The NFL has gone from a humble pastime to an empire, but the Ravens and Steelers have set the stage for one of the most heated rivalries in professional football. Both franchises are looking back on their rivalry as they prepare for what will be many more times before it ends.

The “ben roethlisberger rookie year” was the beginning of an epic era of heated rivalry between the Ravens and Steelers. The two teams have been battling for supremacy in their division since that first game, which marked a turning point in the history of both franchises.

Ben Roethlisberger’s Final Game Marks the End of an Epic Era of the Heated Rivalry Between the Ravens and Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers despise all of their AFC North opponents, but nothing compares to their hatred for the Baltimore Ravens. Over the years, the fierce rivalry has produced dramatic games featuring some of the greatest players of all time. With Ben Roethlisberger expected to retire after the 2021 NFL season, an exciting chapter will come to an end.

The Ravens are expected to be Ben Roethlisberger’s last NFL opponent.

Ravens LB Terrell Suggs talks to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger during a game

Ravens LB Terrell Suggs talks to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger during a game During a playoff game in 2015, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger engages with Baltimore Ravens defender Terrell Suggs | Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

After beating the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football to end Week 17, Ben Roethlisberger did a celebratory lap around Heinz Field. The veteran quarterback seemed to be playing his last home game for the Steelers.

Now, in Week 18, Big Ben might be playing his last NFL game ever. If that’s the case, it’s only fair that he face the Baltimore Ravens one last time.

In his career, Roethlisberger has faced Baltimore 26 times. He has a 16-10 advantage over his AFC North opponents in the all-time rivalry.

He’s in his 18th NFL season as a Miami (OH) product. His tenacity is shown by the fact that he is still playing. Big Ben has fought the Ravens many times over the years, absorbing a lot of abuse in the process.

The Ravens-Steelers rivalry has been one of the most well-known in sports over the last two decades. Despite their dislike for one another, both clubs have earned respect through time.

Many notable players have participated in the long-running rivalry between the two. Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Terrell Suggs, all Ravens icons, were at the center of the rivalry. When playing against Baltimore, though, players like Joey Porter, Hines Ward, and Troy Polamalu added a little something more.

In the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger is the lone surviving pioneer. It will be up to the current players to continue the tradition once he retires.

The clash in Week 18 will have playoff implications.

AFC Conference Playoff Picture:

1) Tennessee Titans (11-5). 2) Kansas City Chiefs: 11-5 3) Cincinnati Bengals: 10-6 4) Buffalo Bills: 10-6 5) New England Patriots (10-6) 6) Indianapolis Colts: 9-7 Chargers (9-7) — Raiders (9-7) Ravens: 8-8 Steelers: 7-7-1

To remain alive, PIT has to win on Monday Night Football.

Next week’s game pits the Raiders against the Chargers.

The Ravens are in desperate need of assistance.

— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 3, 2022

The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers are two teams battling for their postseason life, as if the 2021 season finale needed any more suspense.

Both clubs are on the outside looking in, but both have a chance to earn an AFC wild-card berth.

With a 7-7-1 record, the Steelers are only one game ahead of the Ravens. Here’s what Mike Tomlin’s team will need to make the playoffs.

  • Defeat the Ravens
  • The Colts were defeated by the Jaguars.
  • The game between the Chargers and the Raiders does not finish in a tie.

Baltimore is now 8-8, and their playoff prospects are a bit more hazy. John Harbaugh’s team will need a lot of assistance. Here’s everything the Ravens need to succeed.

  • Defeat the Steelers
  • Loss for the Indianapolis Colts
  • The Chargers were defeated by the Raiders.
  • The Dolphins were defeated by the Patriots.

Neither club is a foregone conclusion in the playoffs. Nonetheless, with both teams having something to play for, this clash could be one of the more interesting games on the Week 18 docket.

Baltimore, ironically, will pay tribute to Terrell Suggs during the game.

With the 2021 season finale likely being Ben Roethlisberger’s final game, the Baltimore crowd at M&T Bank Stadium is sure to be electric. In honor of Big Ben’s last hoorah, the Ravens invited his old friend, Terrell Suggs, to attend.

Suggs will be honored as the “Legend of the Game” before the game. Roethlisberger is well-known to the former 7-time Pro Bowl linebacker/defensive end. He spent most of his Ravens career trying to make life miserable for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Suggs still remembers playing against Big Ben fondly.

He referred to himself as “Old Ben” to the Baltimore Sun. “It was a lot of joy going up against Big Ben because he was so tough to take down. He was always hurt until it came time to play us, and then he miraculously recovers and comes up.”

The call to be at Roethlisberger’s last game didn’t surprise the future Hall of Famer.

“I know why I’m back,” Suggs said. “It’s because of the rivalry, Ben’s last game as a Steeler, and all that.”

In his career, the Ravens icon sacked Big Ben 17 times, more than any other player. It’s only right that he be honored by the squad before the big game. Perhaps his presence will provide an advantage to his previous side.

When Baltimore and Pittsburgh meet on the field, the stakes will be great. They wouldn’t have it any other way, given the history between the two teams.

Pro Football Reference provided all stats.

RELATED: NFL Playoff Picture: How Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers Can Clinch an AFC Wild Card Berth in Week 18

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