The road to the AFC North crown goes through Pittsburgh, but the Ravens would prefer to take their chances against the defending Super Bowl champs during daylight hours, at least when they travel to Heinz Field. According to the Baltimore Sun's Jamison Hensley, the Ravens have "asked not to be considered for a prime-time game at Heinz Field this season when they submitted their scheduling requests to the league..."
So even though Baltimore is 6-6 against its biggest division rival since 2003, it's 0-3 in nationally televised night contests in Pittsburgh; with the sun above the horizon, the Ravens are 1-2 during that time. And while a .333 winning percentage isn't all that impressive, it's much better than .000.
Whatever, it sorta destroys the mental image of Ray Lewis using his pre-game pep-talk-combination-dance-off to adequately motivate the charges. Apparently, it only works when he has access to FieldTurf (tangentially related and hilarious).
On the upside, the Ravens could be in line for consecutive home games since 1998:
The Ravens have played a nationally televised game at Pittsburgh for three of the past four seasons, including the past two years. In comparison, the last time the Steelers had to play a night game in Baltimore was 2003. There is a possibility that the Ravens could start the season at home. Because the Orioles are away on Sept. 13, the Ravens would be able to host a Week 1 game (the Orioles are home on Sept. 14, which likely rules out a home Monday night game).Funny story about that 2003 get-together: Pittsburgh entered the Week 17 matchup with a 6-9 record; Baltimore was division champ and playing for one thing: to get Jamal Lewis to 2,000 rushing yards. The Ravens accomplished that -- and won the game in the process -- but at the expense of not resting their starters for the wild-card round they would inevitably lose.
And the Steelers -- who limped into that offseason with a myriad of questions -- actually proved to be the long-term beneficiaries of that '03 end-of-season loss; they had the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft and they used it on Ben Roethlisberger. Long story short, Ravens organization: there are benefits to getting trounced by a division rival in prime time.