Make no mistake, Terrell Suggs loves to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. The All-Pro LB for the Baltimore Ravens has always seemed especially motivated when the two AFC North rivals square off. Some of his best games have come against the Steelers' offensive line and QB Ben Roethlisberger.
Unfortunately for the 2012 Baltimore Ravens, it appears that Suggs will not be on the field after partially tearing ligaments in his knee. Suggs has said he wants to get back on the field at some point during the 2012 season, but the five-time Pro-Bowler is definitely doubtful at this point.
The Ravens are not used to playing without Suggs’ presence. In fact, since Suggs moved into a starting spot at the beginning of the 2004 season, he has missed a grand total of three games
(consecutive battles in the middle of the 2009 season). That means Suggs has participated in more games for Baltimore than future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis over the course of the past eight seasons.
Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers may be the biggest beneficiaries of Suggs’ absence, since Suggs has saved some of his best games for the Ravens’ biggest rival.
It is fitting that the first game of Suggs’ pro career was at Heinz Field against the Steelers, in Week 1 of the 2003 season. He recorded his first sack, bringing down Tommy Maddox, in a Steelers’ rout. His first career start was also vs. Pittsburgh, in the final game of his rookie season.
Suggs has played against the Steelers 17 times during the regular season (one of the games he missed in 2009 was against Pittsburgh). Of his 82.5 career sacks over nine seasons, 13.5 have come against the Steelers. Two of his 7 career INTs have also come against Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have held Suggs without a sack six times, although he did intercept a pass in two of those games. In other words, Suggs nearly always makes some kind of big play against the Steelers.
17 regular season games vs. Steelers
2 playoff games vs. Steelers
Suggs has recorded 3 sacks in a game four times in his career; one of them was during the Week 1 pasting of the Steelers in 2011. Two of those sacks resulted in forced fumbles.
In the second 2011 meeting between the teams, Suggs picked off Roethlisberger at the Baltimore 20 in the third quarter, and the offense converted that into a TD as the Ravens swept the season series.
In a 2006 game in which the Ravens humiliated the Steelers 27-0, Suggs took down Roethlisberger twice as part of the team’s 9-sack defensive attack.
5 of his 10 career postseason sacks came in those two games (both Pittsburgh victories)
In perhaps the best game of his career, Suggs sacked Roethlisberger 3 times in an AFC Divisional Round game in the 2010 playoffs. He forced a fumble on one of the sacks, which was returned by a teammate for a TD, and his sack of Roethlisberger inside the Ravens 20-yard line later in the game forced the Steelers to settle for a FG.