The Pittsburgh Steelers did more than just lose their Week 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens, they lost their lead in the AFC North division.
The Pittsburgh Steelers' struggles against hapless teams have been well documented, but the Monday Night Football game against the Titans carries an enormous amount of significance based on what lies ahead.
Steelers vs. Ravens: News and updates leading into Week 13
Homer imagines the Wal-Marts in the heart of Steeler Nation will be empty, because no Steeler fan would dare to be caught dead scrambling for $1 door buster while he (or she) should be gathered together with family and friends, cheering the Steelers.
The Steelers and Ravens take their rivalry to the Thanksgiving night stage, giving a primetime audience a view of their regular season playoff showdown in Week 14. Both teams are 5-6, Baltimore is a three-point favorite heading into the game.
After an 0-4 start (the worst in 45 years), the Steelers have a shot to get back to .500, Thursday night in Baltimore. Not only that, a victory over the Ravens would more than solidify Pittsburgh's playoff chances with just a month to go.
Both Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco have brought up tenuous support for their respective teams' dip into packages with other players taking snaps. If nothing else, it forces both teams to spend some time preparing for those plays in a short week.
The Steelers will be without Steve McLendon Thursday, giving them a lack of film on the players who will assume that position Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens. That will be an advantage for Pittsburgh.
The Ravens and Steelers are used to the second of their two-game tilt against each other having playoff implications. In fact, 2013 marks the lowest combined win percentage (.454) since the 1999 season - the last time neither team made the playoffs.