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"It was also cooler to kind of silence them [Steelers fans] and start to see them head to their cars pretty early, too -- that was the best part," said wide receiver Steve Smith on playing in a heated rivalry playoff game. (Kevin Richardson)

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith delivered a pivotal contested catch in the third quarter Saturday night, leaping over Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain to haul in a 40-yard pass from quarterback Joe Flacco.

The long sideline reception by the five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver set up a touchdown pass to wide receiver Torrey Smith during the Ravens' 30-17 AFC wild-card playoff victory over the Steelers at Heinz Field.

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"I think it was good," Steve Smith said. "I was really just trying to make something happen for this team. I appreciate  Joe giving me an opportunity and [offensive coordinator] Gary [Kubiak] called the play. I was trying to make the play in between two guys and Joe did a good job of giving me an opportunity."

Smith caught five passes for 101 yards on seven targets in his first playoff game since joining the Ravens in March on a three-year, $11 million contract after playing the first 13 years of his career with the Carolina Panthers.

Now, Smith is preparing for next Saturday's AFC divisional-round playoff game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Smith will square off with veteran cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, who's regarded as one of the top players at his position in the NFL, and Brandon Browner.

"I have to watch the film and get prepared," Smith said. "They're two great corners and do a great job. I'm excited to play anywhere. It doens't matter because it's the playoffs.

"You get your best shot from every guy. I was going across the middle, and they're going to try and hit me and I anticipate the same."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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