Similar Teams in Different Situations Enter This Sunday Night Showdown


The Steelers/Ravens rivalry is something that cannot be matched in any sport. Nothing comes close to the pure hatred that these two teams share. One of the things that makes the rivalry so intriguing is that the teams are practically shadows of one another. Predicated on a strong defensive and a ground and pound offense, these two teams know each other better than anyone. But as they enter this primetime showdown, each team faces a scenario that’s very different from the other.

More after the jump…

Getting off to a fast start, the Baltimore Ravens beat down the Pittsburgh Steelers in week one and continued their dominance for the next couple of weeks dispute a minor hiccup in Tennessee. Many considered the Ravens to be the best team in the AFC and even went as far to say that they were the 2nd best team behind the reigning Super Bowl Champ Packers. Despite possessing the best defense in the NFL, the Ravens quickly tumbled after an offensive meltdown on Monday Night in Jacksonville and barely escaped the Cardinals with a win a week later. Suddenly, the once most dominant AFC team found itself with an inconsistent offense that was unable to put points on the board. Many questions surround the Ravens as they enter tonights matchup against the Steelers. And with those questions, come many doubters who don’t believe the Ravens can swoop out of Pittsburgh with a win and a nice seat atop the division. Instead of entering this week with a head full of steam, the Ravens are struggling to get their feet on solid ground. While their defense seems to always show up, you never know if the offense comes ready to play. It will be interesting to see if the Ravens’ offense can get into a rhythm at the intimidating Heinz Field while under the national spotlight.

While the Ravens enter tonight looking to prove that the last two weeks were a fluke, the Steelers come in with some confidence after defeating the perennial AFC powerhouse, New England Patriots. After being told their season is over by media, the Steelers quickly rebounded and now look to regain the AFC North Divisional title. However, the Steelers are suffering from some injuries to their linebacking corp. Lamaar Woodley will not be able to play and if James Farrior doesn’t suit up, the linebackers become the achilles heal of the Steelers defense. A weakness that can easily be exploited by Ray Rice and the two young tight ends in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.

You couldn’t write it any better. Tensions are flared, the stakes are high, and a lot of emotion is culminating into what should be an instant NFL classic.

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