Steelers vs. Ravens: Flacco wants Roethlisberger


Tomorrow night the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Baltimore Ravens and renew what may very well be the NFL’s best and most physical rivalry. Right now the oddsmakers are predicting another close finish, with the Ravens favored by less than a field goal.

While it’s always exciting when these two teams meet on the field it won’t quite be the same Thursday night with Pittsburgh’s biggest star on the sidelines.

On Sunday Ben Roethlisberger suffered a sprained MCL when he was tackled low by Rams safety Mark Barron. Early reports said that he may miss up to six weeks, but some people are saying he may be back in as soon as two. Either way the Steelers will have to go without him against Baltimore. Michael Vick will start in his place.

If you ask the guy on the other side of the ball, he’d much rather be facing Big Ben.

Here’s what Joe Flacco told ESPN about missing Roethlisberger this week:

“Shoot, I’d love to have Ben playing in this game and going up against him for another time… As a competitor, it’s always nice to face guys that you’ve been going against for a while,” Flacco said. “You never like to see somebody injured either, and have to sit out. Hopefully everything is going well with [Roethlisberger], and he’ll be out there as quickly as possible.”

Maybe that’s just Flacco blowing smoke and saying the right thing. Maybe he really means it. Either way, he’s absolutely right.

Vick has put on some amazing performances throughout his career but his skillset just can’t compare to Roethlisberger’s, who has a stronger arm and a steadier hand. He also is less prone to forcing passes into tight coverage and committing costly turnovers.

You may not like him, but real competitors always want to face their rivals at full strength. Just as Roethlisberger was happy to see Tom Brady‘s suspension overturned before their Week 1 matchup with the Patriots, Flacco would rather have a chance to beat Big Ben.

Either way, it will be must-see TV.

Next: Steelers: Michael Vick at quarterback

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