View Full Version : Pittsburgh Opener Extremely Crucial

08-05-2011, 02:22 AM
Wednesday Notebook: Pittsburgh Opener Extremely Crucial
By Joe Platania

Week One. M&T Bank Stadium. The defending AFC North Division champions and AFC title-holding Pittsburgh Steelers.

Despite the fact that the Ravens have plenty of training-camp work to do, despite all the offseason tweeting and trash-talking between the two rivals, the time for the teams to again settle things on the field is fast approaching.

"No doubt, no question," tight end coach Wade Harman said, "the first game, at our place, (against) Pittsburgh is where our focus is. We'll get ready, game-plan and do all that other stuff for preseason games.

"But obviously, our focus is on (the Pittsburgh Steelers)."

Even with the last six games between the two teams having been decided by four or fewer points, there are several more factors that bring these rivals closer together, making this early season game even more crucial, if that's possible:

- There have been 474 Week One games played since the 16-game schedule era began in 1978. Of those teams that have won those contests, 251 have made the playoffs. Conversely, only 106 losing teams advanced to the postseason; in fact, eight of last year's 12 playoff teams won in Week One.

- Pittsburgh has won 16 of its 24 road games during the past three years and had winning road records in two of those seasons. The Ravens are 80-39-1 at home in team history with just one losing home record (3-4-1 in 1997).

- The Steelers have won their last eight season openers, the league's longest current streak. The Ravens have never lost a Week One game under John Harbaugh.

- During the past 10 years, the Ravens' September record is a respectable 19-12. But Pittsburgh's is 19-13.

- The Steelers' Hines Ward is third among active wideouts in catches with 954. The Ravens' Anquan Boldin is 10th with 650 (if Derrick Mason returns, he will be fifth on that list with 924).

- Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a career passer rating of 92.5, sixth among active signal-callers. Joe Flacco isn't far behind in 10th place with 87.9.

- Not only that, Roethlisberger's .704 win percentage as a starter (69-29) is third among active quarterbacks. Again, Flacco doesn't trail by much at .667 (32-16), ranking him sixth on that same list.

Sept. 11 can't get here fast enough.

08-05-2011, 03:10 AM
Ravens open as 3-point favorite over Steelers :ratsuck

The Ravens are a three-point favorite for their Sept. 11 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the Las Vegas Hilton.

The Ravens have won six of their past eight home games against the Steelers. But Ravens coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco are 0-6 against Ben Roethlisberger.

The pointspread isn't surprising. No team has been favored by more than three points in the past four meetings. Last year, the favorite in this AFC North rivalry won only once (in the divisional playoff game).

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/ ... elers.html (http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/blog/2011/07/ravens_open_as_3point_favorite_over_steelers.html)

08-05-2011, 08:42 AM
This is the Ravens SuperBowl. Our SuperBowl comes next Feb.

08-05-2011, 08:58 AM
Opening day is just 1 of 16. Every game is important. Get 12 wins on the season and that will win the AFC North.

08-05-2011, 11:07 AM
Opening day is just 1 of 16. Every game is important. Get 12 wins on the season and that will win the AFC North.

The main difference between the Steelers and Ravens......

To us this game is 1 of 16

To them it is 1 of 2