When NFL fans think of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens they tend to think about those hard nosed, knock down drag out match ups that leave the opposing team bruised and broken. Rarely do these games between such bitter rivals ever turn out anything less than a classic matchup.
One thing is certainly true, and that is the simple fact that the Steelers and Ravens are mirror images of one another. Everything from the way they play to the way they draft players is exactly the same, but the comparisons go far beyond the way Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome draft players.
When looking at the 2013 team statistics, these two teams are eerily similar to one another.
The Steelers and Ravens both sit at 5-6 tied for second place in the AFC North behind the Cincinnati Bengals and are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The Steelers are averaging 22.1 points per game, and the Ravens average 20.6 points per game.
The Ravens are allowing 19.5 points per game, and the Steelers allow 23.3 points per game.
The Steelers are averaging 339 yards of offense a game, and the Ravens average 309 yards.
The Ravens are allowing 329 yards per game, and the Steelers average 343 yards per game.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. These two teams aren’t just built the same way, they are practically identical twins this season.
Both teams have been laughably inconsistent at times this season, but one thing that never changes is the fact that these games are seemingly always close. Eight of the last 10 games the Steelers and the Ravens played were decided by three points or less. That is the model of tight games decided in the fourth quarter.
When people think of Ravens and Steelers they think of two teams that not only hate each other, but teams that will deliver an old school, backyard, punch the opponent in the mouth style of a game that will likely go down to the wire. I doubt the game on Thursday will be anything different.
Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz