As the Cincinnati Bengals travel to the Steel City in an effort to split the regular season series with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the contest will mean much more than merely evening the score for the surprising Bengals.
A win at Heinz Field would serve as vindication for the plethora of doubters who still question the Bengals integrity as an actual playoff caliber squad.
Moreover, victory would inch these confounding cats closer to a potentially stunning AFC North Championship, while defeat would almost mathematically eliminate them from overtaking Pittsburgh or Baltimore.
The Steelers, looking technically ahead at the Ravens in the division, need to serve notice to the Bengals that newcomers are not welcome (yet) on the block. After all, the Steelers were swept by Baltimore earlier this season, and any further defeat at the hands of a division opponent could force them out of a potential championship and into a frenetic race for the AFC's sixth seed.
Sunday's contest pits a preseason afterthought against a tried and true annual contender. The Black and Gold will look to send their opposition home with a new color: orange and black and blue.
Here are 10 things for Steelers fans to watch for against Cincinnati during Week 13's pivotal contest.