Ravens-Steelers is 'going to be fun'

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:14 PM ET

PITTSBURGH — Maybe Terrell Suggs was trying to stir things up by wearing that T-shirt on Wednesday that had the Ravens flipping the bird to the city of Pittsburgh, the old one-finger salute.

No need for that, though.

The Steelers and the Ravens have made it crystal clear that they have no lost love for each other — respect perhaps — but no love.

In Saturday’s game, all the players will be wearing black hats because it’s that kind of game and they are those kind of teams.

So, there’s little need to try and stir things up when these two teams meet.

It will be a tough game, a physical game and the outcome will be close. Five of the past six regular-season meetings between the teams were decided by three points. The other game was by four.

So nobody expects a blowout.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asked to describe the Ravens team and he came up with a pretty good reply. “They’re a real salty group,” he said.

Now, that’s a compliment, from one tough team and city to another tough team and city.

When they line up Saturday afternoon, they may as well be looking in a mirror, the two teams so close in talent and so close in makeup.

The day before, Suggs was once again the player providing the most bombast as he said the winner of the game would go on to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots, though, may have something to say about that after they lay another beating on the Jets on Sunday.

“You can argue Atlanta and New England,” Suggs said.

“But ... anyone could argue the winner of this game will most likely go on to win the Super Bowl. You can put that out there because that’s what these two teams got.”

It’s nice to be confident and all and its refreshing to admire your opponent but Suggs should take it a step at a time.

Given the expected violent nature of Saturday’s game, it will be interesting to see if the victor has anything left in the tank for the AFC championship the following week.

Weather-wise it will be a little miserable as well, as the forecast calls for the temperature to be a few degrees below zero with the liklihood of wet snow and perhaps some freezing rain.

That’s just the way the two teams like it.

“It fits our personality,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh told reporters. “We’re a rough, tough football team who likes to play in rough, tough conditions.”

Neither team will be affected.

“I think teams up North, we have learned to adjust to whatever it is,” Baltimore’s great linebacker Ray Lewis said. “We understand what it is to play in the cold.

“You have to be able to play hard-nosed defence, and you have to be able to run the ball very effectively.”

Steelers safety Ryan Clark had similar sentiments.

“It is what it is, man,” he said. “It’s a divisional playoff game against an excellent opponent, an opponent we know well, an opponent we respect.

“It’s going to be fun.”

And it’s going to be one hell of a game.


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