|Teams involved||Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers|
|First contested||September 8, 1996
Baltimore 17, Pittsburgh 31
|Number of meetings||39 meetings|
|Most recent meeting||November 28, 2013
Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 22
|All-time series||PIT: leads 23–16–0|
|Current streak||BAL: 1 win|
The Ravens–Steelers Rivalry is one of the most intense in the National Football League. Both teams are members of the AFC North, and play at least twice a year, often for divisional supremacy. Both teams are known for fielding tough, hard-hitting defensive squads, giving their games an extra element of physical intensity.
The two teams have met in the postseason three times, all resulting in Steelers wins. They are the only two teams in the AFC North to win the Super Bowl, and possess a combined 8–2 record in the game.
In 1996, NFL football returned to Baltimore, 12 years after the original Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis. In a strange twist of fate, Art Modell, former owner of the Steelers' traditional rival, the Cleveland Browns, agreed to suspend the Browns franchise (it was revived in 1999) in return for taking his players to Baltimore. The inter-divisional rivalry carried over with both teams remaining in what was then the AFC Central Division. Since the AFC Central was restructured into the AFC North in 2002, the Steelers and Ravens have dominated the division, winning at least a share of every division title. The Steelers have won or tied for six divisional titles, with the Ravens taking four. During this stretch, the Ravens have also clinched a playoff spot three times as a wild-card, while the Steelers have been a wild-card playoff team twice. Sports Illustrated has ranked the rivalry #2 on a list of "Top 10 New NFL Rivalries".
In Baltimore, it has the added element of a small number of former Colts fans in the area becoming Steeler fans after the Colts moved, then retaining their affiliation with the Steelers after the Ravens moved to Baltimore and assumed the Cleveland Browns' spot in the AFC Central with the Steelers. In Pittsburgh, it is considered the spiritual successor to the Browns–Steelers rivalry due to the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy as well as the "reactivated" Browns having a 5–25 record against the Steelers since returning to the league in 1999. Due to its physical nature, it has received comparisons to the rivalry the Steelers had with the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s, when those two teams were among the most physical teams in the league. Both teams have also handed each other their first loss in their current stadiums: the Steelers handed the Ravens their first loss at PSINet Stadium (now M&T Bank Stadium) in 1998, while the Ravens returned the favor by handing the Steelers their first loss at Heinz Field in 2001.
Since the Steelers introduced their throwback uniform as their alternate uniform in 2007, they have used one of their two annual allotted games with the uniform against the Ravens at home three times, signifying the significance of the rivalry. The Ravens have typically worn their regular uniforms at home against the Steelers instead of their all-black third uniform.
Some memorable moments in the rivalry have included Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs being quoted as saying that a "bounty" was put out on the head of Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward. The bounty controversy was cleared up when Suggs insisted his words were just meant as a joke. The NFL investigated, and Suggs was cleared of any wrongdoing.
A notable battleground for the rivalry is the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania market area. Harrisburg is officially a secondary market for the Ravens, and so WHP-TV must show all Ravens road games (if played on Sunday afternoon). The Steelers also have a significant fanbase in the area, so when the Ravens are at home, the Steelers are shown instead. The Harrisburg area also has a significant fan base for the Philadelphia Eagles, who also have Harrisburg as a secondary market (but are in the NFC as opposed to the Ravens and Steelers being in the AFC, and so the Fox affiliate usually shows the Eagles). The Colts had a number of fans in Harrisburg as well during their stay in Baltimore.
The rivalry reached a new height of intensity during the 2008 NFL season, when the Steelers and Ravens played three times, the last match being the AFC Championship. The Steelers won all three games, by close margins. The margins were so close that in the regular season just under two yards would have shifted from a Steelers sweep to a Ravens sweep. In Week 15, the Steelers won with a controversial score late in the game. In the playoff game, a personal foul by the special teams player Daren Stone cost the Ravens 25 yards. The last play was an interception that was returned for a touchdown by Troy Polamalu. In that same game the Steelers' Ryan Clark delivered a concussion-inducing, but legal hit on the Ravens' Willis McGahee that left Clark briefly out cold and forced McGahee to spend the night in a Pittsburgh hospital.
