The NFL playoffs kick off this weekend, and football fans can watch the first AFC Wild Card game live online, as the Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers matchup pits the two AFC North heavyweights in their third showdown of the season. Live streaming video of the game can be accessed free via NBC Sports Live Extra.
The two teams have always favored old-school, smashmouth football, and this year’s edition of the fierce rivalry continues that tradition. The two teams split their regular season games this season, with the home team winning by 20 points each time.
Even though the Steelers finished the season only one game better than the Ravens at 11-5 compared to Baltimore’s 10-6, Pittsburgh won the AFC North championship, while the Ravens barely squeaked into the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot, beating the Cleveland Browns last Sunday. Their last competition for the second Wild Card slot, the San Diego Chargers, fell to the Kansas City Chiefs.
But according to the players, none of those circumstances mean anything once the NFL playoffs begin.
“Everything’s 0-0, all things are new, and we’ve gotten to the second season,” said Ravens six-time All-Pro linebacker Terrell Suggs, who also believes the Steelers’ home field advantage won’t be a factor. “If you ask me, I think we’re a hell of a team on the road. Sometimes, that’s the way you’ve got to go.”
While Suggs’ confidence will certainly be appreciated by his teammates and Coach John Harbaugh, the fact is the Ravens have faced the Steelers three times in the playoffs before, in 2002, 2009, and 2011. All three games were played in Pittsburgh, and the Ravens lost all three.
Behind quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — who posted his best passer rating since 2009 this season while throwing for a league-leading and career high 4,952 yards — the Steelers are considered the favorites to make it an even four-for-four.
The Steelers, however, will need to get the job done without star second-year running back Le’Veon Bell, who hyperextended his knee in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals, after compiling 2,215 yards from scrimmage with 11 touchdowns this season.
Fans who want to watch the Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers live online should click on this link for the NBC Sports Live Extra webcast. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (4:30 p.m. Pacific) on Saturday, January 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Live streaming video of the game is also available on mobile devices by downloading the NBC Sport Live Extra app.