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Yes, it’s almost time for the annual games.  The thrilling rivalry that has overtaken many older ones and thrust itself into the center stage of sports.

The Ravens will visit the Steelers this Sunday night (8:20pm, NBC).  Typically, the two teams have at least one of their match-ups become a prime time game, and this year is no different.

The Steelers currently have the edge in the all time record, yet it is the Ravens who are closing that gap in a hurry!

Winners of the last three vs Pittsburgh (which includes two in that stadium), they hope to continue that total, along with a current 11-0 streak vs the AFC North.  Plus, the injury to #7 has only increased the Ravens’ chances of a win.

There are a few obstacles to the Ravens’ chances, as their defense is still ranked low while the Steelers have one of the best currently.  Pittsburgh is also 4-0 in their stadium while the Ravens have a 2-2 away record, only wins being against the Browns & Chiefs.  Offensively, both teams are just about even, yet now that Leftwich will start, this will have quite an impact.

Also, there are significant injuries on both teams that influence their production.  While we’ve been missing Lewis & Webb, the Steelers will be without Polamalu and likely their other starting safety Ryan Clark, which may be a plus for Flacco against the #1 ranked passing defense.

All in all, expect quite a lot of hostility between these two fan bases (as if you haven’t seen so already) leading up to the game.  There may be scuffles in the game, but the players have mutual respect for their opponents.

Also, don’t worry if you miss out on some of the trash talking for this game, as there will be plenty more 2 weeks later when the Steelers come here to face the Ravens.  In between that time will be Thanksgiving and the 11/25 game versus the San Diego Chargers.

We sure get to be thankful for this much rivalry and great games.