It all started when Smith and Ramsey got into some extracurriculars following one of Joe Flacco's fourth-quarter interceptions. But their beef didn't stop there.
Behold, a selection of young Ramsey's postgame barbs:
(On if things boiled over with Smith): "When you've been beating the opponent that's in front of you both physically and psychologically all day, they tend to get mad like that. I don't care how old he is. If that made him angry then, he can go home and sleep on it. I don't care. It is what it is."
(On if he didn't want to hear from Smith after the game): "Yeah, but I'm not worried about him. He was still mad because I was locking him up. Alright, well sleep on it. I'm not trying to hear that after the game."
(On if he believes he got into Smith's head): "What do you think? You tell me. Any time I lined up on him -- y'all go watch that. Y'all tell me who got in whose head. He came up to me after the game. He's an old man acting like that."
(On if he thought the Ravens moved Smith around to field to get away from him): "Yeah. I noticed that throughout the game a little bit. If you go back and look he's lined up away from me. It is what it is. As a player, he's still a good player. I'll say that about him. I don't respect him as a man though."
Not to be out-yapped, Smith played the rookie's game and took to a medium of Ramsey's generation to snap back.
Ramsey picked an odd enemy with whom to go shot-for-shot. Smith was the Ravens' leading receiver on the day (eight for 87) and secured a crucial fourth-down conversion on Baltimore's game-winning drive. Plus, Smith is a future Hall of Famer and an All-Pro trash-talker. The man is so hyper-competitive that he put off his retirement a year to recover from a critical Achilles injury and end his career the right way: on the field and in the ears of defensive backs.
But who's complaining? Let's take a moment and appreciate this back-and-forth between two formidable, fearless trash-talkers from generations apart. It is a serendipitous encounter involving star-crossed deprecators that should be appreciated like a fine wine. Let it breathe, until they run out of breath.