Maybe Ben Roethlisberger was just engaging in a little reverse psychology Wednesday morning, but the Steelers quarterback made a pretty strong statement about the Ravens' current four-game winning over his team.
"They have our number," Roethlisberger said during a conference call with the Baltimore media.
The Ravens have certainly given the Steelers fits in recent years. Baltimore has won six of the last seven matchups, including two straight at Heinz Field.
That success has been a talking point throughout the week leading up to Sunday's Christmas day showdown in Pittsburgh, and Ravens w
ide receiver Mike Wallace believes his old team is "most definitely" aware of the trend.
"Nobody wants to be on the side where you lost four [in a row]," Wallace said. "I'm pretty sure – well I know for sure – if it was the other way around, we would be talking about it over here. Obviously, they are going to talk about it."
Baltimore has won some big games over the Steelers over the last few years. The most notable was a 30-17 victory at Heinz Field in the 2014 wild-card game. The Ravens also beat Pittsburgh 20-17 last season when Ryan Mallett started at quarterback and the Steelers were in the middle of a playoff race.
The Ravens have also done a good job of limiting Pittsburgh's playmakers.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown has torched virtually every defense he's faced the last few years, but the Ravens have held him at bay. In his 14 career games against Baltimore, Brown has scored only two touchdowns and topped 100 receiving yards just three times.
Running back Le'Veon Bell, one off the league's best backs, has averaged just 67.6 rushing yards per game in his six meetings with Baltimore. The Ravens held him to a season-low 32 rushing yards in their meeting earlier this season.
In his last three games against the Ravens, Roethlisberger has thrown five interceptions to two touchdowns.
"We are just going to try to find a way to win the football game," Roethlisberger said. "If you need extra motivation for this game, then something is wrong with you."
The Ravens certainly enjoyed their recent success against the Steelers, but they also understand that it will have little bearing on Sunday's game. First place in the AFC North is on the line, and both teams are well aware of what's at stake this season.
"The only one that matters is on Sunday," Wallace said.