The Baltimore Ravens have made the playoffs for the third straight year. They’ve escaped wildcard weekend by not overlooking a Kansas City team, blasting the Chiefs in a road game. The only thing that stands in the Ravens’ way?
Nope, not the New England Patriots. The Ravens are staring division rival Pittsburgh dead in the face yet again. Twice since the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000, the Steelers have been the team to knock Baltimore out of the playoffs. And when the demise hasn’t come in the postseason, Pittsburgh has kept Baltimore from even getting there.
Now, with a more confident Joe Flacco at quarterback and a defense that continues to dominate, the Ravens have the sense of urgency that this has to be their year — if only they can get by Pittsburgh.
Terrell Suggs joined WQAM in Miami with the Michael Irvin Show to discuss the victory over the Chiefs, the team’s sense of urgency, Joe Flacco’s big game, what concerns him about Pittsburgh and what it’s like to play with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
Whether the Chiefs were over their head in the playoffs against the Baltimore defense:
“Yeah, they are a very young team, but the things that they accomplished this year, they’re going to be great. … They just went against a veteran team that’s been there for the past three years. They showed some promise, they came to play, they showed up to play in the first quarter, but once we got to being ourselves is when we kind of took the game over and pulled away.”
If there’s a sense of urgency that this has to be the year for the Ravens:
“We most definitely feel like it. Everybody’s got that team … that’s got to get them over the hump. For Peyton, it was New England. Ours is Pittsburgh. So, I have a feeling if we can get the job done this week and get over our hump, it’s going to be scary and the world better look out for Baltimore.”
On Joe Flacco’s game against Kansas City:
“It was really important. Anytime you’ve got a quarterback in a flow and a rhythm, he’s deadly. Especially we need him to definitely have a lot of confidence in himself because he’s going to go out there and win the games for us. At the end of the day it starts and ends with Joe and we’ve got faith in him. We believe in him and I believe he’s ready to step up to the plate.”
Which Pittsburgh players concern him:
“Definitely Big Ben. You can’t take anything away from a quarterback that’s won two Super Bowl rings and he’s still young. … The other one is Hines Ward, the vet, their all-time leading receiver. He’s scrappy. I do not like Hines Ward, but I do respect him, and he’s definitely a guy that I’d take into a brawl with me.”
What is so unique about Ray Lewis:
“A few good words to describe Ray Lewis is definitely passion. He has a passion to be the best. That’s what separates the Kobe Bryant’s from the rest of the world, the Michael Jordans, the Tiger Woods. … I’ve never seen a man go so above and beyond the call of duty. … It’s just an honor to play alongside a man like that.”
On the emotional game and postgame against Kansas City given Ed Reed’s situation with his brother missing:
“He didn’t have to play and we totally would’ve understood. But we wouldn’t have been the same team without him and he knows that and he lined up and played for us. … A lot of us have been playing alongside Ed Reed for almost 10 years. There isn’t a better teammate. He’s a great guy, one of the best guys I’ve known, and we just wanted him to know we was with him.”