There is no love lost between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. Some of the big names might have moved onto their life’s work, names like Ray Lewis, Hines Ward, Terrell Suggs and Troy Polamalu, but there is plenty of hatred between these two AFC North teams.
One of the reasons these two teams still have a healthy disdain for one another is Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh have been manning their respective sidelines for over a decade apiece.
Both have had their moments in the rivalry. Tomlin’s famous Thanksgiving night jaunt onto the sideline, and Harbaugh has a laundry list of moments where he felt his team was screwed over by officiating.
Chalk the Week 12 game at Heinz Field up to one of Harbaugh’s moments.
At the end of the first half, when Robert Griffen III moved the team to a first and goal situation with 26 seconds left on the clock. After Justice Hill got the ball to the one-yard line, Griffen chose to take the team’s third, and final, timeout.
Coming off the timeout the Ravens chose to run the ball up the middle with Gus Edwards, and when Edwards was tackled short of the goal line it took the officiating crew a long time to get the players off the pile.
Did some Steelers defenders take their time getting up? Possibly, but they did nothing which the officiating crew thought deserved a delay of game penalty.
That wasn’t good enough for Harbaugh, and his comments after the game made it blatantly clear he wasn’t happy with the officiating.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh on how Steelers stayed on top of the pile at the end of 1st half: "I just feel like if you’re laying on the ground like that, you’re either injured, or it’s delay of game. So, that’s [a] pretty clear cut-type of a deal, and that’s how we felt about it.”— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) December 3, 2020
When you take a look at a still shot overhead of the pile, you can see there are bodies for both teams still trying to get up and off the pile.
Ultimately, Harbaugh isn’t mad at the officiating as much as he likely is at his team’s overall clock management in a key situation. When the players got back up to the line of scrimmage, Griffen threw a pass to tight end Luke Wilson which was knocked away by Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Both teams headed into halftime with the score still 12-7, in favor of the Steelers.
Not only do players take their time getting off a pile in a critical moment every week, but if Harbaugh is upset with the officiating for not throwing a flag, he should be more concerned with how his offense managed the clock at the end of the half.
Nonetheless, despite Harbaugh’s complaints, the Steelers and Ravens both had goal line possessions which resulted in zero points. On top of that, the Steelers 19-14 win completes the sweep of the Ravens in the regular season, and all but puts the final nail in the coffin of their hopes of a three peat as AFC North champions.
The Ravens have to prepare for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13 with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, while the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the Washington Football Team at Heinz Field looking to advance to 12-0 and remain the top team in the NFL.