The Ravens have opened their regular season just four times against a divisional foe in the last decade. They’ll do so once again in 2020.
But only once has that team been the Steelers. And in 2011, the Ravens made it count.
Baltimore started hot and avenged its playoff loss from the previous playoffs with a 35-7 blowout of Pittsburgh on opening day at M&T Bank Stadium. It was the first loss in week one for Pittsburgh since the 2002 season.
Ray Rice started things off well for the Ravens, as he carried the ball for 36 yards on the team’s first play from scrimmage. Joe Flacco threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin on the season’s third play, and the Ravens were off and running.
Rice added another touchdown late in the first quarter, which would end up as the team’s winning score, and once again in the second quarter to give the Ravens a 21-7 lead at the break.
Ed Dickson and Flacco connected for an 18-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter to push the lead to 22 before two Billy Cundiff field goals put icing on the cake of an opening day statement from the Ravens.
Flacco finished the day 17-of-29 for 224 yards passing with three touchdowns while Rice gained 107 yards on the ground. Boldin led Baltimore in receiving with 74 yards and a score. Ricky Williams in his first and only season in Baltimore and last in the NFL, rushed for 63 yards on 12 carries.
While the offense hung 35 points on the Steelers, the defense stole the show.
Ed Reed had two interceptions and Ray Lewis added one more as the Ravens’ defense kept Ben Roethlisberger uncomfortable all afternoon. Terrell Suggs, at the outset of his Defensive Player of the Year season, tallied three sacks against the Steelers.
Lardarius Webb, who had half a sack, led the team with 11 tackles. Lewis trailed with seven while Reed and Tom Zbikowski posted six tackles each.
The Ravens weren’t able to follow up their pristine start to the season in proper fashion, as they lost to the Titans in week two on the road. But they rallied from that loss and went 9-2 in their next 11 games, with both losses coming on the road by five points apiece.
Baltimore’s season, which started with a bang, ended with one too. Although it wasn’t one the team hoped for.
The Ravens made the AFC Championship game and nearly knocked off the Patriots, but fell 23-20. The game is widely remembered for two plays: Lee Evans dropping a pass in the corner of the endzone that would've been the game-winning score and Cundiff shanking a 32-yard field goal wide left.
While the season didn’t end well for the Ravens, the week one win over the Steelers was perhaps the most satisfying win of the season.
Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE RAVENS NEWS: