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Baltimore Ravens - In the aftermath of another down-to-the-wire clash between bitter AFC North rivals, as players mingled on the field at M&T Bank Stadium - and the head coaches had their abrupt postgame handshake moment - Ed Reed got an earful from some of the Pittsburgh Steelers basking in the glory of the huge upset.
Reed, the Baltimore Ravens all-pro safety, maintained that he couldn't remember specifically which Steelers made the remarks. But the message stuck.
"Those guys said, 'See you soon,' " Reed recalled while leaving the locker room after the 23-20 Steelers upset. "They're confident, man. But it's all respect. They're the Steelers."
It would be fitting for another meeting to occur in January, after each team won a three-point grudge match on their rival's turf within a 14-day span. After all, they had a rubber match in the playoffs twice within the past four years. Both times the Ravens were eliminated by the Steelers.
That's the underlying theme with the see-you-soon promise.
"I don't know, but it would not surprise me to see them again," Reed said, "because they put themselves in a good spot by winning against us."
The Steelers (7-5), with No. 3 quarterback Charlie Batch subbing for injured Ben Roethlisberger, showed much grit in snapping a two-game losing streak to maintain their hold on the AFC's final playoff spot.
Yet the most revealing takeaway from Sunday's outcome was what the Ravens (9-3) didn't accomplish as they had their league-best 15-game home winning streak extinguished by the last team to beat them here. In addition to failing to clinch a playoff berth, they blew the chance to inflict a major blow to the Steelers' hopes.
Fumbled a 10-point lead, too.
"It sucks to let this one go," summed up safety Bernard Pollard.
Weeks from now, this could come back to haunt the Ravens - who would be hosting the Steelers in a first-round opener if the playoffs began today.
At the moment, though, the Ravens are troubled by themselves. A week after scratching out an overtime victory at San Diego that was stamped by Ray Rice's brilliance in converting a checkdown pass on fourth-and-29, Rice didn't have a single touch in the fourth quarter of Sunday's setback.
Shouldn't there be a Maryland law against that?
Sure, the Steelers controlled the clock in the final quarter and held onto the football for the last 6 minutes, 42 seconds to set up Shaun Suisham's 42-yard field goal as time expired. But on eight offensive snaps amid two full possessions and a portion of a third in the fourth quarter, Rice's number wasn't called once by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
"My touches go with the game flow," Rice said, diplomatically, afterward.
No, his touches can change the flow of a game.