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Battle For The North - Steelers Are Closer Than You Think

Alex Woodward
November 12, 2019 - 6:53 pm
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By Alex Woodward

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While the Ravens are in the midst of a five game win streak the rival Pittsburgh Steelers are also enjoying their own win streak of four straight. As it stands right now, the Ravens hold a two game lead for first place in the AFC North but when you look at the upcoming schedule for both teams; it makes you think...could this division race be closer than we thought?

Baltimore owns the leagues top scoring offense behind the best rushing attack in football and they are justifiably getting all the attention but the Steelers are gutting things out and are still within reach of making the playoffs. There was talk about the Ravens only needing 9 wins to win the AFC North and them running away with the division after beating Pittsburgh 26-23 back in week 5 but things change quickly and often in the NFL. That win kickstarted the Ravens win streak and it was the last time the Steelers lost a game. Now it's starting to look like it will take more than 9 wins to win the AFC North. 

In the next four weeks, the Ravens have a murderer's row of a schedule compared to Pittsburgh's. Baltimore faces Houston this Sunday before taking on the Rams, 49ers and Bills (25-11 combined record) while the Steelers will face the Browns, Bengals, Browns (again) and then the Cardinals. Those three teams combine for 6 wins total on the season. Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL but on paper it looks like Pittsburgh is in a prime position to narrow the margin in the AFC North.

Pittsburgh has enjoyed success even with significant injuries to their starting quarterback and running back this season because their defense has stepped up their game...specifically with the help of former Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick. 

Ultimately, I believe the Ravens will win this division and will have a legitimate chance at securing the top seed in the AFC (hold the tiebreaker over the Patriots if they end up finishing with the same record) but we can't discount how competitive the Steelers are keeping the division right now. Pittsburgh will be in Cleveland this Thursday Night and if you're a Ravens fan you should be rooting for the Browns to help widen the gap for the Ravens. The last thing we want is a Week 17 matchup determining who wins the division for the third straight season.  

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