The last time the Steelers and Ravens played, wide receiver Mike Wallace felt the aches and pains the next day.

He doesn’t expect it to be much different this time around.

“Guys really hit hard out there,” said Wallace. “It’s a physical match, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, two names that self-define how physical the game is going to be. Guys on this team take it to another level. I am excited about it.”

Players have been asked all week about the rivalry, two teams with the same record going against each other, prime time slot, and playing for first place in the AFC North. Wallace loves it all.

“I don’t think it gets any better than this,” said Wallace. “This is what you want. It’s for everything. You wouldn’t want it any other way. You work every day to prepare for games like this. I am excited about it.

“Everybody knows the seriousness of the game and how much it means to us to stay ahead in this division. We need to win this ball game.”

One thing Wallace knows the offense will have to key on this week is the whereabouts of Ravens safety Ed Reed, who can be a game-changer. Reed didn’t play in the game earlier this season when the Ravens won 17-14, but will be on the field this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

“He is a ball hawk. You have to watch him,” said Wallace. “He knows where the ball is. He is waiting. When he picks it off he can take it all the way for six.

“You can’t take chances with a guy like that. It’s like us having Troy (Polamalu). When you have a guy that talented it makes their defense that much better. You have to watch him.”