Thursday’s “First Call” features some unreal stats about the Steelers-Ravens rivalry. Tom Brady makes his first comments about being reunited in Tampa with former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown. A former Steeler has been traded to a division rival. And Super Bowl seating is being debated.
Quoth the Raven
Exactly how close is the Steelers-Ravens rivalry? Consider these numbers from ESPN.
The best rivalries are those where the two sides are actually competitive with each other and it doesn’t get much better than Steelers vs. Ravens. pic.twitter.com/uxnpRCw52v
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 28, 2020
Want a few others?
• The Steelers have a 28-24 advantage overall, counting the postseason.
• Since 2008 when John Harbaugh took over as coach of the Ravens, Baltimore has gone 14-13 against Pittsburgh.
• Mike Tomlin is 12-14 against the Ravens in the regular season — 2-1 in the postseason.
• Via TribLive’s Chris Adamski, 13 of the 24 regular season matchups since 2008 have been decided by three points or less.
By the way, the gambling line is currently at Baltimore -3 ½ points. Go figure.
Brady backs Brown
Antonio Brown still has yet to comment on signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But his quarterback did.
On Wednesday, Tom Brady spoke to media members about the move. And he spent a lot of time explaining why he is willing to back Brown despite his many off-field issues and troublesome past.
A lot of people have wondered why Tom Brady has not only befriended Antonio Brown but gone to bat for him and others like him, who have troubled pasts and baggage. So I asked Brady how he navigates those relationships.
I think this answers a lot of questions. pic.twitter.com/KcvboiwCg5
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) October 28, 2020
Meanwhile, head coach Bruce Arians is all smiles about his new acquisition.
“He looks fantastic. I think we had really good conversations today, he and I,” Arians said Wednesday. “In our conversation today, it’s, ‘Go to football practice, go to work, come home and go back to work.’ He’s all-in.”
Sure. Until Mike Evans or Chris Godwin gets more red-zone targets than he does. Or Arians tells him to run a pattern he doesn’t want to run.
Brown is in the midst of an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Currently, he is only permitted to workout with the strength and conditioning staff. And attend meetings. He can’t be in an organized practice with the team.
The former Steeler (and Raider) (and Patriot) isn’t allowed to suit up in a game until next Sunday night against the New Orleans Saints.
Finding a home for Finney
B.J. Finney is on the move again.
The former Steelers offensive lineman is back in the AFC North. He was traded from the Seattle Seahawks with a seventh-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday.
In exchange, the Bengals gave up pass-rusher Carlos Dunlap.
The trade should work for both teams. The Bengals need offensive line help. And the Seahawks need a pass-rusher. The Seahawks only have nine sacks. Only five teams have fewer.
Meanwhile, no team has allowed more sacks than the Bengals with 28.
Super Bowl bound?
Got visions of the 6-0 Steelers going to Super Bowl LV yet?
Got visions of being there yourself?
Well, that might be tough. ESPN is reporting that the NFL is only planning on 20% capacity at the game because of coronavirus concerns. Raymond James Stadium’s capacity is 66,000. That means roughly 13,000 in attendance.
Seating capacity at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa is 65,618, maybe more with temporary seating for a Super Bowl. So attendance at Super Bowl LV could be between 13-15,000 people. https://t.co/AZT14pyRaE
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 28, 2020
But, via Sports Business Daily, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy is saying that decision is far from completed.
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