Skip to main content

'Show up or shut up'

The Steelers are still trying to sort through some issues in all three phases, but there's no uncertainty as to what will be required on Sunday night against the Ravens.

"Either show up or shut up," defensive end Cam Heyward announced.

"Gotta ante up," offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert added.

It's seemingly always that way whenever the Steelers and Ravens get together.

This season should be no exception.

But for this season's Steelers, the first of their two annual meetings with perhaps their biggest rival couldn't be more timely.

The Steelers prepare for the Week 4 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

The offense is trying to conjure up a more complete performance after starting slowly on Sept. 16 against Kansas City and then getting shut out in the second half on Monday night at Tampa.

The defense allowed 411 passing yards and 27 points to the Buccaneers, and has been rotating Coty Sensabaugh and Artie Burns at left cornerback.

And the special teams are trying to remedy missed field goals, inconsistent punts and too many penalties (six for 75 yards at Tampa).

But Baltimore games have always been perceived as rise-to-the-occasion type of affairs for the Steelers, and Sunday night's will be no exception.

"Exactly," outside linebacker T.J. Watt maintained. "We're always locked in. I just think it's going to be awesome to be back at Heinz Field, a night game, and have a true prime time, playoff-type feel to a game.

"I think it'll be a great atmosphere and it will allow us to truly test ourselves on a big stage."

It worked out that way last Dec. 10, when the Steelers snuck past the Ravens, 39-38, on a Chris Boswell field goal in the final minute of regulation.

"That last one just sticks out to me," Watt emphasized. "There was so much emotion going into that game with (linebacker) Ryan (Shazier having gotten hurt in the previous game in Cincinnati) and everything. It was a night game and it was just super loud, I remember. That's when the 'Renegade' comes on and you get the chills and everything.

"I'm really looking forward to it come Sunday."

Gilbert has more of a personal history against the Ravens to draw upon, but doesn't have to go back much further than Watt when recalling the unforgettable against Baltimore.

"Two years ago, when (wide receiver) Antonio (Brown) had that big play to stretch out for the touchdown, that was huge," Gilbert remembered. "We need plays like that to get us where we need to go."

Brown's "Immaculate Extension" touchdown in the closing seconds of regulation on Christmas night in 2016 secured a 31-27 victory over the Ravens and an AFC North Division championship for the Steelers.

"That'll probably be one of the most memorable plays throughout my career thus far," Gilbert continued. "We were down and we made that big drive and we came back, (quarterback) Ben (Roethlisberger) was on fire. And then 'A.B.' gave that tremendous stretch, and the effort from (guard) Ramon (Foster) and all the other guys, it was so special.

"Plays like that can change the game. It can change a whole season."

The Steelers, 1-1-1 through three games, could use a jump-start against the Ravens, who have gone 12-for-12 in the red zone and haven't allowed a second-half touchdown while winning two of their first three games.

"This is a good test for us," Heyward said. "We're at home against an AFC North opponent. You just have to look forward to those moments.

"We know we're playing good teams but we think we're a good team and we have to show it."