AFC North: Slipping From Divisional Powerhouse Status

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Oct 30, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) rushes for a one-yard touchdown against the Washington Redskins at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; London, United Kingdom; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) rushes for a one-yard touchdown against the Washington Redskins at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 6, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)

The Steelers were finally ready to dominate again. Ben Roethlisberger was healthy, Antonio Brown is one of the league’s top wide outs, and Le’Veon Bell would finally be back after an injury and suspension.

Pittsburgh has always been susceptible to lose the games they should win. The Steelers got off to a 2-0 start by defeating back-to-back reigning division champions (Washington & Cincinnati), but laid an egg in a 31-point loss to a rookie quarterback in Philadelphia. Despite that collapse, Bell returned and the Steelers won two straight (Kansas City & New York) by a combined score of 74-27.

A 4-1 Steelers went to Miami in what, on paper, seemed like a blowout win. But Jay Ajayi ran for 200 yards and a clinching 62-yard touchdown trot in the final minute and the Dolphins stunned the Black & Gold, 30-15. Roethlisberger was hurt in the defeat, leading to a Landry Jones-led loss to New England seven days later.

The Steelers’ current three-game losing skid dropped them to 4-4. After many predicting Pittsburgh to win the conference, Roethlisberger’s play and a lengthy injury report is concerning.

Pittsburgh does have the NFL’s weakest remaining schedule, though.

Next Game:  Sun, Nov. 13th vs. Dallas (7-1)

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