Ravens expecting true rivalry game in Pittsburgh: 'It's going to be a brawl'

Baltimore visits Steelers on Sunday
Lamar Jackson
Posted at 4:13 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-01 16:13:32-05

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It's the Ravens vs. the Steelers.

Enough said.

"It’s going to be a brawl," said Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser. "The Steelers are a great team, especially when we play them. They’ve always been that way and it always will be that way."

"For sure it’s a rival game. We know it’s going to be an intense game like it always is, very physical game like it always is. I’m ready," said quarterback Lamar Jackson.

When Baltimore (8-3) visits Pittsburgh on Sunday Jackson knows he must have a better outing than his last. He tossed those four interceptions against the Browns last Sunday in a 16-10 win.

"Bad passes, inaccurate, underthrown passes. That’s all I saw. Bad reads. I looked like a rookie," he said.

He has purposely been thinking about it since Sunday.

"I let it fester. I need to feel it. I need to feel that pain. That’s pain right there. I let it fester for a couple days and then let it go and then get prepared for the Steelers."

And these are not the same old Steelers. Pittsburgh (5-5-1) is coming off an embarrassing 41-10 loss to the Bengals. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a shell of himself. Their defense may not have one of the NFL’s top pass rushers in T.J. Watt, who is on the Reserve/COVID list. All of that doesn’t matter say the leaders in the AFC.

"This is a football team that has had a ton of success this year and when you look at a team you consider what you are up against, you look at every facet of what they’ve done, the body of work, who they play, how they play, how they have played you in the past, what they are capable of doing."

One Raven who now knows this rivalry maybe better than anyone on both sides is left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. He was a Steelers mainstay for six years. H is well-versed on Pittsburgh-Baltimore games. Now he gets to experience one wearing purple.

"[Neither] of these teams want to bend the knee to the other. So, they are always going to be competing for No. 1, No. 2," said Villanueva about the two teams competing for divisional supremacy.

"As a player, for me personally, I think you always try to do your best. It’s not like you are going to reinvent yourself for a game," he added. "But there is truly an emotional component to going back to Pittsburgh. It’s the city where I’ve lived the longest in my life. I had all four of my kids there."

From an injury standpoint the availability of Calais Campbell remains uncertain. However, things look good since he was able to practice on Wednesday. The veteran defensive end remains in concussion protocol.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook