When the Steelers and Ravens have their biannual meetings, both clubs are fighting for the top spot in the AFC North and playoff implications always seem to be on the line.
In 2013, things seem a little different.
The Baltimore Ravens, last year's Super Bowl champions, decided to do a makeover on both sides of the ball and are currently at 3-3 coming into Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon.
The Steelers finally got their first win in the Meadowlands against the Jets, and are 1-4, and still technically in the race for the playoffs and with some help, the division.
The Ravens could be a wild card team this season and the Steelers need a couple more wins, especially this one, to keep what may look like a bleak playoff hope alive going into week 7 of the season.
While the teams aren't exactly topping the list of elites this season, some of the faces are different on both sides.
The Ravens said goodbye to their leader, Ray Lewis, who moved into retirement, saw Ed Reed leave for Houston and Anquan Boldin heading west to San Francisco. The Steelers broke ties with James Harrison and Mike Wallace in the offseason.
Lewis' teammate and somewhat successor, Terrell Suggs, is always worth a good soundbite, did not have anything too press worthy this week.
Is 2013 an off year for the rivalry? One that has blossomed into one of the NFL's most noteworthy two games of the season. Expectations are always high for both teams, but they haven't been living up to them.
It has some importance for both. Looking at the standings, the Steelers need it slightly more than Baltimore.
If Pittsburgh loses, they drop to 1-5 and looking at their schedule, it would be a tough road to finish 11-5 or 10-6, which might be enough to get a wild card this season.
The Ravens want to keep pace with the Bengals. They lose, they're 3-4 and if Cincinnati wins, they are two games back of the division lead.
So...Yes. It still means something. Then again, isn't every game important?
Maybe it doesn't have as much hype due to the reality that it will not determine who takes over first place in the division, doesn't decide who goes to the Super Bowl, or knocks one of them out of the playoffs as the season ends.
Fans of both teams have been spoiled by all the amazing game between these two. The Batch game last season, a couple of AFC Divisional and Championship games, and some primetime classics during the regular season.
By Sunday afternoon, both fanbases will forget about the records of both teams, and will focus on the hatred for one another. The players seem to be focused on that aspect.
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