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Ravens Top 20 #19: The Missle Goes Off Against Pittsburgh

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We continue our Ravens Top 20 series by looking at what might be the the most uneven passing day in the history of the NFL.

The Ravens-Steelers rivalry was pretty one-sided during the early years. The Ravens didn't win a single game against the Steelers during the 1997-1998 seasons and were already down one game in the 1999 series. The Ravens had not won a single game in Pittsburgh before the 1999 season.

That all changed one December afternoon in Pittsburgh in what might be one of the oddest games in Ravens-Steelers history.

The game started with each of the two teams scoring touchdowns on their opening possessions. Jerome Bettis threw a 21 yard pass to Hines Ward and the Ravens retaliated with a 64 yard run from Priest Holmes. The first half would settle down after that, as Kris Brown and Matt Stover would do all the scoring after that.

Then came the Ravens scoring bonanza. Quarterback Tony Banks would throw three touchdowns to Qadry Ismail to put the Ravens up front for good.

The Steelers would respond with a six yard touchdown pass from Mike Tomczak to Troy Edwards in the third quarter and an 11 yard touchdown pass to Kordell Stewart with 2:51 left in the game. The Ravens would end the Steelers comeback bid when they recovered Kris Brown's onside kick at the Steelers 41 yard line. The Ravens would run out the clock and they had their first victory in Pittsburgh. Final score 31-24 Ravens.

Here's the odd part though, the Ravens won the game and had a total of 268 passing yards despite the fact that quarterback Tony Banks completed only eight passes out of 26 attempts in the whole game. That's not a typo, Tony Banks went 8 out of 26 and still had 268 yards and three touchdowns. For reference, Joe Flacco completed 22 out of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns in Super Bowl XLVII. What's more is that six out of those 8 passes were caught by Qadry Ismail, who had 258 yards and caught all three of Tony Banks' touchdown passes. (Bonus points if you can name the receivers who could the other two passes for 10 yards.)

The Ravens-Steelers rivalry would become more balanced throughout the years and a good number of those victories will make their way here, but this is the oddest one.