It’s the opinion of most Steelers and Ravens fans that the Pittsburgh/Baltimore rivalry is the best in the NFL, and the numbers prove it is.
Since 1999, the Steelers and Ravens each have 23 wins against each other. Since 2001, the Ravens and Steelers have both won two Super Bowls.
Historically, no matter the records of the teams, a lot of games were decided by a touchdown or less. That has changed in the past few seasons but they are still relatively close.
Since John Harbaugh took over in Baltimore, the two teams have the lowest average margin of victory with a little over 7 points a game.
Those similarities continue into this year. Both have potent offenses boosted by good defenses.
And while the Ravens’ offensive isn’t as potent as it was last season, it is still dangerous. They rank 8th in points per game, the Steelers are 6th.
On the defensive side of the ball, NFL Research shows both the Steelers and Ravens have the two highest blitz rates in the league.
“Big Ben leads the NFL, completing 70.5% of passes vs blitz this season in part due to having the fastest time to throw (2.29s). Lamar Jackson has not taken advantage of the blitz the way he did in 2019.”
Former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch tells the Fan Morning Show, even with a talented Ravens team, if the Steelers play a “clean” game, he doesn’t think anyone can beat them.
Last week the Steelers turned the ball over times and had eight penalties for 69 yards.
“They have to now not beat themselves specifically with pre and post (snap) penalties, if they do that and play a clean game, this is throughout the rest of the season, they are going to be a very tough team to beat,” said Batch.
There are so many classic moments in the rivalry, too many to name, but what stands out is Troy Polamalu picking off Joe Flacco and taking it to the house to seal the Steelers AFC Championship victory sending them to Super Bowl LIII, which they would ultimately win.
While the rivalry is more about respect now, in years past it was just plain nasty.
Batch confirms that back in 2005, linebacker Joey Porter tried to board the Ravens bus after the game to confront Ravens LB Ray Lewis.
“Ray was playing and said something like that’s why you’re not playing today and Joey got all upset,” said Batch.
Batch adds Porter tried to go through security gates to get on the bus but was restrained by security.
So while there is respect on both sides, when the game starts, all bets are off.