-0 lead helped them to hang on for a 22-20 victory. It got extremely interesting at the end when Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery with 1:06 remaining to cut the Ravens' lead to two. However, the Steelers would fail on the two-point conversion and the Ravens came out victories.

Those games sounded pretty exciting to me. It boggles my mind how people think that Ravens-Steelers isn't a thing anymore, even after what happened last year between the two teams. And last year, both teams ended the season with record's of 8-8.

Both teams have improved upon last season and both are poised for playoff runs. The fun starts Thursday night, when the Steelers come to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in a week two matchup. Once the fight starts, the gates are locked, and there's no escaping.