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Three moments that defined Ravens-Steelers rivalry this year

1/2/2015

Round 3 of one of the top rivalries in football takes place Saturday night, when the Baltimore Ravens play at the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC wild-card game. In the midst of each team beating the other by 20 points this season, here are the three moments that defined their rivalry this season:

1. Courtney Upshaw's hit on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: His ferocious takedown of Roethlisberger in the first minute of the first meeting set the tone in the Ravens' 26-6 win in Week 2. Running at full speed from about five yards away, Upshaw planted his helmet into the chest of Roethlisberger, a collision that lifted the quarterback off his feet. "I lost my breath instantly and remember hitting the ground thinking, 'Boy, that hurt a lot,'" Roethlisberger said. Upshaw drew a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty and a $16,537 fine, but it may have been worth it for the Ravens because Roethlisberger wasn't the same after the hit.

2. Antonio Brown's 54-yard touchdown: He faked out cornerback Chykie Brown to get open, stiff-armed safety Will Hill and seemed to race past everyone on the Ravens defense to score a minute into the fourth quarter. There were more critical touchdowns scored by the Steelers that night. The 47-yard pass to Markus Wheaton in the final minutes of the first half broke open the game. But the Brown touchdown epitomized how much the Ravens' secondary was outclassed that night. The Ravens cut cornerbacks Chykie Brown and Dominique Franks, both of whom had missed tackles on that Antonio Brown score, two days later.

3. Mike Tomlin's reaction to John Harbaugh's locker room comments: CBS cameras captured (and mistakenly aired) Harbaugh talking about how the Pittsburgh Steelers got their posterior kicked by the New York Jets. This was far from the biggest smack talk in this rivalry, but Tomlin still took exception to it. "If they choose to spend their time thinking or talking about us, so be it," Tomlin said in mid-November. "Hopefully if we do what it is we're supposed to do and they do, we'll see them again. Maybe we can settle it in '15. Maybe not. We'll see." A year ago, when Tomlin interfered with Jacoby Jones' kickoff return, Harbaugh took the high road on the matter, saying "stuff happens." Tomlin decided to take a more confrontational tact with Harbaugh's locker room comments, and that likely didn't go unnoticed by the Ravens. Who said this rivalry has lost some of its bite?