Former NFL Lineman Breaks Down Ravens-Steelers Rivalry

Almost no NFL rivalry comes close to the level of hate between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dec 5, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) pressures Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) pressures Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Over the entire history of the NFL, almost no rivalry has been as heated as the one between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The longtime AFC North foes have been battling for supremacy since the Ravens entered the league in 1996, but this is far more than just another divisional feud. Baltimore and Pittsburgh have had many intense, scrappy games over almost 30 years of playing each other, with the rivalry reaching a peak during the Joe Flacco-Ben Roethlisberger era. There isn't quite as much animosity now, but still much more than in most other NFL rivalries.

Recently on his Stinkin' Truth podcast, former NFL offensive lineman Mark Schlereth praised the Ravens-Steelers rivalry for its unmatched intensity, even if it has been a bit one-sided as of late.

"The one game that is a can't-miss proposition where the teams legitimately have hate for one another is Pittsburgh and Baltimore," Schlereth said. "That one still seems like there's not gonna be trading of jerseys afterward. That one still seems like there's legitimate angst between those two organizations, and Pittsburgh has certainly gotten the better of those matchups. That one seems like there's real anger."

As Schlereth notes, the rivalry has indeed been one-sided in Pittsburgh's favor lately, much to the dismay of Baltimore fans. The Steelers have won seven of eight matchups in the 2020s, with the Ravens' only win being a 16-14 road victory in 2020. The Ravens have the slightly better record in that time (42-25 vs. 40-26-1), but their struggles against their biggest rivals are undoubtedly frustrating.

This year, the rivalry looks to take another step up in terms of intensity. Not only are both teams likely playoff contenders once again, but some former Baltimore players who have gone to Pittsburgh, most notably linebacker Patrick Queen, have wasted no time in adopting the heel role. The two teams will meet on Nov. 17 in Pittsburgh and Dec. 21 in Baltimore.

The NFL can undoubtedly feel sterile at times, so the sheer animosity between the Ravens and Steelers is always a breath of fresh air.

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO