After Further Review: In the eye of the beholder

After further review …

It was unpleasant until it was breathtaking, sobering until it was intoxicating, and frustrating until it was oh, so fulfilling.

Steelers 17, Ravens 10 was all of that.

It was excruciating until it was ecstatic.

It was Steelers-Ravens as advertised and it was everything you should have expected if you've been paying attention.

And everything you should appreciate about who these Steelers are becoming, some of which was obvious.

T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith sealing a game again by wrecking it? Definitely.

Miles Killebrew's relentlessness while blocking a punt? Unquestionably

Joey Porter Jr.'s end zone interception? Undoubtedly.

Kenny Pickett to George Pickens to win it? Absolutely.

But the relatively innocuous plays, the ones long forgotten by the time Pickens was beating Marlon Humphrey deep and Watt was running down the field with the ball after Highsmith had separated it from Lamar Jackson also defined the latest resumption of a rivalry that's unique if not unrivaled.

A personal favorite along those lines occurred late in the second quarter.

The Ravens, leading 10-3, faced a second-and-10 from the Baltimore 35-yard line.

Jackson faked a handoff to Zay Flowers on a potential wide receiver-sweep.

Jackson kept the ball but Watt blew up Flowers, anyway.

And Cole Holcomb buried Jackson for a loss of 1.

The play didn't dramatically impact the game, but it betrayed the way the Steelers were playing the game.

See it, hit it, repeat as necessary.

The way you have to play a game against the Ravens.

Take a look at the best photos from the Week 5 game against the Baltimore Ravens at Acrisure Stadium

A week after being called out by their head coach for a lack of physicality, the Steelers brought what they had to bring.

And no matter what happened, they just kept bringing it.

There's value in that, especially for a team with more apparent concerns than the Steelers' 3-2 record and first-place standing in the AFC North Division would suggest as they enter a much needed bye week.

There's stuff to clean up, to be certain (they can start with how not to get a penalty when they're trying to bleed the clock by taking a knee).

But they still get the whatever-it-takes component associated with playing the Ravens.

And Pickett still has the clutch gene and can still dial that up when needed.

And that's a lot to build on moving forward.

Pickett maintained afterward the Steelers had prepared for "a marathon-type game."

The same can be said for most seasons, particularly this one.

Playing Baltimore was a timely reminder.

It was a slog and the Steelers had to grapple along the way to overcome mistakes and counter-punches by the Ravens before eventually figuring out just enough to tip the balance.

And yeah, they got a lot of breaks along the way.

But they were able to make just enough plays in all three phases and inflict just enough of their will when necessary.

The latter also showed up in the form of Larry Ogunjobi chasing down a screen from behind and punching the ball out.

It was apparent when Elandon Roberts got a running back on the ground after a gain of just 1 on a critical third-and-3.

And it was personified by, among other things, Jaylen Warren catching a check-down behind the chains on a third down and then breaking multiple tackles on the way to moving the chains.

As unsettling as what had transpired in Houston had been, outlasting Baltimore proved reassuring.

Once again, their imperfections were showing.

But their intangibles were, too.

Particularly their ability to rise to the occasion as required.