Last week, Pittsburgh Steelers players in Markus Wheaton and Stephon Tuitt said that the Baltimore Ravens are a bigger rival to them as opposed to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North. And now you can add Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster to list of Steelers players who feel the same way via Steelers Depot:
"I think you've got to look at it in two different lights. I think the Bengals situation is a rivalry for non-football reasons," noted Foster. "You've played in this division and you know that the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game is just a game that you can't really describe how physical it's going to be, you just have to play in it and know what's going on during the game...The Cincy-game is more talk than it is anything else. I think it's being talked up more than it is on the field. Baltimore's a lot of hard hitting. I mean just look at the history of it. The Cincy-game kind of escalated more because of the verbal stuff going back and forth. It will be fun for TV, but the real rivalry, in my opinion, is Baltimore."
Yes, it does seem like rivalries these days get hyped because of what is said and not really what goes on within the game. A couple of years ago, a lot of people were anointing the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks as the best rivalry in the NFL not only because the battles were good (They were) but what was said off the field between the two teams registered a lot of hype. And now, the rivalry has completely cooled off mainly because of the 49ers struggles on the field.
The Ravens and the Steelers have had an on-going battle for the last 20 years in general. When you look at the last 16 years, the Ravens and the Steelers have two Super Bowl trophies each and to mention the playoff battles between both teams knocking each other out of the playoffs at least one time.
When you look at the teams that have the most playoff wins since 2000, the top four in order looks like this:
- New England Patriots- 22 playoff wins (Four Super Bowl trophies)
- Baltimore Ravens- 15 playoff wins (Two Super Bowl trophies)
- Pittsburgh Steelers- 13 playoff wins (Two Super Bowl trophies)
- Seattle Seahawks- 13 playoff wins (One Super Bowl trophy)
It is pretty amazing when you look at the Ravens and Steelers statistics considering both teams play in the same division. So when you take this all into perspective, the Ravens and the Steelers have had the best rivalry in the NFL in the last 20 years and that isn't an insult to any other rivalry. The Ravens and Steelers have just been that good.