Always considered a top rivalry due to the smashmouth styles of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, the team hard hitting defenses and run games have always led the way. However, after many years with stalwarts like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, James Harrison, and Troy Polamalu leading the way, the defensive side of the ball has undergone changes. The rivalry has endured though, with the Steelers even becoming a top offensive team with a top notch passing game.
NFL.com published a list of highlighted matchups for the upcoming season, and no list would be complete without a Ravens-Steelers game:
9) Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
OK, nothing new here. Just a classic smashmouth grudge match every time these two teams take the field. With Seahawks-49erslosing some luster, this rivalry re-emerges on center stage -- if it ever left.
I think Hines Ward put it best to USA TODAY Sports: "It's just pure hatred -- just like two old-fashioned bullies meeting in an alley."
Sign me up!
Of course, the game should be higher on the list. But then again, we have been getting more than enough respect from the media this offseason...