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mesaSteeler
12-13-2008, 08:02 AM
Ravens now the Steelers' top rival
By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Story/12-13-Steelers-Ravens-rivalry
dlolley@observer-reporter.com

PITTSBURGH - It may not have the history of some other rivalries around the NFL, but the one between the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens just might be the best the league has to offer.

It has all the components: a pair of traditionally good teams, solid home-field advantage for both clubs, rabid fans and, oh yeah, a nice dose of hatred on both sides.

It's only fitting that when the Steelers (10-3) travel to Baltimore Sunday to face the Ravens (9-4), first place in the AFC North will be on the line.

"Anybody in purple, they're hated," said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, who could run for public office against the devil in Baltimore and lose.

"You respect them as a football team, but there's no love for them. We're going to go out and play hard. I'm pretty sure they won't be calling me or texting me to come out and eat with those guys."

The Steelers haven't won in Baltimore since 2002, something the Ravens take a lot of pride in.

And both teams plan on adding another chapter to their knock-down, drag-out battles of the past.

"This is probably one you might want to be in attendance to," said Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs when asked if he expects Ravens' fans to sell their tickets. "You might want to see this one go down."

Many fans would point to the Browns as being the Steelers' biggest rival within their division.

The biggest factor when talking about a rivalry is competitiveness, something Pittsburgh's games against Cleveland have lacked since the Browns rejoined the NFL in 1999. ( This is the understatement of the the decade. - mesa)

But the team formerly known as the Browns has picked up the slack. The Cleveland franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996 and was reborn as the Ravens, bringing over a number of Browns players in the process.

Most of the players in both locker rooms are too young to have been around for that - only Baltimore placekicker Matt Stover remains from those teams - but the Ravens have always played the Steelers tough.

The Steelers won six of the first seven meetings between the two, but holds just a 15-10 edge in the series.

"It doesn't matter what each team's record is, we always play each other tough," said Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith. "They're almost always close, hard-fought games."

Sunday figures to be no different as the Steelers boast the NFL's No. 1 defense and Baltimore No. 2.

"Both organizations do a great job of the guys they bring in," Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. "You look at the Troy Polamalus, the (James) Harrisons, the Casey Hamptons, time and time again. Here, you look at the Ed Reeds, the (Dawan) Landrys, Terrell Suggs, all these guys. I think they're doing a great job of saying if there's one thing we're going to have, that's a good defense."

There's a rivalry there, too.

Both teams take pride in their defenses and want to finish on top of the league rankings.

"They'll give their best shot and we'll give our best shot," said Steelers linebacker Larry Foote. "It takes two to tango and they're holding up their end of the bargain and so are we."

Odds and end zones

Defensive end Brett Keisel (knee) was unable to practice Friday and will miss his third consecutive game. ... Fullback Carey Davis (calf) practiced for the first time this week and is questionable to play. ... After missing practice Thursday with a sore knee, Harrison practiced.

Copyright Observer Publishing Co.

markymarc
12-13-2008, 12:10 PM
No surprises there. Definitely a great rivalry and that is why we hate each other so much. Can't wait to beat them down tomorrow.

T.Richardson
12-13-2008, 12:15 PM
I dont know about this rivalry being bigger than the Steelers-Browns, thats alot of history.

mesaSteeler
12-13-2008, 12:23 PM
I dont know about this rivalry being bigger than the Steelers-Browns, thats alot of history.

Yeah but as everyone knows the Browns suck. It's not much of a rivalry when one team keeps beating the crap out the other team year after year.

Fire Haley
12-13-2008, 12:25 PM
It's a heated rivalry because both division teams have been mostly good at the same time.

We could have a 'dream team defense' from just our teams...

LDE Aaron Smith
NT Haloti Ngata
RDE Trevor Pryce

LOLB LaMarr Woodley
LILB Ray Lewis
RILB Bart Scott
ROLB James Harrison

LCB Ike Taylor
SS Troy Polamalu
FS Ed Reed
RCB Bryant McFadden

The Duke
12-13-2008, 01:07 PM
It's a heated rivalry because both division teams have been mostly good at the same time.

We could have a 'dream team defense' from just our teams...

LDE Aaron Smith
NT Haloti Ngata
RDE Trevor Pryce

LOLB LaMarr Woodley
LILB Ray Lewis
RILB Bart Scott
ROLB James Harrison

LCB Ike Taylor
SS Troy Polamalu
FS Ed Reed
RCB Bryant McFadden

Just change Scott with Farrior and McFadden with McAllister and that's one heck of a defense :tt02:

Edman
12-13-2008, 02:07 PM
The "Ravens " are a carryover of the 90's Browns in a shade of purple. They took the whole Browns team in 1996. Which by the way, was more a competitive and stable organization than the "Browns" we see now. No wonder the games are so volatile.

That crappy bunch in Cleveland is not the Browns. The Browns are in Baltimore. They are not the Ravens. They are the Browns. The Ravens do not exist. They are the Cleveland Browns.

So yeah, the Browns are still the Steelers' biggest rival.

43Hitman
12-13-2008, 02:12 PM
Just change Scott with Farrior and McFadden with McAllister and that's one heck of a defense :tt02:


Totally agree except the McAllister part. Maybe McAllister in his prime, just not now.

My God that defense would be absolutely scary. If we merged what would the team be named. The Pittsburgh Stavens? Or the Pittsburgh Stabbins? :flap:

BettorFan
12-13-2008, 05:38 PM
If Ben doesn't turn it over the game is all Steelers.

LambertIsGod58
12-13-2008, 05:48 PM
ESPN has it 10-6 in favor of Baltimore.....

fanofsteel
12-13-2008, 08:37 PM
If Ben doesn't turn it over the game is all Steelers.

Ya! I hear ya.. but he's been doing better,though. If the line can keep Ben off his back. #68 Kemoeatu has a hard time blocking so our boys in the 2nd half adjusted by traping more.(past game)

Key is to sustain on offense long eneough for "D" to get alittle r&r so they may get eager to get back out there in order to continue to cause mayham!!

I would love to see Casey Hampton be used for special occasions, remember chicago bears "the fridge"? Ya thats what Im talken about..can you imagine big casey 4th & inches. theres no way you can slow that dude down.:helmet:

Jaquila
12-14-2008, 10:03 AM
"Rivalry". Bah.
How many Baltimore Ravens in Canton? How many Lombardi trophies do they have again? How many kids out there in the pee-wee leagues dreaming of the day when they can join the ranks of their heroes in purple?
If you didn't grow up rooting for your team, you're not a real "fan". You're just a disaffected Redskins/ Browns/ Colts hanger-on with no real loyalty. And if you did grow up rooting for this team, it's past your bedtime.
Talk to me when you've taken time off from work to invade some strange town in another time zone just to represent your team. Until then, you're incapable of getting what it means to be a "fan".
"Dallas" is a rivalry. "Buffalo" is a rivalry. Even "Cleveland" is a rivalry, if only a friendly one. But the Rat-birds? Get over yourselves. You haven't earned the spurs to sit at the grownups' table yet. :wave:

i hear ya, but i will still say that the teams in our division are rivals.