“You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” isn’t just an appropriate lyric to reflect my disappointment in the music Spotify subscribers have lost in favor of Joe Rogan’s podcast. It’s also appropriate in looking back on the last 20 years of AFC football, in which the Ravens were major players while facing some of the greatest quarterbacks in football history.

With Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady having officially retired, it’s hard not to reflect on all the times Ravens fans were able to witness their greatness throughout the years. Sure, they were rivals. But they were truly great players and first-ballot Hall of Famers and they deserve to be celebrated by all football fans.

So with that in mind, we offer “The 15 Greatest Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger Memories.” This is truly a definitive look back on the most significant moments of their respective incredible careers, in chronological order.

1. Sept. 19, 2004 at Baltimore: Ravens 30, Steelers 13

Sure, the Steelers might have lost, but you cannot tell the story of Roethlisberger’s NFL career without his first game, which came in relief of injured starter Tommy Maddox. You saw plenty of signs of what was to come, as Roethlisberger threw for two touchdowns. There was also the first game-sealing pass of his career, hitting Chris McAlister for the clinching pick-six late in the fourth quarter. I get goosebumps thinking about it.

2. Nov. 26, 2006 at Baltimore: Ravens 27, Steelers 0

Again, how do you tell the story of Roethlisberger’s career without the time he was sacked a career-high NINE TIMES in a single game? If I remember correctly, the area pizza restaurants had to give you a dollar when you picked up your pizza that week. One of those sacks turned into an Adalius Thomas fumble return for a touchdown. We were so lucky to be able to see it.

3. Dec. 24, 2006 at Pittsburgh: Ravens 31, Steelers 7

This game really taught us something about Roethlisberger’s greatness, and he made huge strides forward from his last game against the Ravens. He scored seven more points than when the teams played in Baltimore and not one of his turnovers was returned for a touchdown this time! That’s the sign of a true great, you know?

4. Jan. 10, 2010 at New England: Ravens 33, Patriots 14

And seriously, how in the world are you going to make a movie about Brady’s career without including his first home playoff loss and the most lopsided playoff loss of his career? Look, a lot of quarterbacks lose playoff games in which the opposing quarterback manages to throw for just 34 total yards! It happens! At least once anyway.

5. Sept. 11, 2011 at Baltimore: Ravens 35, Steelers 7

We need to be fair when we look back on this game. I mean, we barely talk about how quick a turnaround Roethlisberger had from the last game he had played. He only had 217 days to get ready for this one after losing the Super Bowl to the Packers. That’s criminally unfair! Yet he valiantly went out there and offered a memorable three-interception effort that won’t soon be forgotten.

6. Nov. 6, 2011 at Pittsburgh: Ravens 23, Steelers 20

This was one of the most dramatic battles in Roethlisberger’s career and while I don’t know him personally, I’d imagine he wouldn’t want a definitive list like this to leave it out. Torrey Smith caught a touchdown with eight seconds left. There’s just nothing Roethlisberger could do about it. Sure, Patrick Mahomes only needed 13 seconds to tie a game up this year but … no … no that’s just unfair. What a duel. Sometimes you just end up on the losing end, y’know?

7. Sept. 23, 2012 at Baltimore: Ravens 31, Patriots 30

Which is why I couldn’t possibly leave this one off the list, either. In thinking about Brady’s career, it’s literally impossible to imagine he wouldn’t want us to reflect on the time he almost beat Joe Flacco during the season in which Flacco would go on to definitively prove himself as the greatest postseason quarterback of all time. Brady definitely had his moments during this game (he threw for 335 yards!) but there’s Tom Brady great and then there’s Joe Flacco great. It just had to be a serious honor for Brady to be a part of it. Plus, Justin Tucker almost missed the game-winning field goal and very few people have ever been able to see something like that!

8. Jan. 20, 2013 at New England: Ravens 28, Patriots 13

There is a truly great debate about what the most defining play of Brady’s career is. Because he won so much, it’s hard to pick out one truly defining play. I mean, maybe the pass to Julian Edelman in the Super Bowl against the Falcons? It should have been an interception, though, so probably not that one.

To me, the answer is clear. Nothing ever defined Brady quite as well to me as the time he cowardly attempted to spike Ed Reed in the leg while mismanaging the clock late in the first half of the AFC championship game. It’s nearly impossible to separate the man from the moment. We’ll literally never forget it.

9. Nov. 28, 2013 at Baltimore: Ravens 22, Steelers 20

Sometimes it’s important to remember that even sporting legends are humans, too. And in this prime-time game, “Big Ben” authored another late-game comeback. He heroically marched his team down the field for a touchdown with 1:03 left. But at the highest of his highs, even the most accomplished among us sometimes fail. He missed Emmanuel Sanders on what would have been the game-tying two-point conversion. It was a good reminder to us that no athlete is perfect.

10. Sept. 11, 2014 at Baltimore: Ravens 26, Steelers 6

When you think of Roethlisberger, you also, of course, think of his incredible humility. And nothing speaks to that more than the time the Steelers were the only team to score fewer than seven points against the Ravens during the 2014 season. He didn’t sulk. He knew there would be bigger games to come against the Ravens that season.

11. Jan. 3, 2015 at Pittsburgh: Ravens 30, Steelers 17

And sure, he lost that one, too. But on this day, he made history! He became the first Steelers quarterback to ever lose a home playoff game to the Ravens. You can’t leave something like that off a definitive retrospective like this.

12. Dec. 27, 2015 at Baltimore: Ravens 20, Steelers 17

Losing a quarterback battle to Ryan Mallett is such an anomaly I would assume Roethlisberger would be personally offended if we made a list like this and didn’t include it! That’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of occurrence!

13. Nov. 6, 2016 at Baltimore: Ravens 21, Steelers 14

Well, this one definitely had to make the list because at the end of the game Ben Roethlisberger RAN for a 4-yard touchdown and seriously you guys, do you ever remember seeing that at any other point in his career? We cannot allow it to be forgotten.

14. Sept. 30, 2018 at Pittsburgh: Ravens 26, Steelers 14

Why would you choose this particular game? I’m so glad you asked. This was the final Roethlisberger-Flacco matchup in Pittsburgh ever. This was the last chance Roethlisberger would have to be outplayed by the rival who will end his own career with AT LEAST one more Super Bowl MVP honor. We simply had to recognize that.

15. Nov. 3, 2019 at Baltimore: Ravens 37, Patriots 20

And knowing what a history buff Brady is, I suspect he wouldn’t be OK with us concluding this list without reflecting on his last career matchup against the Ravens. He’s the legend. We just want to do right by him.

Wow. What memories. These were rival quarterbacks, but I feel good knowing we did the right thing and honored them this way. We deserve a lot of credit for rising above the fray and doing the right thing.

Photo Credits: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Glenn Clark

See all posts by Glenn Clark. Follow Glenn Clark on Twitter at @glennclarkradio