BALTIMORE, MD (Sporting Alert) — Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will lock-horns in Thursday Night Football, a game that sets up an early feisty divisional battle at M&T Bank Stadium.
Live Coverage: CBS/NFL
8:25 PM ET, September 11, 2014
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
The last time these two teams met on Sept. 11, was back in 2011, when the Ravens blew away the Steelers 35-7 at home.
Both teams had different starts to the new season, with the Ravens losing 23-16 to the Cincinnati Bengals in their opener on Sunday and the Steelers edging the Cleveland Browns 30-27 in their first game of the campaign.
This week’s game will also see Baltimore trying to re-focus on the task ahead, following the video footage showing the disturbing domestic violence incident of former star running back Ray Rice.
Rice, who was well supported from every angle, including the Ravens, prior to the new video evidence, has since seen his contract terminated.
“(The video) changed things, of course,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said in a release. “It made things a little bit different.”
He added: “We had a meeting — it was not a long meeting — and we came to the decision that we came to, to release Ray. That’s what we did.”
The under pressure Harbaugh is now turns his attention to what is expected to be a physical battle in Baltimore, especially with his team going down at this same venue four days ago.
Surely they can’t afford to lose back-to-back divisional home games.
At the same time, Pittsburgh enjoyed a winning start to their season as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger finished the game with 365 yards, this after setting a career-best 278 yards in the first half of the contest.
Pittsburgh almost blew it though, after giving up a 24-point halftime lead and needed a late, late Shaun Suisham’s 41-yard field goal kick to beat the Browns.
“We’re not going to let (Sunday) define us by any stretch,” said coach Mike Tomlin.
“We’re going to need a better result if we want to get a victory on Thursday night.”
Steelers and Ravens have shown over the years that they do not like each other and pundits are predicting a very close and hard-hitting contest on the night.
This has everyone well pumped.
“Thursday Night Football, primetime, and at our rival’s home field. You don’t need any extra motivation,” an excited Steelers cornerback William Gay revealed.
“It’s Baltimore versus Pittsburgh. The fans are excited for it. We are excited for it.”
Heading into Thursday night’s game, Baltimore knows that their last six regular-season matchups with the Steelers sees them taking an advantage of 4-2 and will want to build on the series.