The Patriots have become the Ravens biggest rival


By: Corey Johns

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the Baltimore Ravens greatest rival right? I’m not saying I disagree in any way, but rivalries are built over a period of time, with huge games on the line and key moments that build animosity. The Ravens and Steelers rivalry absolutely means something and has had plenty of huge games that epitomize the hard-hitting smash-mouth nature of the great sport of football; but watching on Monday night, it can be argued that the Ravens biggest rival is the New England Patriots.

That game always seems to have something on the line, and unlike the Steelers, there is no healthy respect for the Patriots. Between all the huge playoff games, and the key moments like Sterling Moore knocking the ball out of Lee Evans’ hand in 2012 that was followed by one of the worst kicks in NFL history by Billy Cundiff, or the revenge the next year that sprung the Ravens to the Super Bowl, a great rivalry has been built.

I still vividly remember John Harbaugh running around Gillette Stadium giving five to all of the Ravens fans that went and saw the Ravens beat the Patriots back in the 2010.

Even back in the final year of the Brian Billick era when a 4-8 Ravens team had a 12-0 record-setting Patriots squad on the ropes before Tom Brady led a comeback drive and score the game-winning touchdown in the final minute (after Rex Ryan cost the Ravens a touchdown by superseding his head coach and calling a timeout), these two teams produce incredible, meaningful games that have memorable moments.

The Ravens didn’t beat the Patriots on Monday night. In fact, at times they looked pretty bad out there against the Patriots. Yet still, they were in a position to win the game. In the history of the Ravens-Patriots rivalry, only five of the games have been decided by more than a touchdown. Two of those were Ravens victories, both being two of just the three home playoff games the Patriots have lost in the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era, and two were before the two teams would have ever even been considered to be rivals.

The Steelers rivalry is a great rivalry, but it’s one where I think the two teams animosity has turned into great respect where the teams shake hands after. The teams just love competing against each other; but the Ravens and the Patriots love battling each other. That isn’t a game where ‘the best team wins’ and they shake hands after. That is a win at all costs game (even if it means deflating footballs) and when your team wins make sure you go around celebrating in the other team’s face.

That’s a great rivalry.


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