OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The prevailing thought is that the Baltimore Ravens should feel relieved they're not facing Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Thursday night.
Not Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.
"Shoot, I’d love to have Ben playing in this game and going up against him for another time," Flacco said.
Roethlisberger suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee Sunday and is expected to miss four to six weeks, a team source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Since Roethlisberger's arrival in Pittsburgh in 2004, the Steelers are 11-7 (including playoffs) with him when playing the Ravens, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Pittsburgh is 1-6 without him against its biggest AFC North rival. That one win without Roethlisberger came in December 2012, when 37-year-old Charlie Batch ended the Ravens' 15-game home winning streak with a 23-20 victory.
So why would Flacco want to go pass-for-pass with Roethlisberger?
"I just think it’s good for the game. It’s good for football. It’s good for the rivalry," Flacco said. "You’ve got everybody’s team the way they really want it, and I think the fans feed into it more. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. It’s going out there [and] playing the game at full strength and putting on a show for the fans and trying to battle your tail off to win the football game."
Flacco is 5-8 (including playoffs) against Roethlisberger, although he's won five of the last seven meetings including a 30-17 win in an AFC wild-card game in Pittsburgh eight months ago.
"As a competitor, it’s always nice to face guys that you’ve been going against for a while," Flacco said. "You never like to see somebody injured either, and have to sit out. Hopefully everything is going well with [Roethlisberger], and he’ll be out there as quickly as possible.”