Ravens' playoff woes against Steelers no jinx, says Flacco

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco refuses to believe the Pittsburgh Steelers hold a playoff hoodoo over the Ravens after they suffered more post-season woe at the hands of their bitter rivals.

"I don't think anyone ever has my number," Flacco told reporters after the Steelers defeated Baltimore 31-24 on Saturday, the third straight setback for the Ravens against the Steelers in the postseason.

"It's something for you guys to talk about. Every time we come in here or we play them at our place, they're battles. They're all good games, and both sides have to weather the storm at one point.

"We're both good football teams and bottom line is they're better at winning right now than we are. We have to improve. We're just not there yet."

Baltimore seized a 21-7 halftime lead, scoring twice in a 27-second span and silencing the partisan Steelers fans at sold out Heinz Field.

But Baltimore let Pittsburgh back into the game with three third-quarter turnovers and after running back Rashard Mendenhall scored the game-winner with 1:33 left, the Ravens were once again pondering what might have been.

"It's just disappointing when you come up short," said Flacco, who committed two of the crucial third-quarter turnovers and never found his rhythm in the second half.

"You feel like you have a team that can move on and win the Super Bowl. We have a special locker room, and guys are going to be disappointed. I'm disappointed.

"It's tough to lose these kind of games."

"It definitely hurts," said Ravens center Matt Birk. "I think that we're the best team in football. But it's the best team on game day that wins and gets to advance."

(Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Washington, editing by Justin Palmer)