No love lost in this rivalry

There is no beating around the bush on this one. It's a well-known fact. When the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens take the field, there is no love lost between the two teams.

"It's one of the best rivalries," said guard Chris Kemoeatu. "It has a lot of history to it. I don't know if hate is the word to use, but I think there is a lot of hate involved. It makes it that much more physical and competitive."

And come Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium, with first place in the AFC North on the line, look for the intensity to reach another level.

"It's always a big game when we play them," said nose tackle Casey Hampton. "We are both physical teams, we our good defensive teams. We like to shut people down. It's always a physical game. As a football player that's the kind of game you want to play.

"They feel like they are more physical than us. We feel like we are more physical than them. Both teams have a bully type of attitude. Whoever hits the hardest and is more physical is going to win."

The two teams have identical 8-3 records, but the Ravens sit atop the AFC North having defeated the Steelers 17-14 at Heinz Field on Oct. 3.

"We definitely owe them one," said Kemoeatu. "They came in to our house and took that win. We have to go in there and get that victory. It's a big one for us.

"It's a dogfight; guys will be getting after each other. It's going to be like the Raiders game, a lot of things are going to be said afterwards. There is going to be a lot going on."

For Hampton it's not about paybacks, it's just about winning regardless of past results.

"We just want to beat them because they are our rival," said Hampton. "Even if we would have beaten them the last game, we would feel the same way, period. They don't like us and we don't like them on the field. You want to always beat them."

The game will be the marquee match-up, played on Sunday Night Football on NBC with a national television audience watching.

"Sunday Night Football, in Baltimore, road game," said Hampton just thinking about it. "You know the crowd is going to be fired up. As a player that is the type of environment you want to be in."

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