The Pittsburgh Steelers have their share of teams who aren't too fond of the black and gold, and there are plenty of teams the Steelers and their fans consider their best rivals. Some may be obvious, but others would be more difficult to add to the list. Take a look at the list of Steelers most intense rivalries, is there a team left off? Who do you consider the team's top rivalries?
The Baltimore Ravens
This is the team the Black and Gold loves to hate. It is hard to experience unadulterated hate for a team who provides such competitive, intense, entertaining games match-up after match-up. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of the rivalry in 2010, via Steelers.com, "I think it is (the best rivalry in football). Maybe (Tomlin) and I are biased because we are in it all of the time, but I don't see a better one out there. It's a great rivalry and it is an honor to be a part of it."
Steelers LB James Harrison agreed: "It's a lot of hate on there on the field. On the field anything that is legal in between the white lines is all game. After that it is all respect. That's just how it is between any NFL teams. That's how it should be." So to sum up Harrison, this isn't a Tonya Harding v. Nancy Kerrigan break-the-rules-to-win situation, but its gritty and charged.
In sum, awesome games, enough hate to make it important, and respect when it is all over.
Rivalry Rating: 10/10
Hatred Rating: 6/10
Musical Equivalent: Michael Jackson v. Prince
The Patriots are quickly becoming the Tonya Harding of the NFL. Sure, they aren't whacking competitors' knees but there are few teams in the AFC that respect the team that brought us Spygate and Deflategate. The Patriots wouldn't be so easy to hate if they sucked at football. Instead, they field a perennially strong team, and keep things krafty on the field with innovative play calls that push the envelope and piss off their competitors. (I'm thinking about the Ravens game right now with that ineligible receiver nonsense.) Belichick's snarly smugness and hoodie (sorry, don't mean to outfit-shame) coupled with Tom Brady's whining only add the the hate-factor.
Rivalry Rating: 8/10
Hatred Rating: 11/10
Musical Equivalent: Tupac v. Notorious B.I.G.
The Bengals have been increasingly competitive in the AFC North over the last few years, which lands them a spot on the top Steelers rivalries list. While the intensity of the rivalry is not as strong as the Browns v. Steelers face-offs of yesteryear, the fact that the Steelers play the Bengals twice during the regular season as fellow members of the AFC North and that a victory over the Bengals is no longer a freebie lands them on the list. One extra annoying characteristic of the Bengals is that they take a perfectly good playoff spot and lose every time.
Rivalry Rating: 6/10
Annoyance Rating 5/10
Musical Equivalent: Miley Cyrus v. Sinead O'Connor
I hate to even legitimize this by putting it on a rivalry list, but it is exceedingly frustrating that the Black and Gold travels out to play the almost-always-bad Raiders and loses time after time. It would be nice to consider this a throwback rivalry, kind of like the throwback bumblebee uniforms, but since that 2013 Terrelle Pryor 93-yard touchdown run is still etched into my memory, there are enough horrifying defeats and close calls to put the Raiders on the rivals.
Rivalry Rating: 6/10
Frustration Rating: 9/10
Musical Equivalent: Robin Thicke v. Marvin Gaye