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Steelers, Ravens have a lot riding on this game

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Even if the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers were out of contention and couldn't play defense worth a lick, their acrimonious rivalry would make this game meaningful.


Given that the AFC North lead is at stake and the teams are ranked 1-2 in total defense, the importance of today's matchup can hardly be understated.


''Realistically, you really can't ask for a better scenario, period,'' Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. ''No matter who it was.''


Oh, but it's the hated Steelers. The Ravens played a so-called rivalry game against the Washington Redskins last Sunday and treated the confrontation with indifference. The mood is decidedly different this week.




''I don't think I need any extra boost for this one,'' Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. ''Since the 2006 playoff game [against Indianapolis], this is probably the biggest game I've played in.''



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