Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Cleveland Browns: Keys to Winning the AFC North

December 29, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

That is what the scoreboard read in Cleveland last December when the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Browns, all but eliminating their playoff chances.
Flash forward one year, the Steelers do not need to defeat the Browns to earn a playoff spot but need to earn a first round bye and at least one home game at Heinz Field.
It is particularly important that Pittsburgh earns the first round bye, given injuries to key players including Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith on defense and Ben Roethlisberger on offense.
Polamalu, after playing at a MVP level at the tail end of the season, has missed two games in a row and could miss Sunday’s action.
Pittsburgh has been without Smith for much of the season and is anxiously awaiting a potential return in the playoffs, where he will greatly benefit their run defense and open up lanes for the pass rush.
Roethlisberger has been able to play through his injuries, but an extra week of healing for his broken nose and...

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