xml:space="preserve">

It was just another Ravens-Steelers game. Just another well-played game that came down to the final seconds. You can count on it.
Of the 13 games in the John Harbaugh era, nine of them have been decided by four points or fewer, and in just one has the winning margin been 10 points or more.
With Pittsburgh coming in with a 1-4 record, Baltimore might have hoped it would be different. Harbaugh knew it would be close.
"You probably have to, considering the history, you probably have to expect that. We haven't been in one there that hasn't been tight since I've been here. They've all been three-point games," he said.
The last four games have been decided by a field goal, but this one was different. This one sent the Ravens into their bye week with a losing record.
In Harbaugh's first five years, Baltimore twice had a 4-3 mark, and in the previous three years, they were 5-2.
"I'm very concerned. It's been very rare with this franchise that we've been under .500," Terrell Suggs said.
How rare?
Only once in Suggs' 11 seasons with the Ravens have they had a losing record after seven games. That was in 2005 when they finished 6-10.
"We've got a state of emergency now. We can't let no more of these games going by, losing by two, and then losing by three. We've got to have these games," Suggs said.
The game was quicker than most Orioles games, two hours, 48 minutes. The first half took barely an hour. Baltimore had just seven possessions, and Pittsburgh eight, and one of those began with eight seconds remaining in the first half and was a Ben Roethlisberger kneel-down.
"This is the Steelers. Sometimes you just don't know what to expect. I just expect to win. This is always a hard-hitting game," Ray Rice said.
Then, he pointed to his left shoulder.
"See, I'm icing my shoulder, so obviously you can see I lowered the pads today. There's nothing wrong with my shoulder. I'm just putting it out there. It's called icing after the game."
Joe Flacco was amazed to find out that his team had so few possessions. In his six seasons with the Ravens, he's come to expect those indescribable finishes.
"You're always going to get a good game. You don't know how it's going to go. You hope you come in here and you blow them out," Flacco said.
In his time, Baltimore is 3-5, and the only lopsided game was the 2011 home opener, when the Ravens won 35-7.
For Elvis Dumervil, it was his first time participating in this rivalry.
"It was tough, man. It was a tough environment. I thought our energy was there. Give credit to Pittsburgh, man, they were a better team today," Dumervil said.
At 3-4, Baltimore trails the Cincinnati Bengals by two games. They'll meet on Nov. 10 at M&T Bank Stadium. In between, the Ravens have a week off and play Cleveland, which is also 3-4. The Bengals must play the Jets and Miami.
When Cincinnati comes to Baltimore, the Ravens hope to be 4-4. With nine games left, Baltimore will probably have to go 7-2 to make the playoffs. A 9-7 record may not be good enough.
"Different feeling. Different feeling," Rice said.
He's not used to heading to the bye with a losing record.
"We can't kid ourselves," Suggs said. "We've got a tremendous amount of work to do."
The Ravens play three AFC North games next month, with Cleveland, Cincinnati, and another with the Steelers on Thanksgiving night in Baltimore.
"It's going to be a dogfight like it always is in this division," Flacco said. "We've got a lot of games to go."
Heinz Field was the scene of perhaps Suggs' most memorable quote of his career. After the Ravens lost the Divisional Playoff game here in Jan. 2011, Suggs observed:
"They're going to the AFC Championship Game - and we're going to the couch."
Nearly three years later, reminded that he'd had a lot of memorable games here, his eyes looked away.
"They just made one more play than us. This is sickening. This is disgusting," Suggs said. "We dropped two, and pretty much we dropped them the same way. It's a time for all of us to take a good look at ourselves."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement