As successful as the Steelers have been recently when traveling to either Cleveland or Cincinnati, divisional trips to the east have been problematic. Ever since the 2004 season when Ben Roethlisberger made his debut in Baltimore in relief duty for an injured Tommy Maddox, the Steelers have had minimal victories at M&T Bank Stadium. Whether Ben has been the starter or not, the last 14 years have given little to cheer about for Steelers fans who make the trip to the Inner Harbor. Unfortunately, there are lots of numbers to back up the Steelers struggles in Baltimore.
In games Ben Roethlisberger has played in Baltimore, the Steelers have an overall record of 3-7. Nine of those 10 games have been starts for Ben, with the loss in 2004 being the only relief appearance. Overall, the Steelers are 4–10 including the games started by Charlie Batch (2007, 2012), Tommy Maddox (2004, 2005), and Dennis Dixon (2009).
Ben Roethlisberger has not thrown for more than 280 yards in Baltimore in his career. The game in which he hit the 280 yard mark was a 35-7 defeat on opening weekend of 2011. Additionally, Ben has thrown 13 interceptions to 9 touchdowns in Baltimore and his completion percentage is 57.8% (214-370). Ben has not thrown more than two touchdowns in any game in Baltimore, and the two games in which he threw two TDs were both losses (2004, 2013).
Last seasons 26-9 defeat of the Ravens in Baltimore was the high mark in points scored by the Steelers in Baltimore since Rothlisberger took over as the team’s quarterback. Before the most recent game, the Steelers have only scored a maximum of 20 points at the Ravens when Roethlisberger has played.
The Steelers are 0–5 since 2004 when playing games in Baltimore in the month of November. Additionally, they have a record of 1–6 over the same time frame when games are played at 1 PM on a Sunday. The only win of a 1 PM kickoff was last season on October 1.
One surprising and frustrating statistic from the Steelers playing in Baltimore since 2004 is the fact they are 4–1 when the Ravens have a winning record, and they are 0-9 when Baltimore (currently 4-4) is .500 or less. The Steelers have defeated the Ravens in games where they entered the contest with records of 9-4, 8-3, 9-2, and 2-1. The only time Baltimore has bested Pittsburgh when they had a record greater than .667 was in 2006 when they defeated the Steelers 27–0 entering with a record of 8-2.
When the Steelers held a 19–0 lead going into halftime in Baltimore last season, it was the first time in Ben Roethlisberger’s career when the Steelers went to the locker room at M&T Bank Stadium with the advantage. Before 2017, the Steelers had never scored more than seven points in the first half and had trailed at halftime in every game at the Ravens since 2004. In the 10 games Ben Roethlisberger has played in Baltimore, five of them the team was shut out heading to the intermission.
The Law of Averages
Statistics are a funny thing. Many times they can be manipulated in order to say just about anything. When the numbers go in your favor, it’s great for confidence. But when the data is so horribly against you (like it is when the Steelers visit Baltimore), one can try to take comfort in the law of averages. Eventually, things will even out. The Steelers showed this last year when they went into Baltimore in Week 4 and took care of business. So let’s end on this...
The winning streak the Steelers currently have in Baltimore.