The animosity is still there bubbling just underneath the surface.
Forgive the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers, though, if the current state of their longstanding rivalry is the least of their growing list of concerns.
The teams that sprint onto Heinz Field on Thursday night will be fighting for something other than AFC North supremacy. They'll be scrapping for relevance.
The Ravens (0-3) are off to their worst start since the franchise moved to Baltimore two decades ago. Pittsburgh's potent offense was sizzling until the moment Ben Roethlisberger's left knee bent awkwardly underneath him last Sunday in St. Louis.
If the Steelers (2-1) want to keep pace behind unbeaten Cincinnati they'll have to do it with Michael Vick under center. If the Ravens want to avoid a hole few teams have escaped to make the playoffs, they'll need a defense seemingly lost without injured linebacker and unquestioned leader Terrell Suggs.
"We have a lot of things we can accomplish this year, we just have to play better," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "We have to play better in critical situations. We have to play better when it's time to finish and close the game out."
It's something the Steelers did — barely — after Roethlisberger sprained his MCL and suffered a bone bruise in the third quarter against the Rams. Vick, signed near the end of training camp, completed 5 of 6 passes and Pittsburgh's defense made enough plays to preserve a 12-6 win.
Given all of two practices to work with the starters, Vick believes he can be effective. Just don't expect him to try and impersonate Roethlisberger.
"I can't go out there and try to improvise in a short week and change things around," Vick said. "We have a ton of good things in our offense, and we just have to go out there and work."
Some things to look for as Pittsburgh looks for a measure of revenge in the Ravens' first visit since upsetting the Steelers in the wild-card round last January.