Following the Baltimore Ravens 30-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Ray Lewis put it best, “Here we go again.”
For the third time this season, the Ravens and Steelers will meet in the most physical rivalry in the NFL, and this time, it will have a trip to the AFC Championship on the line.
The AFC North Rivals split the season series, with Baltimore winning the first meeting 17-14 and Pittsburgh winning the second meeting 13-10.
Expect the third meeting to be another nail-biter. Since Mike Tomlin took over the Steelers in 2007, seven of the nine meetings between the teams have been decided by less than a touchdown, with five decided by three points, including the past four regular season meetings.
According to James Farrior, these games are so close because the two teams mirror each other.
“They run the ball and they (have) a good defense—that's a good formula to have, especially in the playoffs. That's why our games are so close, we feel we do the same thing.”
That is what makes the rivalry so great. Each team represents tough, hard-nosed, physical football that values defense.
“This is the NFL at its best,” Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs said. “This is what the world wants to see. They want to see Baltimore and Pittsburgh.”
Count Tomlin as one of those who wants to see this game, but he also has his vision set on a larger goal.
“Of course we are excited about playing these guys as always,” said Tomlin. “More than anything, we are excited about being in this single-elimination tournament and moving forward with our quest to be World Champs.”