It's hard to beat anyone in the NFL once. It's even harder to do it twice, and harder still to do it three times.
That might be exactly what the Baltimore Ravens are forced to do at some point in the NFL playoffs this season.
After having a little bit more trouble with Cleveland than the Ravens thought they would, it could be a tall order trying to take out Cincinnati again, while Pittsburgh gets to finish off the season with Cleveland.
If the Ravens lose and the Steelers win, then the season sweep over Pittsburgh will be for naught, as the Steelers will have won the division.
That would be a huge demoralizing blow for the Ravens, who had felt that sweeping the Steelers was the key to their playoff success.
It would appear that Baltimore forgot to ensure it would finish the season with more wins than Pittsburgh and now is in jeopardy of being forced to play Pittsburgh on the road in January.
Still, being at home is not a requirement for victory in the playoffs, but when it comes to this rivalry, teams take any advantage they can get.
Baltimore is bolstered by the fact that it may not be facing a 100 percent healthy Ben Roethlisberger, but many experts would take that over Joe Flacco anyway.
Regardless of where the game is played and who's at quarterback for Pittsburgh, Baltimore will still bring Ray Lewis and its nasty defense to the party, and that helps the cause for the Ravens.
If the Ravens are going to win a third game against the Steelers, it's going to come from forcing Roethlisberger to make mistakes and taking advantage of them.
Mike Tomlin has some great coordinators on offense and defense backing him up, and they have surely been using any free time that they have to prepare for another matchup with Baltimore.
In this rivalry that has been the picture of NFL parity for many years, it just seems so hard to believe that one team can dominate the play for an entire season.
The odds makers in Las Vegas will probably give the edge to the home team, but in the playoffs, with Big Ben at the helm, it's hard to believe that he would be on the wrong end of the score.
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