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Why Steelers-Ravens is the NFL’s Best Rivalry

The latest Steelers-Ravens match up takes place this Sunday, 11/1, and first place in the AFC North is on the line. Both teams respect one another and always have. Every game between these two teams is smash mouth, hard-hitting football. The 2020 versions of each of these respective teams look different than years past. The Steelers are stronger on the defensive side of the ball and more balanced offensively while the Ravens are very run-heavy since Lamar Jackson, last year’s NFL MVP, has taken the helm. They are not the defensive juggernauts they’ve been during the Ray Lewis era, giving the team a whole different identity.

These two teams seem to have a healthy respect and dislike for one another. They are also very even when it comes to head-to-head wins/losses, with their records being 23-23 when facing one another. A win for either team this week will mean a lot for that teams’ reputation. The Chiefs, despite having one loss already this season, seem to be widely considered the elite of the AFC. That’s ok, the Steelers play better when they are underrated against their opponents. I think this bodes well going into Baltimore this weekend as underdogs.

Both teams are always physical, and tomorrow I’m sure will be no exception.  “It’s just pure hatred – just like two old-fashioned bullies meeting in an alley,” former Steelers receiver (and crack blocker) Hines Ward told USA Today in 2015. “I tried to tell young guys, ‘When it’s Baltimore week, you tend to stay in the weight room longer because it’s going to be a hard-fought, physical battle.’”

Well, it’s Ravens’ week, and we fans will be excited to watch the Black and Gold versus the Black and Purple this weekend, and I’m sure many guys will be Black and Blue this coming Monday morning. See what I did there. Well, aha, you know what it is…Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow…

I know there are some great rivalries still alive in today’s NFL—Green Bay/Chicago, Raiders/Chiefs, Cowboys/Eagles, Redskins/Giants— but to me, this is the greatest divisional rivalry in the NFL.

Written by Dan Majernik

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