Roethlisberger sees respect in Ravens rivalry that’s missing with Bengals

Josh Alper
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

After Monday night’s flag and injury-filled win over the Bengals, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said the game was just “AFC North football.”

The Steelers will be playing another divisional rival this week when they host the Ravens, but there’s apparently a difference between one AFC North game and another. While the quarterback feels that games against the Bengals see players just “out there to hit people” with no respect for the other side. Roethlisberger said on a Wednesday conference call things are different when the Ravens are involved.

“The difference between this game and the Cincinnati game is these two teams — us and Baltimore. There’s always a respect involved in it,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN.com. “You’re going to get hit really hard or you’re going to hit somebody really hard, but you’re going help them up and say, ‘Man, nice job.’ At the end of it, you’re going to shake hands and give the other guy a hug and say that was a lot of fun and can’t wait to do it next year. It’s a fun rivalry in the sense that there’s a lot of respect and there are two good football teams.”

The games don’t always appear to be all that fun while they’re going on, but they have lacked the same furor and occasional disregard for rules that exist when the Steelers and Bengals are involved. We’ll see if that holds this Sunday night with a chance for the Steelers to wrap up the division while the Ravens work to remain in playoff position.

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