FB Patrick Ricard: Ravens-Steelers ‘Always My Favorite Game To Play In’

After enjoying their bye week, the Ravens are looking to give the Pittsburgh Steelers their first loss of the season Nov. 1. Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard is looking forward to what promises to be a very physical matchup — and it’ll be Baltimore’s first home game with fans, with more than 4,000 people expected to be at M&T Bank Stadium.

“It’s just a physical game. You know it’s going to be physical. If you don’t bring your helmet and your shoulder pads, all strapped up and ready to go, you’re going to get punched in the face and it’s going to hurt,” Ricard said on Glenn Clark Radio Oct. 27. “It’s always my favorite game to play in, such a great atmosphere, and now we finally have some fans in the building and I know they’re going to be very loud.”

The Steelers (6-0) are now the only undefeated team in the NFL. Last season, the Ravens beat Pittsburgh by scores of 26-23 and 28-10, but victory will not come as easy this season with Ben Roethlisberger, who has thrown for 1,446 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, back under center for the Steelers.

The 6-foot-3, 311-pound Ricard, 26, is fired up for AFC North showdown.

“They’re undefeated, and they’re a great team. … We’re all very excited to play them,” Ricard said. “It almost feels like a playoff game every time. There’s a lot more emotion in it. It’s not just another game.”

In their Week 6 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Ravens (5-1) had a season-high 12 penalties and barely held on for the 30-28 win. They are looking to eliminate those mistakes before the game against the Steelers.

“Hopefully, moving forward, we can improve those mistakes so we can be firing on all cylinders and put up all those yards, passing yards, rushing yards, points,” Ricard said. “But hey, it’s Week 8 now, so it’s still not even halfway through the season. … We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

On Oct. 22, the Ravens traded for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who will give the Ravens another pass rusher to help take down Roethlisberger Nov. 1. Ngakoue has recorded 42.5 career sacks, including five this season with the Minnesota Vikings.

“We all love getting new guys in, bringing some new blood and experience,” Ricard said. “It’s awesome when you get a guy like that to come in here and make the team better. I mean, what else can you ask for?”

The Ravens are alone in second place in the AFC North, but entering Week 8, the Ravens’ offense isn’t looking as strong as it did in 2019. Last season, quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 66.1 percent of his passes and posted a 113.3 passer rating. This year, Jackson is completing 63 percent of his passes and has posted a 99.2 rating.

In 2019, Baltimore had the No. 2 offense in the league. This year, it has the No. 27 offense, and its passing offense ranks No. 31.

“At the end of the day, we’re all very self-aware of how we’re playing, and I think it’s a fair judgment that fans and the public have of us, because we’re so much more capable of what we’ve been showing,” Ricard said. “But at the end of the day we’re still winning our games, scoring our points. … We’re just not executing like we were last year.”

Ricard has posted three receptions for 17 yards and one touchdown in six games this season. He has played in 48 games during his three seasons with the Ravens, recording 15 receptions for 76 yards and four touchdowns.

He’s ready for the final 10 games of the regular season after the bye.

“It was definitely [rest] that we all needed, and I think we’re all energized, ready to go to play Pittsburgh this weekend,” Ricard said. “We’re working, and we’ll see how we improve this week and moving forward.”

For more from Ricard, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox