The Oakland Raiders invade Heinz Field today for the second straight season to play the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Last year, the Steelers gave up three Bruce Gradkowski's fourth-quarter touchdowns en route to a 27-24 defeat. The Steelers and Raiders have played six times since the 2000 season, with each team winning three times.
The ironic part is that the Steelers have been the home team five times during this stretch. This rivalry has not had this much meaning since the 1970s.
It is fair to say that even with the Raiders' past struggles, the NFL's biggest grudge match still exists.
The Raiders are in first place in the AFC West for the first time since 2002, when made their last trip to the Super Bowl. Gradkowski has returned from a shoulder injury, but the starting quarterback today will be Jason Campbell.
Campbell led his team on a three-game win streak and the Raiders have won four of their last five.
Running back Darren McFadden has proved his lofty draft-pick status in 2009 by ranking seventh in the NFL in rushing yards. This includes him missing Weeks 5 and 6 due to an ankle injury.
He is very explosive and also is used heavily in the passing game. Michael Bush steals some goal-line carries as the power back. The Raiders use a receiving corps by committee, with tight end Zach Miller leading the way with 34 receptions.
No matter, this is the same group that torched the Steelers in the fourth quarter last season.
The Steelers are reeling after a humbling and embarrassing 39-26 defeat to the New England Patriots - a game that was not that close. The Steelers are hurting on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Hines Ward sat out most of Patriots' game with a concussion and the passing game struggled. Antwaan Randle El, Mike Wallace and Heath Miller all dropped catchable balls in the end zone. Rashard Mendenhall never got untracked as the Patriots pressure smothered the ground game.
Look for the Raiders to pin their ears back and challenge the banged up front five of the Steelers.
Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians should look for screens and quick passes to keep the defense off guard.
Defensively, the Steelers will not see the same offense that abused them last week. Campbell is not able to perform the surgical dissection shown by Tom Brady.
The Raiders are not known to spread you out and use the short passing game. They use the deep passing game to complement the run.
The Steelers must get back to controlling the line of scrimmage, which is becoming hard to do with the injury to Aaron Smith.
The Steelers-Raiders contests have proven to be the most physical in NFL history.
Jack Tatum, George Atkinson, Mel Blount and Jack Lambert are just some of the names that give meaning to this hated rivalry. It's "Just Win Baby" vs. "The Chief." It's "A Commitment to Excellence" vs. "The Steel Curtain."
Sit back and enjoy the latest chapter in this NFL's constant slugfest. As for today, will it come down to new Steelers' kicker Shaun Suisham?
Steelers 27, Raiders 24
Andros is a frequent contributor to Voice of the Fan, often commenting on the Steelers. He resides in Altoona.