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Pittsburgh (1-0) at Baltimore (0-1)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EDT Sun Sep 19, 2004
  • TV: CBS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t need any extra motivation against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Steelers hope to start the season with consecutive wins as they renew their rivalry with the Ravens at M&T Stadium.

Pittsburgh and Baltimore haven’t made any attempt to hide their dislike for each other over the years.

“It’s pure hatred out there,” said Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, and linebacker Joey Porter agreed.

“Pure hatred, that’s the way you go out there,” Porter said. “All shots are dirty so you don’t have to feel bad because they’re going to be trying to get you if they have opportunities. … I’ll play my best and you play your best. I know you don’t like me and I don’t like you.”

The Steelers beat the Ravens 35-15 at Heinz Field last season before losing the rematch in Baltimore 13-10 in overtime last December.

“Whatever was stirred up was stirred up. I come to play football and football is all I do, period,” Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said of the rivalry.

Since the M&T Bank Stadium opened in 1998, Pittsburgh is 5-1 at the site. Last year’s overtime game was the Steelers’ only loss.

Pittsburgh got three short touchdown runs from Jerome Bettis and withstood a fourth quarter rally to beat the Oakland Raiders 24-21 in last Sunday’s opener.

After losing all four games decided by six or fewer points last season, the Steelers were encouraged by their ability to come back and win. What discouraged them is they couldn’t finish off the Raiders.

“It seems like last year this was the kind of game we were losing,” defensive end Aaron Smith said Monday. “To have a game like this and come out with a victory shows that, this year, we’ve got a little different approach.”

Pittsburgh sacked Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon four times and caused him to fumble and throw two interceptions.

The Steelers will try to create similar pressure on Baltimore’s Kyle Boller, a quarterback they view as more of a caretaker of the Ravens offense than the leader of it. Boller made his first NFL start against the Steelers last season, throwing for only 152 yards on 43 attempts in that 34-15 loss.

“Last year, he was just kind of just managing the team,” cornerback Chad Scott said. “Baltimore likes to win games on defense and hand the ball off to Jamal Lewis, and I don’t anticipate them doing anything different. They’re going to run and run with Jamal Lewis and then throw the play action pass.”

The Ravens ground game was bottled up against Cleveland last week. Jamal Lewis was held to just 57 yards on 20 carries after running for over 500 yards against the Browns last season. Lewis led the NFL with 2,066 yards in 2003.

Boller couldn’t get the Ravens offense going. The second year quarterback went 22-for-38 for 191 yards and tossed two interceptions. He completed 51.2 percent (22-for-43) for 152 yards, one touchdown and one interception against Pittsburgh last season. The 23-year-old quarterback has thrown seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his career.

Updated Friday, Sep 17, 2004

Team Comparison

Team Records Standings PF PA Road/Home AFC NFC DIV Streak
Pittsburgh 15-1-0 1st AFC North 372 251 7-1-0 Road 11-1-0 4-0-0 5-1-0 Won 14
Baltimore 9-7-0 2nd AFC North 317 268 6-2-0 Home 6-6-0 3-1-0 3-3-0 Won 1

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Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards

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