Photo via Baltimore Ravens Instagram
Photo via Baltimore Ravens Instagram

To the disappointment of many here in Baltimore, the Ravens dropped their second game in a row on Sunday, this time to their so-called Beltway rival, the Washington Redskins.

The game was fraught with discouraging play for Ravens fans. The memory that perhaps still stings the most is a reversed call for a 21-yard touchdown pass caught by receiver Brashad Perriman late in the fourth quarter, due to his foot being out-of-bounds. The image of linebacker C.J. Mosley painfully (literally) fumbling over the sideline while falling into the endzone after a third-quarter interception also hurts.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh shouldered much of the blame for the 16-10 loss, saying, “it starts with me” and pointing to an abundance of “self-inflicted mistakes,” according to the Sun.

For some, the fact that it was the local rival Redskins adds some extra salt to the wounds. But is geography the most important aspect to a rivalry, or is it the history behind it?

The Redskins and Ravens have faced off six times since 1997, according to stats website Pro Football Reference. Those matchups have played out as follows:

1997: Ravens 20, Redskins 17
2000: Redskins 10, Ravens 3
2004: Ravens 17, Redskins 10
2008: Ravens 24, Redskins 10
2012: Redskins 31, Ravens 28 (OT)
2016: Redskins 16, Ravens 10

While the teams have each recorded three wins, they only play every four years. More importantly, they don’t even belong to the same conference, with the Redskins playing in the NFC East and the Ravens in the AFC North.

The Ravens and the Steelers, meanwhile, have played 44 times. To spare readers all of the actual scores, the record comes out to 21 regular-season wins for the Steelers and 19 for the Ravens. That’s a real rivalry in this town.

It may just be a matter of proximity for fans of both franchises here. FOX45’s Adam Yosim asked patrons at bars in Laurel, Md., a halfway point between the two cities, about their thoughts on any enmity between the two teams.

As Buffalo Wild Wings manager Charles Scites put it, “just the fact that we’re neighbors, you’re always going to have the rivalry next to each other.”

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...