We’re gonna do this a bit different this week. A special week deserves a special article, and there will not be a more meaningful game this season (outside of possibly the second matchup with the Steelers).
I am FIRED UP!
I know I can speak for many fans when I say the rivalry between these two teams has fallen a bit flat. The hard-hitting, pissed off, straight dog style football aspect of the rivalry has been MIA and of course, a lot of the legendary players that made this rivalry so adrenaline-raising and intense, are retired.
It also does no favors to the rivalry when one team is substantially better than the other. I am ecstatic to say that will no longer be the case. Both of these teams are legitimate threats to win the AFC North and Super Bowl contenders. The winner of this game could very well determine the winner of the division at the end of the season.
The Steelers are on a hot streak after being swept by the Ravens last season and are being ranked above the Ravens by many analysts. They are thinking there is no better game to prove their case as the best team in the NFL than against their division rival with a league leading defense and an MVP QB.
The Ravens are going in with a chip on their shoulder. They have been disrespected and doubted and they are ready to make a BIG statement. They have a Division champion title to protect. Make no mistake, this will be one of the most intense, exciting and passionate games we have seen in a long time.
This week, we are taking a quick look at the most jaw-dropping moments of all time between these two teams. Strap in.
Top 5 moments in the history of the rivalry:
Honorable mention: Haloti Ngata breaking Big Bens nose with a BIG sack!
2013, Week 13: Interference… by a coach?
With a 13-7 lead and 6:26 left in the 3rd quarter, Jacoby Jones receives the kick off after a Steelers score. In typical Jacoby Jones fashion, he is bookin’ it down the sideline. He’s gonna go ALL… THE… WAY!
Ha, think again. Not on Mike Tomlin’s watch you’re not! Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin just decides to walk onto the field directly in the path of Jones, who then ends up being tackled after the interference by Tomlin.
I am sure he regretted that once that $100,000 fine from the league hit his bank account. Karma is a b*tch.
2008, Week 15: Football is a game of inches.
40 seconds left in the game. The winner of this game clinches the AFC North title. The Steelers are up 9-6. Steelers are in the Red Zone and Big Ben is scrambling around the pocket, dodging intense pressure by the Ravens.
He hits a pass to Santonio Holmes. His feet are in the end zone, but where was the ball? Holmes was falling forward when he caught the ball when he was just tip toeing the goal line to begin with.
The officials call it down at the 1-yard line initially. After the play is reviewed, it is reversed.
Holmes caught the game winning TD in the end zone by just ONE inch.
2016, Week 16: The Immaculate Extension.
The Ravens were leading 27-24 with the Steelers in the red zone and a mere 10 seconds on the clock. Big Ben throws a bullet to no other than his favorite target, Antonio Brown. After the catch, Brown is instantly met with a tag team tackle by C.J. Mosley and Eric Weddle on the goal line. Its looking like a historic stop and win for the Ravens, until Brown extends out the football past the goal line for the game-winning touchdown.
Outside of the helmet catch against the Ravens in 2010 AFC Championship, the immaculate extension may be AB’s most prolific play of his career. Pure heartbreak for the city of Baltimore.
2008, AFC Championship: AFC North battle for the Bowl
In one of the most exhilarating and historic games in rivalry history, the Ravens & Steelers battled it out in the AFC Championship game. Winner goes to compete for the Lombardi trophy.
Pittsburgh was leading the Ravens by just two points. It is anybody’s game. Flacco throws a deep pass to the right sideline that is intercepted by Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. He weaves 40 yards through a panicking Ravens offense for the TD.
With the Ravens looking for a go-ahead TD, this pick-six helped lock down the AFC Championship win, knocking the Ravens out of their Super Bowl campaign.
It was an painful afternoon for Baltimore, but what else would you expect from one of the best safeties to ever play the game (but Ed Reed is the GOAT).
2011, Week 9: Miracle TD by Torrey Smith
With just 14 seconds left, the Steelers lead the Ravens 20-16 and the Ravens are 30 yards out from the end zone. It is looking bleak for the Ravens. That is until Joe Flacco delivers a dime deep down the right sideline to Baltimore super hero Torrey Smith for a jaw-dropping game winning TD.
Smith was able to use his speed to just barely get past the Steelers secondary to haul in a contested catch against double coverage. We all know and love Torrey, especially for his game-breaking plays just like this one. But for him to go beast mode and clutch a Ravens win to spoil the Steelers win…it just doesn’t get better than that.
I wanted to reminisce on these historic moments in Ravens-Steelers history not just to get y’all fired up for this game, but also to remind you that no matter what happens this weekend, it is this combination of triumph and heartbreak that makes this the best rivalry in football. This is what ultimately created our unwavering love for Baltimore football.
For those of you lucky enough to be at the game, bring that fiery passion and GET LOUD!