Steelers vs. Ravens: Lowest winning percentage between rivals before their second game since 1999

Larry French

The Ravens and Steelers are used to the second of their yearly two-game tilt against each other having playoff implications. But it's usually not in contention for the sixth seed in the AFC, like Thursday's game is. In fact, this season marks the lowest win percentage between the two teams before their second game in 14 years.

Steelers vs. Ravens games usually carry with them an air of excitement due to the level of competition brought between each other on the field. It helps these games usually have a playoff charge as well. While it isn't every year both teams are in playoff position (although it's common), it's been a long time since both teams were under .500 heading into their second meeting.

In fact, it's the lowest combined winning percentage (.454) between the two teams meeting for the second time in a season since 1999 - a game won 31-24 by the Ravens.

Both teams were 5-7 (.357 winning percentage) heading into their Week 14 match-up in Pittsburgh. Baltimore won that game on the strength of Ravens quarterback Tony Banks' three touchdown passes on 8-for-26 passing.

That's not a typo.

Fortunately for Pittsburgh, they got a 21-yard touchdown pass from Jerome Bettis to Hines Ward, but unfortunately, two sacks each by Rob Burnett and Tony Siragusa were too much to overcome.

That season was also the last time neither Pittsburgh nor Baltimore qualified for the postseason. The Ravens would win their first of two Super Bowls the following year, with the Steelers taking division titles in 2001-02. Baltimore won a weak AFC North in 2003, with the Steelers running all over it in 2004. The Bengals won the North in 2005, though the Steelers knocked them off as they became the first 6-seed to win the Super Bowl. Baltimore took the division in 2006, the Steelers matching that in 2007.

The epic 2008 season saw the Steelers defeat the Ravens three times en route to a Super Bowl championship. Cincinnati won the division with Baltimore qualifying for a wild card in 2009, only to see the Steelers win it, and advance to the Super Bowl, again in 2010. Baltimore has owned it since then, taking the last two North titles, and the last Super Bowl.

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