It’s that time of year again in the NFL. On Sunday, the Ravens and Steelers will renew one of the best modern-day rivalries for the first time this season.
These perennial powerhouses have been locks for the AFC playoffs the past three years, but who will win the division is a toss-up each year.
This high level of competition is due in part to the superstars on each side of the ball.
For the Steelers, names like Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu dominate the vernacular in the Steel City. Across the field, the Baltimore Ravens have competed for more than a decade behind a Ray Lewis-led defense.
This week, none of those players will be suiting up.
Instead the Ravens will match big-play receiver Torrey Smith against the No. 1 Pittsburgh pass defense, while Ray Rice will put the new Steel Curtain to the test on the ground.
Nonetheless, here are three reasons why the Steelers can shut Rice down this week.