This season, the AFC North has proven itself to be, by far, the best division in the NFL. If the season were to end today, all four teams would be in the playoffs. This is an amazing feat from a division that has yet to devour itself.
It is the NFL, and anything can happen. “Any given Sunday,” as they say. However, it is safe to say that the AFC North has the NFC West’s number. The teams from the North are 9-1 against the West. We should call it a day for the rest of the year regarding that particular interdivisional competition.
Nevertheless, it is not about how well a division plays against another. The easiest way to get into the playoffs is to win your division. Which team will be crowned the King of the North at the end of the regular season is still up for grabs. However, the AFC North Power Rankings after Week 9 gives us an idea of where things are headed for each team.
4) Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
For the second consecutive week, the Pittsburgh Steelers are at the bottom of the AFC North. Last week, the Steelers were at the bottom of the AFC North Power Rankings for the first time. The rest of the North cheered on the Titans as they took on the Steelers on Thursday Night Football.
Well, the Steelers did it again. Down in the fourth quarter with a little over four minutes left in the game, Kenny Pickett found Diontae Johnson for a touchdown to take a 20-16 lead. Their defense prevented the Titans from scoring on two drives after Pittsburgh took the lead.
Pittsburgh’s inconsistency on offense continued to rear its beautiful yet ugly head as they couldn’t put away the game and gave the ball back with 1:44 left in the quarter. However, their defense closed the deal with an interception in the end zone, concluding a long Titans drive.
The Steelers are now 5-3. They constantly find themselves behind in the fourth quarter, but that is where they are at their best and they do this while having a worse yardage output than all of their opponents this season.
Their late-game heroics again helped the Steelers maintain their second place in the AFC North and fifth place in the playoff picture. Nevertheless, they are still one of the worst offensive units in the NFL, ranking 30th in points per game and 29th in yards gained per game. However, they are 5-3 and in second place in the best division in football.
Hopefully, the Green Bay Packers will not allow the Steelers to keep it close heading into the fourth quarter on Sunday. If they do, the odds are that Pittsburgh will find a way to win in the end. As honorary Packers fans for one afternoon only, let’s hope that does not happen.