It’s that time of year again around Pittsburgh. Snow is falling, families gather together and everyone is in a great mood. Oh, you thought I mean Christmas coming up? Sorry, I was referring to the second installment of Raven’s Week. When the Steelers face the Ravens twice a year, everything else takes a back seat. These two teams hate each other on the field (news that Ray Lewis and Ben Roethlisberger text each other shows they are human off the field) and always deliver a well played, hard hitting game. If the rest of the Country didn’t know it yet, they will be able to see it this Sunday Night on primetime in a game I believe will be won 27-17 by the Ravens.
What makes this matchup so intriguing each year, is the fact that these teams are carbon copies of each other. They hit hard, they rely on Defense, they run the ball effectively and neither team backs down from trash talk. While we get lucky to see arguably the best rival in the NFL each year thanks to the AFC North, it had me thinking, what other teams would I like to see the Steelers play each year to have another rival build or rekindle the flame of a rivalry of the past.
Here are a few I would love to see year in and year out:
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders:
While the teams may have different fortunes this decade, the Raiders have had Ben’s number in his career as his only win against them came this season. The teams of the 1970′s had one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports. The immaculate reception, ending Oaklands 12-2 campaign in ’74, Oakland knocking Lynn Swann out for two weeks with a concussion and even Al Davis trying to sue Chuck Knoll for libel after calling his player a criminal for the hit. This rivalry has history to it and it shows each time they play today. Remember last year Bruce Gradkowski, leading Oakland on the late drive victory last year? I’m sure the Steelers would love to get payback on Richard Seymour for his cheap shot to Big Ben this year. The Raiders and Steelers make for some good football each time they play, so bring back the ’70′s and let them play each year.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles:
If you’re from Pittsburgh, you hate Philly. Philthadelphia and the Cryers are a couple of the ways that it is referred to that is allowed to be published. The Steelers and Eagles have no true rivalry though. The Penguins and Flyers hate each other. The teams play hard and the fans fight even harder with each other. Why not have a ‘Keystone Battle’ each year. It’s a non conference game and will add a great environment no matter which side of the state it is played on. With two of the big draws in the league, as well as franchise QB’s who both have had their off the field issues, this makes for a much watch each and everytime they would play. The Eagles lead the all time series at 47-27-3 and the Steelers lead the Eagles in Super Bowls, 6-0. For two franchises who used to be combined to be the Steagles, this could be a hidden rivalry waiting to come out.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots:
For Steeler fans, this may not be at the top of your list. The Steelers have always had a hard time against the Patriots, especially in the Belichick and Brady Era, with Brady only losing once against the Black and Gold. Ask a Pittsburgh fan who they hate and their list will probably look something like this: 1. Ray Lewis 2. Alex Ovechkin 3. Scott Hartnell 4. Barry Bonds 5. Tom Brady. Brady may even be listed higher on some people’s list. Why do people hate him? Because they know they can’t beat him and he lets the fans know it. The offense the Pat’s run, is the same kind the Steelers defense wants the other team to run. The difference is that New England is adjusting for the Steelers, instead, they make the Steelers defense adjust to their offense. 21.2 Million viewer tuned in to the Sunday night matchup earlier this season, the highest viewing show if you will, of the week on TV. The top two teams of the past decade and 9 Super Bowl Rings between them is reason enough to have them square off annually.
Who would you like to see the Steelers play each and every year fans? Enjoy the game this week and look for new articles on the way each and every week, here on prosportsblogging.com
About the Author
Written by Michael Waterloo
I'm currently pursuing my Master's degree in Communication and Journalism from Clarion University. I currently work for Ohio Valley Athletics where I serve as the West Virginia Football Beat Writer and cover West Virginia Men's Basketball as well. I'm a big Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers and Oregon Ducks fan. Follow me on Twitter at @MichaelWaterloo or visit www.ovathletics.com