The Ravens-Steelers series never has been known for finesse football.
Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace wonders if it might be now.
The Ravens-Steelers rivalry is arguably the NFL's most physical, as evidenced by some of the big hits in the series — Ryan Clark's concussion-causing hit on Willis McGahee; Haloti Ngata's fist to the face that broke Ben Roethlisberger's nose.
But with some of the bigger hitters missing, Mike Wallace won't be surprised to see a different type of game Sunday night at Heinz Field, when the Ravens (7-2) and Steelers (6-3) meet for first place in the AFC North.
“When you think Ravens-Steelers, you think about Hines (Ward), you think about Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Troy (Polamalu), you think about (James Harrison), Terrell Suggs, guys like that,” Wallace said. “It's more of finesse Ravens-Steelers game now because there's a lot more skinny guys.”
Perennial Pro Bowl players Lewis and Polamalu are injured and out; Ward retired after last season.
But multiple players on both teams this week said they expect it to be as intense and physical as ever.
“But with me, (Ravens receiver Torrey) Smith, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, it's more skilled than it was before,” Wallace said. “Before it was more of a power game.”
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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