What makes Steelers-Ravens special? Close calls and ‘car wrecks’

When safety Eric Weddle played for the then-San Diego Chargers, he would look at the calendar for the nationally televised Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game and circle it.

“That’s the game everyone watches because of the competitiveness, the fight and the passion between the two teams,” said Weddle, who is set to start in his fifth Ravens-Steelers game on Sunday night. “It’s just one of the best games to play in.”

The faces of the NFL‘s most heated rivalry have changed from Ray Lewis and Hines Ward to Terrell Suggs and Ben Roethlisberger.

But what made this divisional feud so good a decade ago — the physical hits, dramatic finishes and big-game ramifications — still exists today.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Asked if it’s fun to play in this rivalry, Roethlisberger answered, “Yes and no.”6

The Steelers quarterback has enjoyed competing against the likes of Lewis, Suggs and Ed Reed but … “you feel like you’ve been in about five or six car wrecks.”

Why this has been a must-watch game is because the lifeblood of this rivalry has been bad blood.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

In 2002, Ravens cornerback James Trapp stomped cleats-first on Plaxico Burress. A year later, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter ran out to the Ravens’ buses after a game to pick a fight with Lewis.

Over the past decade, Roethlisberger has had his nose broken by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and Lewis ended Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall’s season by breaking a shoulder.