This week's Sunday Night Football game is the infamous Baltimore-Pittsburgh rivalry. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said on Friday that the two teams are so similar, hence the competition.
“It’s a good, old-fashioned alley fight. You need a good one of those every now and then. This is why the two teams don’t like each other, because we’re so similar," Suggs said. "If you look down the line in their team and our team, it’s pretty similar. So, it means a lot."
Both teams are missing key players in this week's game: the Ravens won't have Ray Lewis or Lardarius Webb, and the Steelers will be missing safety Troy Polamalu and starting QB Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben's replacement, Byron Leftwich, hasn't started a game in three years.
"Byron is not Ben," offensive coordinator Todd Haley admitted. "It's very important that we and he understand that. He can't go out there trying to be Ben. He needs to go out there and be Byron."
Despite the absence of key players, Suggs maintains that the game will be something to see. The "old-fashioned alley fight" has high stakes for the two AFC North teams, and the intense physicality of both will show on the field.
"This is why you play football, for games like this. You remember some games, but these are the games that you tell your grandkids about. You know, when we go down to Heinz Field and you see the towels, and you see the colors, you know you’re in a fight. ... As soon as we walk in their stadium, they’re going to lock the gates. But that’s what we want. We definitely want them to lock the gates behind us so we can get in there and we can have it out."