Ravens Enjoying Win Streak Versus Steelers, But 'Haven't Mastered Anything'


Just about the only enjoyable part of the Ravens' 5-11 season last year was two wins over the archrival Pittsburgh Steelers. 

In fact, Baltimore has won five of the last six meetings between the two teams, including the playoffs.

It's the best stretch of success one side has had in the balanced rivalry since 2001-2003, when the Steelers won five straight.

So do the Ravens have the Steelers suddenly figured out?

"We haven't mastered anything," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs told the Pittsburgh media Wednesday. "If you look at the two games last year, there were some fortunate things that happened for us in the course of the games, maybe a missed field goal here and there."

Sure, the Steelers were missing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the teams' first meeting in Pittsburgh last year (Michael Vick started instead).

But when the two teams met at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 27, 2015, Roethlisberger was back and the Steelers had a trip to the playoffs on the line. The Ravens were starting quarterback Ryan Mallett and had a host of other major injuries. Suggs wasn't on the field for either meeting.

That December day, the Ravens pulled off a shocking 20-17 victory for their last win of the season.

Part of Baltimore's recent success versus Pittsburgh centers around slowing Roethlisberger, who was held to 220 yards and picked off twice in last year's upset. His 63.4 quarterback rating was the second-worst of his season.

In the eight most recent meetings against the Ravens, Roethlisberger's quarterback rating has been 79 or lower four times. His career quarterback rating is 94.2. In 20 career games against Baltimore, he has a quarterback rating of 85.0. Only three NFL teams have held him to a lower career mark.

Roethlisberger did have a six-touchdown day against Baltimore in a 43-23 rout in 2014, however, which the Ravens haven't forgotten. He can have a massive game at any time.

"There's a familiarity with each other," Roethlisberger said Wednesday. "Whether that makes it easier or tougher, I don't know. But it's definitely different than when you play a team once every four years."

Still, neither the Ravens or Steelers were too interested in going down memory lane this week as they prepare to meet once again in Baltimore this Sunday.

"It is not really anything that I am taking away from those games in an effort to win this one," Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin said.

"Last year is last year. They did a great job against us and won both matchups. But last year's teams are in the books for us and them. We better stay focused on the challenges that are ahead this week and the components and the matchups this week."

Asked whether he would use Baltimore's recent stretch as motivation for his team, Tomlin did say he might, however.

"I am sure in some ways, informally or formally, it will happen," he said. "Again, there is enough motivational things – direct things relative to this matchup with these two teams and this stadium this week."

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said there's no sense of revenge in Pittsburgh. With Sunday's game being a battle for first place in the AFC North at the midpoint of the season, there's plenty of motivation staring each team in the face.

"Obviously, if you are looking at stats and [the numbers against them], those guys are doing a really good job lately," Brown said. "But all that matters is now, where we are at now. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to go against those guys, and we are looking forward to it."

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