Anyone who has played any sport at a competitive level realizes how some losses hurt more than others. Those losses which continue to linger, and sting, long after the final whistle blew.
For the Baltimore Ravens, their Week 16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Christmas Day at Heinz Field was one of those losses. In what has been dubbed the ‘Immaculate Extesion’ where Antonio Brown caught the quick slant pass and stretched the ball over the goal line for the win, the Ravens still feel the pain of their season ending with one play.
See what some of the Ravens players had to say about the play when they spoke to the Steelers official website leading up to the Week 4 contest:
“Anytime your division rival knocks you out of the playoffs, it is going to linger with you for a long time – until you play them again. Like you said, the wound is still fresh, and we are looking forward to playing better.”
“The guys that have played in that game remember that vividly and being so close to reaching your goals and not getting it done. I’ll tell you this: We’ve never forgotten that play, that game.”
While those two defenders might still dwell on that defeat, not all players felt the same way. One of those players was quarterback Joe Flacco:
“This game is always what it is, no matter what has happened prior to it. It is an awesome rivalry, it is a great football game, and it has been since I have been a part of it. We are just excited to get back out there and do it. It should be an awesome atmosphere, and these guys have a good football team. It is going to be awesome. I love when guys haven’t experienced it before and they get to go out there and experience it. It is all good, it does not matter what happened. I don’t think that fuels it, just because there is already enough motivation for us to go out there and kick some butt.”
While Flacco might have given the “coach speak” response, the quotes from Suggs and Weddle are likely what most of the Ravens, especially the defense, are feeling as they get prepared for Week 4. The Steelers ripped their hears, and playoff hopes, out of their chests at Heinz Field last year, and those losses don’t just go away easily.
Best remedy for the Ravens would be a nice home win over their rivals on Sunday, while the Steelers look to make their own statement in enemy territory in Week 4.
Let’s re-live Brown’s touchdown from 2016, shall we?