When the Pittsburgh Steelers take to the field vs. the Baltimore Ravens this afternoon at Heinz Field they’ll be attempting to improve their record to 2-4. To accomplish that, they’ll need to buck what has become a disturbing trend:
- Lately, the Baltimore Ravens have owned the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
To be certain, the Steelers games vs. Baltimore in Pittsburgh have never been a “gimmie” for the Steelers.
The Ravens first victory in Pittsburgh came during the dark days of the 1999 campaign, when Qadry Ismael burned the Steelers for 258 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. In the 2000 opener the Ravens kicked the Steelers teeth in to the turn of a 16-0 shutout which was not nearly as close as it appeared. The Ravens also won their 2001 regular season match up at Heinz Field.
- In 2004, during the second week of the season, the Ravens knocked Tommy Maddox out of the game, ushering in the Ben Roethlisberger era.
That’s one that the Ravens might want back, because it was the last Baltimore victory at Pittsburgh during the Bill Cowher era, including the 2001 AFC Divisional Championship game, until Cowher’s final year.
- The Steelers domination of the Ravens deepened during the beginning of the Mike Tomlin era.
Who can forget the Steelers 75h Anniversary game? In 2008 the Steelers first beat Baltimore in a regular season street fight that cost the team Rashard Mendenhall and Kendall Simmons, and then again in the AFC Championship.
In 2009, the Steelers defeated the self-destructing Ravens in a late season game at Heinz Field notable mainly for keeping the Steelers playoff games alive, at least mathematically, for another week. The Steelers of course didn’t get make the playoffs and….
- Pittsburgh also hasn’t beaten Baltimore at Heinz Field in the regular season since then.
That statistic of course ignores a the Steelers 2010 Divisional Playoff victory over Baltimore.
And while a playoff ‘W’ is worth a lot more than any regular season victory, consider:
- Charlie Batch did his damdest, but the Steelers couldn’t hold back Joe Flacco in October 2010
- The Steelers gave up a last second victory vs. Baltimore in 2011
- Despite Byron Leftwich’s galloping heroics in 2012, the Steelers again lost to Baltimore at home
If the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers are to salvage their season, they must first begin by defending their turf against Baltimore.