The Pittsburgh Steelers decisive 20-19 victory over their AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens in Week 13 meant a lot to a lot of people from the team to the organization and especially their passionate fanbase. However, nobody probably enjoyed the outcome more than Steelers defensive tackle Chirs Wormely. The fifth-year veteran began his career playing on the other side of the rivalry after he was drafted by the Ravens in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Michigan, and had some choice words in his postgame presser about his former employers after his best game since college.
Steelers lineman Chris Wormley credited with 2.5 sacks vs his former team. Asked last time he had that many sacks: "Against Rutgers 2016 & the Ravens O-line is a little better than what Rutgers was back then." Cue: reaction about Ravens O-line @WJZ pic.twitter.com/SxyBHcYmM9— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) December 6, 2021
Wormley’s single-game career-high of 2.5 sacks on Sunday matched the entire sum of his combined total from his three years in Baltimore. He was dealt to the Steelers in a rare inter-division trade in March of 2020 in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round pick and after he played the final year of his rookie contract in 2021, he decided to re-sign with Pittsburgh this past offseason. Now he is enjoying his best season to date with a career-high five sacks through 12 games.
“I told Worm[ley] when he got here, I said, ‘Man, when a team trades you within the division, they’re telling you what they think of you,’ so I hope he always plays like that when he sees him,” said Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin.
While Wormley approaches every game and opponent with the same focus, intensity, and desire to dominate, he couldn’t help but admit that shining bright against his former coaches and teammates meant more than the average hard-fought win.
“I think that no matter what the week is and who we’re playing I want to be able to perform well, but it’s extra special to do it against the team who traded you away,” he said.
Tomlin said that he wasn’t surprised in the slightest that the analytically minded Ravens opted to go for a two-point conversion attempt to win the game in overtime and even went as far as to call the decision—not the play—to go for it predictable. After spending the majority of his career in Charm City, Wormley was not caught off guard either and was grateful it worked out in their favor.
“Being with the Ravens for three years, they are a very analytical team, and I’m guessing that’s what they went with on that two-point play. It was a good play and Mark [Andrews] was open, but T.J. [Watt] caused the pressure, and Lamar kind of dropped his shoulder a little bit, threw an awkward pass and didn’t complete the pass. I wasn’t surprised because I knew that that’s how they like to run things there and they went for it.”
As impressive as Wormley’s final stat line was in his team’s victory, the Ravens likely still don’t regret making the move to trade a player who had played well but was somewhat underwhelmed during his time with the team in 39 games including 15 starts. That offseason they went on to acquire six-time Pro Bowl defensive end, Calais Campbell, for the mere price of a mere 2020 fifth-round pick. Even though he has half a sack less than Wormely since joining the Ravens with just 1.5 coming through 12 games this year, he’s been the better and most impactful player of the two by far, despite being 35-years old.