Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

‘Nut Up or Shut Up’ Time For Pittsburgh Steelers This Weekend


 

How do the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers want to be remembered?

Do they want to be known as the team that “mailed it in” with an 0-4 start?

Or do they want to be remembered as the team that overcame tremendous odds to defy their massive amounts of critics?

While nobody is talking “playoffs” when it comes to this year’s version of the Steelers, the team is coming off of an important win versus the New York Jets last weekend. This Sunday, Pittsburgh will host their biggest rivals in the form of the Baltimore Ravens, and the Steelers will need a victory in the aforementioned game to keep their season alive from a postseason perspective.

Now I know it is only October, but the Steelers can ill afford to drop such an important game to a divisional foe. In fact, this weekend’s macthup will be a terrific litmus test and “nut up or shut up” game for this team.

Consider the following, readers:

The Ravens can essentially end their rivals’ postseason dreams in one foul swoop with a victory at Heinz Field. A 1-5 record with road games in New England, Green Bay, and Baltimore still on the schedule is a death sentence for the Steelers. Plus, home games against Cincinnati, and Detroit will not be picnics either for Pittsburgh. An 0-2 division record also puts the Steelers’ behind the proverbial “eight ball,” and the Ravens would improve their AFC North record to 2-0.

Against the Steelers, anything can happen, and Baltimore would be best served to put as much distance between them and Pittsburgh as early as possible. Pittsburgh is not back into the postseason race by any means, so limiting any and all hope will be absolutely vital for Baltimore before their rivals can build any confidence

On the other hand, the Steelers would totally throw a wrench into the AFC North race with a win this weekend. Pittsburgh would not only be one game behind the Ravens in the “Wins” column with a victory (2-4 compared to 3-4), but could also be one win behind the Browns as well if they lose to the Packers at Lambeau Field.

A win would also provide an enormous confidence boost for the Steelers before they head to Oakland the following weekend. Evening their AFC North record to 1-1 will also be of vital importance, especially since Pittsburgh will probably need to win their division (since they might not win a “wild card” spot) to qualify for postseason play.

 

Final Thoughts

The 2013 Steelers are at a critical juncture. Although they are in an 1-4 hole, they are not necessarily buried just yet. They are teetering on the edge of falling into the abyss and somehow getting back in the AFC North race. To do the latter however, they must find a way to win this weekend.

The Ravens have won their last three regular season games in Pittsburgh, and Joe Flacco has been “money” in clutch situations as of late at Heinz Field. As much as the Steelers need this win, Baltimore needs the victory to bury Pittsburgh before they can show any signs of life down the stretch.

Will Pittsburgh be able to “nut up” in their biggest game of the 2013 regular season?

I am not sure, but I am definitely interested to know how much fight this team has when they take on the Ravens on Sunday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.comSteelers.com , Spotrac, and Pro Football Reference

 

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