Whenever the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers meet up, you know it’s going to be a war. The bitter AFC North rivals don’t like each other and never have. The latest installment to the rivalry could have massive implications for the rest of the 2021 season. Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser knows all too well that records go out the window when these two teams get together.
Tyus Bowser tells the younger Ravens about the Steelers rivalry
Ravens-Steelers is the NFL‘s most heated rivalry. It’s been that way for some time now. Both are proud franchises with a mean streak.
Outside linebacker Tyus Bowser joined the Ravens in 2017 and immediately learned what the rivalry is all about. He’s been talking to the younger players in the locker room about just how serious Steelers games get.
“I would tell them, ‘It’s going to be a brawl,’” Bowser told The Baltimore Sun. “The Steelers are a great team, especially when we play them, and they’ve always been that way, and it always will be that way.”
The fifth-year linebacker advised rookie sensation Odafe Oweh about how electric the atmosphere will be in Pittsburgh.
“For him [Oweh] going into Pittsburgh, especially with fans coming back this year, it’s going to be a whole new experience compared to last year,” said Bowser.
Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard also weighed in on the disdain between the two teams. “The rivalry is real,” he said. “It’s not just a normal NFL game. It’s always the most physical game of the year.”
Veteran defensive tackle Brandon Willams added that players are ready for the all-important matchup. “It’s just a different swagger this week, a different wave we’re trying to ride.”
Baltimore could deal Pittsburgh’s playoff chances a crushing blow
Baltimore Ravens defensive players vividly recall Terrell Suggs challenging them in the days leading up to a date with the Pittsburgh Steelers. “This game will pretty much prove if you’re a Raven or not,” Suggs would tell them.
The dislike between Baltimore and Pittsburgh is the same, but the teams are different.
The Ravens enter the Week 13 tilt with an 8-3 record, sitting atop the AFC North. On the other hand, the Steelers are in last place with a 5-5-1 record.
Even bringing up the rear, Mike Tomlin’s crew still has an opportunity to sneak into the playoffs. The AFC is wide open right now, so a hot streak could give the Steelers some much-needed momentum down the stretch.
According to ESPN, the 2021 season will likely be Ben Roethlisberger’s last run with the Steelers. Surely, the future Hall of Famer wants to go out on his shield and play well against Baltimore. He’s no longer the same player, though.
Big Ben used to be adept at escaping pressure, but the Ravens defense has some dogs ready to eat. Tyus Bowser, Odafe Oweh, and Patrick Queen are athletes who present a challenge for Pittsburgh’s offensive line. If the big guys can’t keep Roethlisberger upright, it could be a long game for the Steelers.
Roethlisberger and the Steelers can turn things around, but they have no room for error. A loss at home to the division rivals would all but end Pittsburgh’s season.
John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin meet for the 30th time
The Week 13 matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers features another pretty cool storyline. It will mark the 30th meeting between John Harbaugh and Mike Tomlin.
When the two head men square off, it will be just the third time in NFL history coaches meet at least 30 times.
Tomlin joined the Steelers in 2007, and Harbaugh took over the reins in Baltimore one year later. Both coaches have different styles, but each has been successful in their respective roles.
Tomlin narrowly leads Harbaugh in the all-time series, with a 15-14 record against the Ravens. That perfectly mirrors the history between the two teams. The series has been back and forth, with each team landing significant blows.
Harbaugh and the Ravens have an opportunity to even the score with a win over Pittsburgh in the rivalry’s latest installment.
A victory would push Baltimore to 9-3 and create even more separation in the division. The Ravens are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC and are looking to keep the ball rolling.
Tomlin’s Steelers haven’t lived up to standards in 2021, and a win over the division leader would signal that they’re not giving up just yet.
Both coaches are well-respected and know what’s at stake for their teams. A win or loss could drastically alter either of their seasons.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference