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Ben Roethlisberger On Telling Najee Harris About Steelers/Ravens: ‘You’re Going To Enjoy This Rivalry’

Even in the middle of a nutty, crazy, hard-fought game, Ben Roethlisberger took a moment to reflect on what the Steelers/Ravens rivalry means and what it’ll look like in the future. Appropriate thoughts for a quarterback playing one of his final games of the NFL’s best rivalry. And on the last drive of the game, he had a message for rookie RB Najee Harris, participating in his first Steelers/Ravens game.

He shared that message with reporters after Sunday’s one-point win.

“I told Najee going into the last drive or second-to-last drive, he’s going to enjoy this rivalry for a long time,” he said via Steelers.com post-game. “It’s his opportunity now to set his mark. The physicality of what it means. I thought he did amazing.”

After being completely bottled up in the first half, Harris found more daylight in the second half, often running behind the likes of rookie LT Dan Moore Jr. and LG John Leglue, playing in his first NFL game. As he’s done all season, Harris ran hard, churned out tough yards, hurdled defenders, and created when nothing was there. He finished the game with 21 carries for 71 yards, chipping in another five receptions to put him over 100 yards from scrimmage on the day.

Sunday’s performance was classic Steelers/Ravens. A high-energy crowd. A game that meant a lot for both sides. One that got chippy at times with great defense, big plays, and the game undecided until the very end. For a guy like Harris, there was no better welcome to what these games are all about.

Roethlisberger said he was proud of the job everyone did, stepping up in a 17-point rally to beat Baltimore. Had the Steelers fallen to 5-6-1, their path to a playoff spot would’ve been extremely difficult.

“Everyone stepped up and made a play today. That’s what made me most proud of this group.”

Pittsburgh will look to go on a winning streak in quick fashion. They’ll travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings Thursday night. Call it the “Lions Bowl” featuring the only team Detroit has tied and the only team Detroit has defeated. The Lions beat the Vikings on the game’s final play earlier today.

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