Baltimore Ravens

Can Joe Flacco Ever Find a Way to Beat Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers?

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens stands on the field during warm ups prior to playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Mad ChadAnalyst ISeptember 4, 2011

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens have one of the best and most vicious rivalries in all of sports.

The teams are almost identical in their philosophies and are evenly matched for the most part. Last year, the two teams split victories in the regular season, but the Steelers defeated the Ravens in the playoffs.

The biggest edge the Steelers have had over the Ravens is at the quarterback position. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is 0-6 against the Steelers when Ben Roethlisberger starts at quarterback.

Flacco is 2-0 against the Steelers when Roethlisberger has not started. Coincidence? I don't think so.

In the six losses, Flacco has just five touchdowns and seven interceptions. All of those games but one have been decided by a touchdown or less. The 2008 AFC Championship Game was the only exception, and that game was a two-point game in the fourth quarter when Flacco threw a pick-six to Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.

Since 2004, the Steelers are 9-2 against the Baltimore Ravens when Ben Roethlisberger starts at quarterback. That includes seven straight victories since 2006. Roethlisberger is the perfect quarterback for the Steelers because of his size, toughness, mobility and clutch play.

Since 2008, Roethlisberger is 6-0 against the Ravens with Joe Flacco as their starter. 

The keys to victory have been in the fourth quarter. It always seems like the games are tight, and Roethlisberger finds a way to make a big play, while Flacco seems to make a costly mistake. 

Roethlisberger is the better quarterback—there's no doubt about it. Flacco is a good quarterback that needs to beat the Steelers in order for him and the Ravens to get this monkey off their back.

Flacco was involved in offseason trash talk this summer when it came to the Steelers.

Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said the Ravens will never win a Super Bowl with Flacco as their quarterback. I tend to agree with him. Flacco doesn't seem to have that "it" factor that Roethlisberger has.

When the game's on the line, Roethlisberger finds a way to make big plays, Flacco seems to fold under pressure. Flacco did throw a game-winning touchdown pass in Pittsburgh last year. However, Roethlisberger didn't play.

Can Flacco outplay Big Ben? It has yet to be seen. In order for the Ravens to get out of the Steelers' shadow, Flacco has to beat Big Ben and the Steelers.

You can read this article and much more of my work at 412sportstalk.net.

Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/madchad1187.

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