Can Ravens Avoid More Heinz Heartbreak?

Crab Bag Can Ravens Avoid More Heinz Heartbreak?

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There was a time when Joe Flacco‘s Ravens pretty much owned Heinz Field. In 2010 and 2011, Joe had those memorable last-minute TD throws to T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Torrey Smith, and the good guys won again up in Pittsburgh in 2012, in the 2014 postseason, and in 2015 on a late Justin Tucker field goal.

Since then though, the Ravens have lost two absolute heartbreakers in Pittsburgh. We won’t rehash them here. We’ll just hope history doesn’t repeat again tonight.

Here are all the stats, quotes, notes, and more to get you ready for Ravens-Steelers, again from Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

KNOW THY ENEMY

 

SERIES HISTORY

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker on WR John Brown:

“John Brown looks like the most dynamic receiving threat the Ravens have had since Steve Smith Sr.’s first season in town.”

WR John Brown on building chemistry with QB Joe Flacco:

“I’m just blessed to be here, to get another opportunity and to be with another great quarterback. I know how to work with quarterbacks, and it’s not just me. All the receivers have a good chemistry with him [Joe Flacco]. It’s all about trust. Starting with practice and talking with him to see if we’re seeing the same thing – that plays a big part of it.”

John Harbaugh on rookie TE Mark Andrews:

“Mark had the slow start in training camp because of the physical issues, but man, he’s a gamer. He steps up and makes plays, and that’s what we thought we had when we drafted him. He’s worked very hard in practice, and to see that show up in the games is good. He’s a pass catcher, but a better runner or a better blocker than probably anybody thought. In the games, he steps it up, so that’s a very big plus for us.”

NBC Sports’ Peter King, naming K Justin Tucker his Week 3 Special Teams Player of the Week:

“In the rain in Baltimore, Tucker, the NFL’s state-of-the-art kicker, booted 52-yard field goals in the first and second quarters in the Ravens’ 27-14 win over previously unbeaten Denver. You want the amazing stat about Tucker? Since opening day 2016, he’s made 18 of 20 field goals from 50 yards or more.”

QB Joe Flacco on the Ravens winning twice this season in hard rain while playing on a grass field:

“I think that’s always one of the things that when you take into account guys that are going to be on this team is the fact that you have to play in Cincinnati, you have to play in Cleveland, you have to play in Pittsburgh, and you have to play in Baltimore. Grass fields, for the most part, and you can always be [dealing] with some weather, so you’ve got to be able to step up to the plate and do it, and it’s just part of playing football.”

RIVALRY QUOTES

How has the rivalry been described to you?

“Growing up in Baltimore and having a dad who played for Cleveland and Baltimore, Pittsburgh has been one of my least-favorite teams for a long time. The rivalry is very important to both cities. The AFC North is competitive.” – T Orlando Brown Jr.

“It’s a man’s game. It gets pretty physical and brutal. It’s pretty much [comparable] to the Saints/Falcons rivalry. I’ve noticed through watching film that it’s always a close game. It’s always going down to the wire.” – WR Willie Snead IV

“Tough. You’re battling for four quarters, probably more. It always comes down to the wire. Guys have to be locked in; there’s a lot of energy, a lot of preparation.” – LB Kenny Young

What was your “welcome to the rivalry” moment?

“It was our first win my rookie year [2015]. We went to overtime with them, and I think that was the first time I really realized what that game was all about. We ended up winning it, and it was my first game ever in the pros. It was in Pittsburgh, on the road, night game, Thursday Night Football.” – TE Maxx Williams

“My rookie year [2007] in Pittsburgh, they got after us pretty good. The atmosphere at Heinz Field and the iconic players of Hines Ward, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Casey Hampton and all those guys. It was the traditional leaders of the teams who were getting after it. The intensity set the stage for me as a young player.” – G Marshal Yanda

Which Steelers player do you respect the most?

Ben Roethlisberger. He’s a tough quarterback.” – OLB Terrell Suggs

“‘Big Ben,’ just with how good he is, how tough, how he wins, the championships, how hard he is to bring down. He’s one of the few guys that when he gets in the zone, it doesn’t really matter what you play on defense, it’s tough to be out there.” – S Eric Weddle

“I respect ‘Big Ben.’ Obviously, he’s been there forever, and the things he’s done there with everyone around him, you have to respect him. You have to respect their offense, too.” – DT Brandon Williams

Cameron Heyward. We went to the same high school. But I think all of them are respectable.” – T Orlando Brown Jr.

Antonio Brown, because you see the numbers he puts up each week, what he’s done over the course of his career. I had a humbling opportunity to train with him in L.A. for a week and understand behind the scenes why he’s a great player.” – LB Kenny Young

What movie bests describes the Ravens/Steelers rivalry?

“‘Troy.’” – OLB Terrell Suggs

“‘Gladiator.’” – S Eric Weddle

“‘300.’” – LB Kenny Young

What makes this matchup so highly anticipated?

“It’s a special game – not only is it a divisional opponent, but it’s one of our biggest rivals. The games are so physical, and it’s always been a close game.” – DT Brandon Williams

“It’s a rivalry! It’s like every big rivalry – everything is on the line, not just for the division, but for bragging rights and for momentum for the rest of the season.” – LB Kenny Young

HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! ~ Key Connections

Baltimore head strength & conditioning coach Steve Saunders was independently contracted by more than 20 Steelers players for advanced strength and speed training, rehab and recovery during the 2005-09 seasons, assisting the team to two Super Bowl titles (2005 and 2008).

Pittsburgh ILBs coach Jerry Olsavsky was a linebacker for Baltimore in 1998.

Prior to playing football at South Carolina, Ravens TE Hayden Hurst played baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system (2013-14).

Ravens offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris is a native of Alquippa, PA, and attended Center HS…In 2010, he was inducted into the Beaver County and Center HS Sports Hall of Fame.

Ravens SE/SW area scout Kevin Weidl was born in Pittsburgh, where he attended Mt. Lebanon HS and was a standout QB.

Steelers WR Darrius Heyward-Bey is from Silver Spring, MD, and graduated from The McDonogh School (Owings Mills, MD), while Steelers CB Joe Haden prepped at Friendly (Fort Washington, MD) HS.

Pittsburgh rookie S Marcus Allen is a native of Silver Spring, MD, and attended Dr. Henry Wise (Upper Marlboro) HS with Baltimore practice squad DE/LB Myles Humphrey.

HOW DO THEY TAILGATE?

French. Fry. Sandwiches.

Weirdos.

 

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Derek Arnold

About Derek Arnold

RSR/ESR Senior Editor. Derek is originally from and a current resident of Pasadena, MD. He’s a graduate of UMBC and has been a lifelong Baltimore sports fan. In 2007 he founded B’More Birds’ Nest, where he wrote about the Ravens and Orioles before joining RSR in 2012. Derek tells anybody who asks that he has the best job in the world. Follow Derek on Twitter: @BMoreBirdsNest  More from Derek Arnold
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