Head Coach John Harbaugh has some bad news for Ravens fans.
One week after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw six touchdowns against Baltimore, a rookie quarterback that reminds Harbaugh of Big Ben is coming to town.
"He's No. 7 and his last name ends in 'berger, so there's a similarity there with a guy we just played," Harbaugh said, causing laughter among media.
No, the similarities don't end with their jersey number or their last name.
Harbaugh watched Mettenberger in college at LSU because of his connection with Tigers Head Coach Les Miles and because he was keeping tabs on former Ravens Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron, who is in his second year calling the plays and grooming the quarterbacks at LSU.
Harbaugh sees a similarly big (6-foot-5, 244-pound), strong-armed quarterback like Big Ben.
"I also happen to think that's how they see him, along those lines of a Roethlisberger, because he's the kind of a guy who can make every throw," Harbaugh said.
"He has a strong arm, he stands in the pocket [and] he seems like he has good vision. That's kind of what they have in mind for him – try to develop him along those lines."
Titans wide receiver Nate Washington entered the league with Roethlisberger in 2005. Now that he's played with both quarterbacks, he said Mettenberger is further ahead than Roethlisberger was when he was a rookie.
Mettenberger will be making just his second NFL start when he comes to Baltimore, and first one on the road. He started against the Houston Texans in Week 8 and went 27-for-41 for 299 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and one fumble.
After the game, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt mocked Mettenberger and the multiple selfies he the rookie posted during the week. After the game, Watt delivered a message to Mettenberger: "Welcome to the show."
Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs usually drools at the sight of a rookie quarterback coming into town, but he was rather guarded in his comments about Mettenberger.
"Usually when you go against a rookie quarterback – traditionally, usually – you can make it a hard time for them," Suggs said. "But the way the game is played these days, it's pretty much in favor of the quarterback and the offense, so I don't really think that plays into our favor any. We have to treat him just like we treated the guy last week and the guys before him."
Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley went against Mettenberger in college last year. Mosley and Alabama came out on top, 38-17, but Mosley gained an appreciation for the gunslinger.
This April, Mosley was drafted in the first round. Mettenberger was taken in the sixth. The Ravens took Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning 16 picks later.
"He's always had great arm strength," Mosley said of Mettenberger.
"We saw that on film – we watched it today – and if he has time, he can step up and he can be just like any other quarterback in this league. For us, and just like we have with every game plan, we have to try to get pressure on the quarterback and collapse the pocket and play top-down coverage, because he likes to throw the ball deep."