The rivalry continued in the 2009 season; the Ravens won 20-17 in M&T Bank Stadium and the Steelers won 23-20 at Heinz Field. Both the Steelers and the Ravens went 9–7, but Baltimore won a wild-card slot due to a better division record. Baltimore won the wild-card game by defeating the New England Patriots 33–14, but lost to the Indianapolis Colts the following game. Since 2009, the Ravens have only lost at their home stadium three times, with the first two such defeats coming at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2010, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called the Steelers–Ravens rivalry the best rivalry in football during a press conference and on the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh later agreed with this assessment. On the opening day of the 2011 NFL season, the Ravens forced seven turnovers and routed the Steelers 35–7 at M&T Bank Stadium to avenge a division playoff loss to the Steelers on January 15, 2011. During Week 9 of the season, the Steelers were on the verge of winning their game against the Ravens. The Steelers were ready to potentially increase their lead with a 47-yard field goal kick by Shaun Suisham, but a five-yard delay of game penalty put them out of field goal range and they were instead forced to punt the ball to the Ravens. In the end, Joe Flacco threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Torrey Smith in the endzone with just eight seconds remaining, giving the Ravens the game and a season sweep of the Steelers.
The rivalry saw a rare moment of peace on September 23, 2012, when Ravens receiver Torrey Smith received news that his brother died in a motorcycle accident early in the morning. Following an inspired, two-touchdown and 127-yard performance in a 31–30 win over the New England Patriots, Smith noted that several players across the NFL, including members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, had contacted him to express their condolences. In the 2012 NFL season, the Ravens and Steelers split their games with a Ravens win at Heinz Field and a Steelers win at M&T Bank Stadium.
On October 20, 2013, at Heinz Field, the Steelers won 19-16 on a Shaun Suisham field goal as time expired after Ben Roethlisberger drove the Steelers into field goal range. With the win Ben Roethlisberger continued his dominance against the Ravens by extending his record to 10-4 against the Ravens in his career and 7-2 since Joe Flacco became the Ravens quarterback including 2-0 in the playoffs. The two teams met at M&T Bank Stadium in a prime-time matchup on Thanksgiving Day, giving the Ravens their second Thanksgiving game in three years and the Steelers their first Thanksgiving game since the infamous Jerome Bettis coin-toss fiasco in 1998; it was also the first time the two teams played each other on Thanksgiving. The Ravens won the game 22-20 in a nailbiter, preventing a 2-point conversion, and forcing a split between the rivals in the 2013 NFL season.
The following is a list of results from all of the meetings between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers from their first meeting on September 8, 1996 to the present:
|Ravens Victory||Steelers Victory||Post Season Meeting||Overtime Result|
1990s (Steelers 6–2)
|1996||September 8||Pittsburgh Steelers||31–17||Baltimore Ravens||Three Rivers Stadium||First game played between the teams; first Steelers victory over the Ravens.|
|December 1||Baltimore Ravens||31–17||Pittsburgh Steelers||Memorial Stadium||First Ravens victory over the Steelers.|
|1997||October 5||Pittsburgh Steelers||42–34||Baltimore Ravens||Memorial Stadium|
|November 9||Pittsburgh Steelers||37–0||Baltimore Ravens||Three Rivers Stadium||First season sweep by either team and largest margin of victory in series history; also the first shutout in the rivalry.|
|1998||September 23||Pittsburgh Steelers||20–13||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium||First loss for the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.|
|October 18||Pittsburgh Steelers||16–6||Baltimore Ravens||Three Rivers Stadium|
|1999||September 19||Pittsburgh Steelers||23–20||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium|
|December 12||Baltimore Ravens||31–24||Pittsburgh Steelers||Three Rivers Stadium||First win for the Ravens in Pittsburgh. Ravens wide receiver Qadry Ismail scored three touchdowns (all at least 54 yards) with 258 receiving yards, the all-time record at Three Rivers Stadium.|
2000s (Steelers 13–9)
|2000||September 3||Baltimore Ravens||16–0||Pittsburgh Steelers||Three Rivers Stadium||First shutout the Ravens handed the Steelers.|
|October 29||Pittsburgh Steelers||9–6||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium||Last loss for the Ravens for the remainder of the season, en route to the team's victory in Super Bowl XXXV.|
|2001||November 4||Baltimore Ravens||13–10||Pittsburgh Steelers||Heinz Field||First loss for the Steelers at Heinz Field.|
|October 16||Pittsburgh Steelers||26–21||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium|
|January 20, 2002||Pittsburgh Steelers||27–10||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field||AFC Divisional Playoff. The first playoff game between the Ravens and Steelers.|
