Since the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore and morphed into the Ravens, the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the series 30-24 overall, while at home they own an 18-11 advantage.
For many of Steeler Nation, this is the rivalry above all others.
In 2014, the week 2 contest in Baltimore saw the Steelers suffer a 26-6 defeat when a kicking contest between Shaun Suisham and Justin Tucker was interrupted by two touchdowns from Owen Daniels.
Without their leading running back Ray Rice, who had been cut due to his personal problems, the Ravens pasted their division rivals. Antonio Brown was briefly knocked out of the game, but still managed 90 yards receiving.
The return game was a week 9 contest when both teams were 5-3 and jostling to seal a playoff spot.
On the previous Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger set an NFL record by throwing for 500 yards for a second time as the Steelers rolled over the Colts 51-34. Roethlisberger also set a team record with his six touchdowns passes and 522 yards.
Baltimore was coming off a 27-24 loss to the Bengals and both teams had everything to play for.
(5-3) Steelers vs (5-3) Ravens November 2, 2014
The game didn’t start well for the Steelers. After their first possession went three and out, the punt was returned 25 yards to Pittsburgh’s 35. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco needed just one pass to Torrey Smith to put the Ravens ahead and stun the Heinz Field fans.
The teams then exchanged seven punts to take the game five minutes into the second quarter. After Roethlisberger had been sacked three times, there was no hint of a fuse being lit and an explosion about to light up the night in Heinz Field.
When Arthur Moats forced a fumble, the Steelers were gifted the ball on Baltimore’s 27. Roethlisberger made light work to complete the short drive finishing with his 5-yard pass to Le’Veon Bell.
On the Ravens’ next drive, the Steelers’ defense forced another turnover. James Harrison pressured Flacco who threw a pass which Jason Worilds gratefully accepted. Heinz Field became a sea of Terrible Towels, and the wash enveloped the field as Worilds returned his interception 30 yards to Baltimore’s 30.
Roethlisberger made effective work of the takeaway and three plays later extended Pittsburgh’s lead with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant.
Flacco attempted to reply but Baltimore’s drive stalled with Justin Tucker kicking a 46-yard field goal.
With less than two minutes remaining in the half, Roethlisberger needed just four completions to put the ball in the end zone again. Markus Wheaton finished the drive with a touchdown catch of 47 yards. When the snap was botched on the point after attempt, holder Brad Wing retrieved the situation turning it into a two-point conversion with a pass completion to Matt Spaeth.
The Steelers took a 22-10 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter developed into a defensive battle with both teams struggling to move the chains until the Steelers took possession on their 10. As the game continued into the final period, Roethlisberger moved the ball by initially throwing short passes to Brown and Bell. When he connected with Brown on the sideline, the receiver turned it into a 54-yard touchdown.
The Steelers’ three score advantage lasted just the fourteen seconds it took Jacoby Jones to cross the goal line with a kickoff return of 108 yards.
The Steelers soon put that reverse behind them when Roethlisberger quickly restored their 19-point lead finding Bryant with an 18-yard touchdown pass.
The Ravens benefited from a Roethlisberger fumble and transformed the turnover into a touchdown. Flacco found his tight end Crockett Gillmore with a 1-yard touchdown pass. Their two-point conversion attempt failed.
With just three minutes remaining to overcome their 13-point deficit, Baltimore attempted an onside kick. Pittsburgh recovered and began a drive on their opponents’ 41.
On fourth-and-2 at the two-minute warning, Roethlisberger faked a handoff before finding a wide open Spaeth who completed the catch for a 33-yard touchdown. The wave of Terrible Towels now turned into a torrent. With that touchdown pass, Roethlisberger added to his long list in the Steelers record book achieving back-to-back games with six touchdown passes. It also entered the NFL’s record book.
The Pittsburgh Steelers 43 vs the Baltimore Ravens 23
James Harrison had a big game with two sacks and seven tackles to add to his four quarterback hurries. Mike Tomlin acknowledged, “He is James Harrison. He’s not a regular guy.”
“It was a big-time atmosphere,” said Mike Tomlin. “It was an opportunity to salute the great Joe Greene. It was just a great environment to work in.”
“We took advantage of turnovers our defense gave us,” Ben Roethlisberger said. “We were slow starting but made plays down the stretch.”
The win put the Steelers in second place in the AFC North behind Cincinnati. Having been 3-3 after week six, they finished the season 11-5 and won their first division title in four years. They lost the wildcard game when they played Baltimore for a third time.
At half time, the Steelers honored Joe Greene’s by retiring his jersey number.