No one has more wins in his first three seasons as an NFL quarterback than Joe Flacco. But when the Ravens quarterback faces Pittsburgh, all he hears is how he's winless against Steelers quarterbackBen Roethlisberger.
Sunday's season opener gives Flacco another chance to break his 0-6 record against Roethlisberger.
"I don't ever want to go out into a game and feel like I have something to prove personally," Flacco said. "I am going to go out there and give our team the best chance that we can to win. It's our job as a team to go out there and play up to our abilities and win the game."
In eight games against Pittsburgh, Flacco has completed 53.4 percent of his passes and averaged 193.7 yards passing. He's thrown seven touchdowns and eight interceptions for a rating of 68.5.
Not all the blame can't be placed on Flacco. Anquan Boldin let a pass bounce off his chest in the end zone in last season's playoff game, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh dropped a fourth-down pass in the same game.
Asked why Flacco hasn't performed as well against the Steelers as other teams, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, "I don't know. I'd be interested in your theories, though."
Interest in Garrard?
The Ravens have been regarded as possible candidate to sign quarterback David Garrard, who was released by Jacksonville on Tuesday.
Garrard would fill the Ravens' void for an experienced backup, but his agent said his preference is to go somewhere with a chance to start.
Asked about the Ravens' interest in Garrard, Harbaugh said, "I don't know. We had practice today and meetings, so I haven't been involved in any of that."
Harbaugh said he would never rule out any moves.
"We're always looking for ways to make our team better," he said. "But I sure like Tyrod [Taylor] as a football player. He had a heck of a preseason. If he goes into a game to play quarterback, that opponent is going to have their hands full."
The Ravens will be among the NFL teams who will recognize the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Players, coaches and other team officials will wear a special "NFL 9/11" ribbon, patch or pin for the game.
"It's very special for me, being that I'm from New York. I can remember 9/11 like it was yesterday," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "Being in high school, changing periods at class and watching it on TV, watching that next plane go into that building — and not just watching it, but being 20 minutes away from New York City — it's a day you remember for the rest of your life. But, being from New York, it hits in you in different place. So being able to play on 9/11 and represent the Ravens and your country, it's a different kind of pride. It's not the Armed Forces, but we can go out there and play with pride and be thankful for being here today."
Ravens are healthy
The health status of wide receiver Lee Evans and center Matt Birk are no longer a concern.
The Ravens reported no players on the first injury report of the season. Every player had full participation in Wednesday's practice, which was moved indoors because the team's practice fields were flooded by the heavy rain.
The Steelers didn't have any starters on their injury report. Backup linebacker Chris Carter (hamstring) didn't practice, and third-string wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) and backup offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (concussion) were limited.
New Ravens center Andre Gurode is familiar with intense rivalries, having played nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. But he is looking forward to his first experience with the Ravens-Steelers grudge match.
"I have asked a few of the guys on the team about the rivalry and how deep the disgust between the teams exists — that's a nice way of saying it," said Gurode, who is listed as the top backup at center and both guard spots on the Ravens' depth chart. "The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is pretty serious, but I don't think I have ever seen anything like a rivalry like this."