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So nice, you get to type it twice (sort of).
In 2010, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers finished with identical 12-4 records. The Steelers went on to win the AFC North, and the Ravens reached the playoffs as a wild card.
In 2011, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers finished with identical 12-4 records. The Ravens went on to win the AFC North, and the Steelers reached the playoffs as a wild card.
Dating back to 2008, these AFC North adversaries have faced each other 10 times, including a pair of postseason encounters. And while the Black and Gold hold a 6-4 edge in those contests, Baltimore swept last season’s series.
Now set to clash twice in three weeks, Mike Tomlin’s team will be without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for this contest and possibly the rematch in two weeks.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, they’ve been without the defense we’ve come to know and fear for more than a decade. A number of factors have combined to reduce this unit to one of the league’s more porous groups.
Byron Leftwich will take over for Roethlisberger. Look for the veteran to respond in a big way. He will complete only 12 of 26 passes, but for 236 yards and two touchdowns, finding speedy receiver Mike Wallace on a couple of very deep throws.
More importantly, it will be another productive outing by the Pittsburgh ground game, which will roll up 161 yards against the once-formidable Baltimore defense in a fairly convincing 30-17 win by the Steelers.
That victory will leave these rivals with identical 7-3 records.
Then the real fun begins...