Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh.
This debate will never grow old. It doesn’t matter how you cut it.
A lot of people will say the Pittsburgh Steelers are the most successful franchise in the NFL because they have won more Super Bowls (six) than any other team in the league.
Winning a Super Bowl is the golden standard for success in football, but some teams in this league have had a lot more time to beef up their resume than others. That so happens to be the case for the Steelers.
The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the league on May 19, 1933 (83 years ago). Since then, the Steelers have won six Super Bowls, eight conference championship games, 21 division titles and have qualified for the playoffs a total of 29 times.
No matter how you want to look at it, arch rival or not, those are impressive numbers.
Let’s take a look at what the Ravens have been able to accomplish since they became an NFL franchise. The Ravens are one of the NFL’s younger franchises. They came into existence on February 9, 1996.
In their first 20 years, the Ravens have been able to win two Super Bowls, two conference championships, four division titles, and have made 10 playoff appearances.
Since we have some statistics to go off of, let’s properly compare these two hated rivals.
There are three ways you can fairly judge these teams. You could compare what these teams have done in their first 20 years, their past 20 years, or you can average everything out.
In Pittsburgh’s first 20 seasons, they only managed to make one playoff appearance. No Super Bowl victories, conference titles, or even division titles.
Obviously, we all know how the Ravens have done in their first 20 seasons, and it’s a whole lot better than just one mere playoff appearance.
As far as the first 20 seasons go, you can definitely say that Baltimore experienced a lot more success than Pittsburgh.
Over the past 20 years, Pittsburgh has had much more success.
Since 1996, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls and three conference titles. They have also collected nine division titles and have appeared in the postseason 12 times.
In this comparison, Pittsburgh edges Baltimore in three out of four categories while tying Baltimore in the fourth.
Once again, we are at dead heat. Baltimore was better than Pittsburgh if you compare their first 20 seasons and Pittsburgh is better than Baltimore if you compare their most recent 20 seasons.
Now, it’s time for the moment of truth. Let’s compare averages:
On average, Pittsburgh has won a Super Bowl every 13.83 (we’ll round up to 14) years. On the other hand, Baltimore has won a Super Bowl once every 10 years.
On average, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won a conference title once every 10.375 seasons. Once again, the Ravens have won one conference title on average for 10 seasons.
These numbers are close, but so far Baltimore narrowly holds all the edges.
Pittsburgh has (on average) won a division title once every 3.952 (round up to four) seasons. Meanwhile, Baltimore has won a division title once every five years.
Pittsburgh has also averaged out a playoff appearance once every 2.862 (round up to three) years. Baltimore has averaged out one playoff appearance every two years.
Overall, on average, Baltimore is more successful than Pittsburgh. You have read that correctly. The stats do not lie. In fact, let’s take a look at the overall breakdown once again:
First 20 Seasons: Edge – Ravens
Past 20 Seasons: Edge – Steelers
Overall success over the course of existence: Edge – Ravens
It is also worth mentioning the Ravens are on a current three-game winning streak against the Steelers and the Ravens defeated the Steelers the last time these two teams met in the postseason.
Is the tide turning in favor of the Ravens? That could very well be the case. It’s fair to wonder if the Ravens will be able to match Pittsburgh’s success in 63 years.
Here’s the main question to ponder: Will the Ravens have more Super Bowl victories than Pittsburgh one day? Baltimore is on the right track to actually pull off the feat – and that should put fear into the heart of every Steelers fan out there.