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Preview: Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

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An AFC North rivalry known for close, physical battles turned into a lopsided, dominant 35-7 Baltimore Ravens victory week one.

(Credits: Photo by Larry French/Getty Images North America)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are seeking revenge from an embarrassing performance they absorbed from Baltimore to kickoff the season at M&T Bank Stadium, a punishing defeat where the Ravens forced a franchise record seven turnovers.

The Steelers have won six of their past seven games, including an impressive 25-17 win over the New England Patriots last week.

The Ravens look to do something tonight they have just once before in their franchise history, and that’s sweeping the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The last time the Ravens swept the Steelers was in 2006 en route to a 13-3 record, and an AFC North division title.

Over the past several seasons the Steelers and the Ravens have battled for the division title. Yet, this is extremely early in the schedule, a kink for the season series to be done just midway through the season after tonight.

The Steelers come into this one as three-point favorites despite getting owned in week one’s matchup. I’m assuming it’s the home-field advantage factor that prompted the odd makers to make the Steelers the favorites in this one.

The defenses on both sides tonight figure to be front and center. The Ravens boast the leagues number one ranked defense, while the Steelers are ranked second with just seven yards per game separating the two.

(Credits: Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review)

Pittsburgh will be shorthanded in their linebacking core as Lamar Woodley, who leads the team with nine sacks, had been declared out with a strained hamstring, and middle linebacker James Farrior is also out with torn calf. However, James Harrison is set to return after missing the last four weeks with a broken orbital bone.

Tonight should be another vicious, smash-mouth, hard hitting affair, with all the intimidation factors and intensity this matchup always bring.

Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. and the game can be seen nationally on NBC.