The Baltimore Ravens going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers year in and year out provides the best rivalry in the NFL. They have achieved more than any other rivalry in the NFL the last 13 years, and the wins prove it.
My colleague Marilee Gallagher discusses in her article that the Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers is currently the best rivalry in the NFL, with two pretty good quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick to go along with two excellent defenses, which is good TV. I agree with her that the rivalry is looking to set the tone for the future, but I don’t think it’s the best rivalry right now.
The Ravens and the Steelers are the only teams in the NFL that have played in the same division over the last 13 years and that have two Super Bowl trophies each. They also are amongst the three teams in the NFL since 2000 with at least 12 playoff wins. The Ravens have 14, the Steelers have 12, and the New England Patriots have the most with 17.
The Ravens and the Steelers have multiple hardwares that other rivalries in the 21st century don’t have. They even played in the playoffs three times, and once for the right to go to the Super Bowl in 2008. Both teams are the only division rivals in the NFL since 2000 that can say they have both been to the playoffs at least eight times. The Ravens have made it to the postseason nine times, and the Steelers eight times.
The fact that the Ravens won it all last season should spark the conversation, but for some reason, headlines in the rivalry haven’t picked up when they should.
To become the best rivalry in the NFL, both teams have to have hardware. Even going back the last six seasons, both the Ravens and the Steelers have just that.