Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and former Baltimore Ravens edge rusher Terrell Suggs had many “epic battles” (as Roethlisberger recently put it) during the 16 seasons that T-Sizzle starred for the Ravens (2003-18). The pair will see each other again Sunday afternoon, as Baltimore honors and introduces Suggs as the Ravens’ Legend of the Game. It will be Suggs’ first time back at M&T Bank Stadium since his playing career came to a close in 2019, and the last regular-season game of Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame-worthy career.
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Appearing on the DVE Morning Show (102.5 FM in Pittsburgh) on Friday January 7, 2022, Roethlisberger was jokingly asked if he’s concerned that Suggs will suit up on Sunday.
“If he tries to come give me a hug, I’m going to try and stiff-arm him,” quipped Roethlisberger.
There’s a good reason why Roethlisberger instinctually wants to keep Sizzle at arm’s length. Suggs sacked Roethlisberger 17 times during his career, more than any other defender. And the Ravens are responsible for 76 of the 553 sacks Big Ben has absorbed, the most of any quarterback in NFL history, per Pro Football Reference.
Ben Roethlisberger is 18-11 vs. the Ravens
On the other hand, Roethlisberger has generally gotten the better of the Ravens in the win-loss column, winning 18 of 29 starts, including a 2-1 record in the postseason.
Moreover, he regards a one-handed incomplete pass against Terrell Suggs and the Ravens as one of the greatest plays of his career.
The play occurred in Baltimore on December 5, 2010, while the Steelers were deep in Ravens territory, setting up shop there thanks to a sack-fumble of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco that was forced by Hall of Fame Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
On the subsequent first-and-10 from Baltimore’s nine-yard line, Roethlisberger quickly came under pressure from Suggs, but was able to fend off the Pro Bowl edge rusher long enough to fling the ball out of bounds before Sizzle could bring him down.
Two snaps later, Roethlisberger threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to backup running back Isaac Redman with 2:51 left in the game, giving the Steelers the lead that resulted in a 13-10 victory and a one-game lead on the Ravens in the AFC North.
“Yeah, it’s always going to go in my top 5 or 10,” said Roethlisberger, recalling the play in question on WDVE, without mentioning that he had suffered a broken nose at the hands of Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata on the first series of the game. Or that he was wearing a shoe that was one-and-a-half sizes larger than normal to help protect a sprained foot.
“The teams had epic battles, he and I had some epic battles,” added Roethlisberger, referring to Suggs. “He was such a good football player and to me it was like fighting him off with one arm and then pitching it out of bounds…. I think it just showed my competitiveness and the will and desire and fight and never giving up.”
While Sunday’s season-finale (January 9 at 1 p.m. ET) between the 8-7-1 Steelers and 8-8 Ravens may not be a classic like the December 2010 game, it figures to be closely contested, much like Pittsburgh’s 20-19 victory at Heinz Field on December 5, 2021.
History is not on Pittsburgh’s side, however. Three times the Steelers have faced the Ravens on the road in the last game of the regular season and on all three occasions Baltimore emerged victorious.
The Steelers are 43-41 all-time in regular-season finales, but just 22-36 on the road.
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For a trip down memory lane, watch the entire December 5, 2010 game on YouTube:
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