|2002||October 27||Pittsburgh Steelers||31–18||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium|
|December 29||Pittsburgh Steelers||34–31||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field|
|2003||September 7||Pittsburgh Steelers||34–15||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field|
|December 28||Baltimore Ravens||13–10||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium|
|2004||September 19||Baltimore Ravens||30–13||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium||The Ravens wore white jerseys against the Steelers in their home opener. Debut of Ben Roethlisberger after Tommy Maddox was injured.|
|December 26||Pittsburgh Steelers||20–7||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field|
|2005||October 31||Pittsburgh Steelers||20–19||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field|
|November 20||Baltimore Ravens||16–13 (OT)||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium|
|2006||November 26||Baltimore Ravens||27–0||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium|
|December 24||Baltimore Ravens||31–7||Pittsburgh Steelers||Heinz Field||First season sweep by the Ravens.|
|2007||November 5||Pittsburgh Steelers||38–7||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field|
|December 30||Baltimore Ravens||27–21||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium|
|2008||September 29||Pittsburgh Steelers||23–20 (OT)||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field||Debut of Joe Flacco.|
|December 14||Pittsburgh Steelers||13–9||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium|
|January 18, 2009||Pittsburgh Steelers||23–14||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field||AFC Championship. The first AFC Championship game between the Ravens and Steelers.|
|2009||November 29||Baltimore Ravens||20–17 (OT)||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium|
|December 27||Pittsburgh Steelers||23–20||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field|
2010s (Ravens 5–4)
|2010||October 3||Baltimore Ravens||17–14||Pittsburgh Steelers||Heinz Field|
|December 5||Pittsburgh Steelers||13–10||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium||Ended the Ravens' 8-game home win streak that started with the previous Steelers game. Ravens' only home loss since November 2009. The Ravens wouldn't lose another home game until the two rivals played in Baltimore again in 2012.|
|January 15, 2011||Pittsburgh Steelers||31–24||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field||AFC Divisional Playoff.|
|2011||September 11||Baltimore Ravens||35–7||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium||Largest margin of victory for the Ravens in the rivalry.|
|November 6||Baltimore Ravens||23–20||Pittsburgh Steelers||Heinz Field||This would be the last time Ray Lewis would play against Ben Roethlisberger (and the Steelers) as both were injured during the 2012 season and Lewis would retire from football following Super Bowl XLVII.|
|2012||November 18||Baltimore Ravens||13–10||Pittsburgh Steelers||Heinz Field||Pittsburgh wore throwback uniforms. Neither Ben Roethlisberger or Ray Lewis played.|
|December 2||Pittsburgh Steelers||23–20||Baltimore Ravens||M&T Bank Stadium||Charlie Batch started in place of the injured Ben Roethlisbeger, ended the Ravens' 15-game home win streak and ended a 3-game slide by the Steelers against the Ravens. Ray Lewis was also out.|
|2013||October 20||Pittsburgh Steelers||19–16||Baltimore Ravens||Heinz Field|
|November 28||Baltimore Ravens||22-20||Pittsburgh Steelers||M&T Bank Stadium||Thanksgiving Day game; first Thanksgiving game played between the teams. The game marked the closest margin of victory for the Ravens in the rivalry as well as the first time no turnovers were committed on either side.|
Najeh Davenport tries to escape from the Ravens defense, 2006.
Ben Roethlisberger getting sacked by the Ravens, 2006.
Roethlisberger hands off to Willie Parker, 2006.
Hines Ward makes a catch for the Steelers, 2006.
A view of Heinz Field during a September, 2008 game.
- "Top 10 New NFL Rivalries". SI.com. December 15, 2005. p. 9 (No. 2: Ravens-Steelers). Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Bouchette, Ed (November 23, 2006). "Steelers Notebook: Steelers, Ravens thrive on hatred". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- Garber, Greg (2009-01-15). "Want nasty? Check out Ravens-Steelers". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Dulac, Gerry (January 16, 2009). "Cover story: Steelers vs. Ravens latest in a long tradition of football feuds". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Varley, Teresa (September 29, 2010). "A true rivalry". Steelers.com. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Carpenter, Les (September 24, 2012). "Support from Ravens, rival players help lift Torrey Smith on day of family tragedy". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
- "Remember when? Ravens' first victory in Pittsburgh". Chicago Tribune.
- Hick, Damon (September 19, 2011). "Adapt Or Die: Infusing new blood into the league's fiercest rivalry, the Ravens demolished the Steelers and changed the balance of power in the AFC. Evolution? In the NFL, you'd better believe". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- Gallery of game images at baltimoresun.com