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This season, the Ravens have defeated Pro Bowl quarterbacks in Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Houston’s Matt Schaub.
But there is one sizeable albatross they want to dismiss in Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers signal-caller is 8-2 against the Ravens, having won the past six meetings he’s started in. It’s a trend that rankles Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh.
“It bothers me a lot. I’d rather we [had] won. We want to win those games. Obviously, he’s a really good quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “How many Pro Bowl quarterbacks have we played compared to people around the league? It seems like we get them all the time, and probably because you see Ben, you see Carson Palmer in our division a lot. You see [Tom] Brady and all those guys, so it seems like we see great quarterbacks a lot.
“We’ve beaten our fair share, but we haven’t beaten him, so it’s our turn.”
The Ravens own three wins against their AFC North rival since 2007, but those wins came with “Big Ben” watching from afar. Roethlisberger was inactive in 2007 because Pittsburgh was already in the playoffs, he was dealing with a concussion in 2009 and he was sidelined in Week 4 because of a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
When Roethlisberger is under center, he is one of the best at leading fourth-quarter comebacks, as the Ravens saw with his game-winning touchdown pass to Isaac Redman at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 5.
“Whenever you’re playing a team that has a guy like that, you know it’s going to take four quarters,” said cornerback Chris Carr. “You can be up two scores, and they can easily come back.
“It’s one of those games where you can never relax because he’s not going to make mistakes.”
The Ravens plan on attacking Roethlisberger with the hope of netting a sack.
Considering the 6-foot-5, 241-pound Roethlisberger’s penchant for shaking off tacklers, sacks against the Steelers are not easily attained.
“We’re a pressure team, but what’s hurt us is when we pressure him and flush him out of the pocket and don’t get him on the ground,” linebacker Jarret Johnson said. “That’s when he’s really cost us.
“With him, you want to move him off his spot, but when he gets out [of the pocket] is when he’s killed us.”