Thoughts From The Pressbox ...

Dale Lolley with notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Ravens-Steelers game Sunday night at Heinz Field.

The Baltimore Ravens are in last place in the AFC North standings.

To paraphrase Ron Burgandy, drink that in, Pittsburgh Steelers fans. It goes down smooth every time.

It wasn't a month ago that many were jumping off the bandwagon with this current group of Steelers after a 31-10 thrashing at Cleveland.

But after winning their past three games at home in increasingly convincing fashion, including Sunday night's thrashing of the Ravens, 43-23, the Steelers not only have the look of a playoff team, they have the look of a team that could go deep into the playoffs.

For a young team that hasn't had any playoff success to speak of since 2010, Sunday night's game was a big stepping stone.

@ "I told the guys on Friday after practice that you guys that don't know what a playoff atmosphere feels like, you'll get a taste on Sunday night, and it was," said Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel.

It certainly had that feel. And for good reason.

With Cleveland's win earlier in the day, the loser of this game was headed to the basement of the division standings.

Sure, there's a lot of football left to be played, but with the win, the Steelers (6-3) remain players for the division title, while Baltimore (5-4) and now with three losses in the division after already being swept by Cincinnati, can start looking at wildcard scenarios.

@ Whatever fountain of youth James Harrison has been drinking from, he should start marketing it.

A week after having his best game in the past two seasons with a two-sack game against Indianapolis, Harrison one-upped himself and had seven tackles, two more sacks and four quarterback hits in this one.

Just don't ask him if he's returning in 2015. He's not.

"I question my return every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday," said Harrison.

Sundays, however, have been OK.

"I'm not going to lie and say I missed football. I was comfortable where I was at, retired. My former teammates and friends. They talked to me and wanted me to come back. I felt like I had an obligation to come back if my kids wanted me to. My kids, they were OK with it. I felt like I had to come back because I didn't want to let them down."

@ Ben Roethlisberger.

Nothing more needs to be said.

OK. We can say a little bit more than that. Twelve touchdown passes in the past two games is an NFL record. He also has 14 in his past three games.

More importantly, he has been the leader this team needed.

"He's really risen into that role this year," said guard Ramon Foster. "He's moving guys into the right spots and talking to them when they need it. He's really blossomed."

@ Terrell Suggs is a well-known bogeyman among Steelers fans. But he's also a great player.

But I'm not buying his explanation on his Pearl Harbor-like attack in the third quarter on the back of LeGarrette Blount's knees.

"He was running," said Suggs. "He was still up and moving the pile. I assessed the play and that was the only way I could get him down without him gaining any more yards."

With a dive to the back of his knees?

Mr. Suggs can expect to donate a healthy sum of his game check for that one.

@ The Steelers offense has now scored 124 points in the past three games using very little no-huddle offense, which means the much-maligned Todd Haley has been calling most of the plays.

Certainly the defense coming up with seven turnovers in those games has helped, but so has a killer instinct.

This team is scoring points in bunches.

@ I can't wait to see how Martavis Bryant plays once he finally figures out this pro football thing.


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