By Michael K. Reynolds
Who are you 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers? Will the REAL team please stand up?
Are you behind door number one, where in the first half of the Cleveland Browns game you appeared ready to go directly to the Super Bowl without passing Go?
Or are you behind the second half door, where you were as helpless as you were last year against the Minnesota Vikings in front of thousands of tea sipping and pint tipping Englishmen?
More likely than not the real Steelers will be revealed in all their glory or infamy in this game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Make no mistake about it, the Ravens are ripe for the taking. With their disappointing home defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals and following the humiliating Ray Rice video release, they could be sunk into a deep depression with a loss to their rival Steelers.
If they suffer a second home loss in less than a week versus division opponents, the Ravens might already be forced into a Wild Card hunt even though the season is barely out of its egg shells.
Sorry Steelers fans, but this game means much more to Baltimore than it does to Pittsburgh.
Which is why a victory of any sort—good, bad or ugly—will be a huge accomplishment for the Steelers.
And if the Black and Gold somehow manage to go all Antonio Brown on the Ravens by kicking in the facemask of their season, it could put the Black and Gold in prime position for the division battle.
With the Ravens being one of the best coached teams in the league, you can expect them to continue to poke in the eye of every weakness the Steelers showed against the Browns. They’ll provide the ultimate test.
Is there hope the Steelers can improve in stopping the zone blocking offense? Can Pittsburgh find a solution against the no-huddle offense? Will they be able to continue to get yards on the ground against the Ravens and be able to call themselves a running team once again? Will Steelers coaches be able to fix the team’s issues or is there are critical personnel flaws that will plague them throughout the season?
Who are you Pittsburgh Steelers? Can you dominate your way into the playoffs? Or are you going to have to scratch and claw and hope for breaks from others?
After the Browns game, the trial resulted in a hung jury.
But on Thursday night, the Ravens can be counted to provide a much stronger verdict.