One of the fiercest rivalries in the National Football League renews tonight, when the Baltimore Ravens (0-3) head into Pittsburgh to take on their AFC North foe Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1). The headline for tonight is the fact that the Ravens will look to avoid starting 0-4 while taking on Ben Roethlisberger’s backup, Michael Vick.
Vick, making his first start under center as a Steelers quarterback (went 5-of-6 for 38 yards in place of Ben last week), hopes to help PIT avenge last year’s Wild Card loss to Baltimore.
Here’s a quick look at the last five meetings between these two squads:
January 3, 2015 (Wild Card round)
Baltimore 30, Pittsburgh 17
After going 0-3 in the postseason against the Steelers all-time, the Ravens finally stole a playoff victory in front of the Pittsburgh home crowd at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh finished the season as AFC North champions with an 11-5 record after splitting the season series with Baltimore, but the Ravens (10-6) marched into town and forced three turnovers while sacking Ben Roethlisberger five times in the 13-point victory.
November 2, 2014
Pittsburgh 43, Baltimore 23
Thanks to a 22-point second quarter, the Steelers had no problem putting the Ravens away early. Ben Roethlisberger had a flawless game under center, tossing for 340 yards and six touchdowns with zero interceptions. His six touchdowns went to five different receivers––Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, Le’Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant (twice) and TE Matt Spaeth. Baltimore’s defense contained the run game, allowing just 55 yards on 25 carries, but couldn’t limit the mistakes (10 penalties for 108 yards and two turnovers).
September 11, 2014
Baltimore 26, Pittsburgh 6
Thanks to a strong rushing attack for Baltimore, the Ravens turned a 10-3 halftime lead into a 20-point blowout. Pittsburgh failed to reach the end zone while Baltimore played near perfect offensively. Joe Flacco tossed for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 21-of-29 passing, while Bernard Pierce added 96 yards on the ground. But the key in this match-up was the fact Flacco was never sacked and they limited silly mistakes: zero turnovers, just four penalties and 6/12 on third down.
November 28, 2013
Baltimore 22, Pittsburgh 20
In 2013, both teams finished the season 8-8 with no chance at the postseason. But that doesn’t mean the Baltimore/Pittsburgh rivalry was any less exciting. And, of course, this one was decided by a field goal or less. Baltimore got off to a strong start, taking a 13-0 lead early in the third quarter thanks to a Torrey Smith touchdown and a pair of Justin Tucker field goals. After a Tucker field goal early in the fourth quarter Baltimore held a 19-7 lead, but Pittsburgh came marching right back scoring two touchdowns in the last nine minutes of play. Following a Jerricho Cotchery one-yard TD catch, Pittsburgh needed a two-point conversion to knot the game at 22 but was unsuccessful. Baltimore held on for the victory despite being out-played offensively.
October 20, 2013
Pittsburgh 19, Baltimore 16
Another hard-fought game was played in this one, with 21 of those 35 points coming thanks to field goals from Justin Tucker (3/3) and Shaun Suisham (4/4). The only two touchdowns of the game were TD catches from each team’s tight end––Heath Miller caught one from three yards out in the first quarter, Dallas Clark caught a 1-yarder with less than two minutes to play in the game. Unfortunately for Baltimore, Clark’s late TD wasn’t enough as Suisham hit a game-winning FG from 42 yards out as time expired.
Pittsburgh leads the all-time series (24-18, which includes 3-1 in the postseason). Of those 42 games, 17 of them have been decided by a field goal or less, and 23 have been decided by seven points or less.
So I think you can expect yet another close one tonight.
Here’s an interesting tidbit to keep in mind: these two teams have met two previous times on Thursday night (11/28/13 and 9/11/14) and Baltimore won both of those match-ups. Tonight, can they make it 3-0 against Pittsburgh on Thursday night games?
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images