The best game of the weekend comes first

Jets-Patriots may have the most trash talk, but the truth is that their games are rarely that memorable.

True football fans know the most compelling game of the weekend is the first one.  No two teams more consistently deliver drama on the field than Ravens-Steelers.

My preview column for NBCSports.com this week looks at what makes the Baltimore-Pittsburgh rivalry so great, with a focus on the last three years of classic games.

If the Steelers are going to put together another big fourth quarter win, they will have to do it without defensive end Aaron Smith.  Listed as doubtful on the injury report, Adam Schefter has confirmed Smith will indeed be out Saturday.

15 responses to “The best game of the weekend comes first

  1. Everyone has know that Smith wont play today , next week and maybe even the SB if the Steelers make it . Dont know why the media tries to make it sound like drama . Real Steeler fans know the deal with our own team .

  2. I am a hard core lifetime Steeler fan and I’m really looking forward to this game today. I’m glad that the Rooneys chose Mike Tomlin as our coach, he seems to have a firmer hand than Bill Cowher did. Baltimore has a great organization and it’s a thrill to have this game at home in Pittsburgh. Right now, though I’m confident the Steelers will pull it out, I’m also very nervous of the Ravens capabilities. I do agree that “The best game of the weekend comes first” and though we are arguably the marqee match-up, i’m not sure I could wait until Sunday night for this brouhaha to start! Good luck Steelers, thank you Ravens for such a tremendous rivalry.

  3. The Steeler coaching staff, front office and players alike have so much respect that the Steelers determined that they would reserve a highly valued roster spot for the mere possibility that Aaron Smith could return deep into the post-season.

    That is pure RESPECT.

    Well deserved Aaron. Well deserved.

  4. Ziggy Hood will step up again.

    Just hope for a mostly clean, good game. Don’t let this come down to penalty flags, please. I don’t want Pittsburgh to get any gifts just as much as I don’t want the Ravens to get any. It’d be a real shame if we had to spend the next weeks overlooking a great game to discuss how the Ravens got screwed over by a bad spot or the Steelers did because of a bogus roughing the passer. Just let these lions maul each other and see which one comes out alive.

  5. I keep trying to think “who knows, maybe this game won’t be that close, maybe for once it won’t be an insane, heart-pounding, nail-biting overwhelmingly stressful day, maybe someone will have a 10pt lead…………………………………….Sigh. Nah.

  6. pappyjoe69 says: Jan 15, 2011 12:15 PM

    I am a hard core lifetime Steeler fan and I’m really looking forward to this game today. I’m glad that the Rooneys chose Mike Tomlin as our coach, he seems to have a firmer hand than Bill Cowher did. Baltimore has a great organization and it’s a thrill to have this game at home in Pittsburgh. Right now, though I’m confident the Steelers will pull it out, I’m also very nervous of the Ravens capabilities. I do agree that “The best game of the weekend comes first” and though we are arguably the marqee match-up, i’m not sure I could wait until Sunday night for this brouhaha to start! Good luck Steelers, thank you Ravens for such a tremendous rivalry.
    —————————————————
    I am a Ravens fan, and I could not have said most of it better myself. Cannot wait for this game. Two great organizations, a bunch of future HOFs on both sides, and great fan support on both sides.

  7. As noted in your NBC Sports article, you can tell what kind of football fan you are by your rivalry preference. With Pats/Colts it’s all about QB shootouts. But with Steelers/Ravens, it’s hard-hitting defense. This is throwback smashmouth football at its finest. Unlike other rivals, I may hate the Ravens, but at least I respect them. No pretty boys on the field today.

  8. This game should have been played on Sunday so more people could see it. National marquee match-up being played when people are coming home from work or just getting to work…and think of all the fans in the service industry who will not see the game. Serious lack of planning by the NFL.

  9. When it comes down to it..the ravens will be crying about the penalties and how it changed the game. Suggs, Lewis and Reed…I can see it now.

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