Steelers begin their hunt for playoff hope in AFC North standings

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sacks Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sacks Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Steelers have made the bottom portion of the AFC North competitive again as they hope to continue gaining ground.

It was a perfect week for each team in the AFC North as they all left Week 13 with a win. Each club has created an opportunity to surge into the playoff hunt at this current juncture. Some of these teams will begin to fall off as the remaining schedule is played out and the good teams push away from the pack.

Many interesting things played out across the division last week that could carry over into this slate of games. The Steelers could be facing the Ravens without Lamar Jackson, which could become a huge win. In addition, Browns QB Deshaun Watson is back from suspension, but his real test will come this week against a tough opponent.

Steelers are stacking wins with hope of defeating a rival

The previous two weeks have not been immaculate, but there have been signs of improvement. Pittsburgh has been able to find ways of winning football games since their bye week and have been competitive in their efforts. The record still looks bleak as the Steelers sit in last place in the division.

Baltimore Ravens (8-4) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

The black and gold get ready to take on the Ravens this week at home. This is going to be a huge matchup for the Steelers if they want to try and get back into the playoff race when it is all said and done. Lamar Jackson will not be playing this week and Pittsburgh needs to take advantage of that if they want any shot at the postseason.

Deshaun Watson’s big test will be against an in-state rival

Things did not go to plan in Deshaun Watson’s return from his 11-game suspension. He looked rusty and did not seem to see the field too well. He will need to take a lot of time to readjust to the football life since he has not played a game for about two years between injuries and suspensions that kept him out.

Cleveland Browns (5-7) vs Cincinnati Bengals (8-4), Sunday at 1 P.M.

It was an easy win for the Browns last week in Houston despite the offense not scoring any points. They blew out the Texans, but things are not going to be easy this week against the Bengals. These interstate rivals hate each other and taking this show on the road is going to be even more hostile for Watson than last week was.

Cincinnati continues to surge toward the top of the division

Last week was a potential playoff game preview between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a fun game to watch that saw the Bengals emerge victorious as they continue their four-game winning streak. One of those wins came against the Steelers, which they had trouble against.

Cleveland Browns (5-7) vs Cincinnati Bengals (8-4), Sunday at 1 P.M.

Cleveland is a decent team, but they are dealing with a lot of internal distractions right now. Watson has been rusty and that should lead to many different opportunities for the Bengals defense to create some splash plays. That is then going to lead to an abundance of chances for the Cincinnati offense to tally many points on the scoreboard.

The Ravens will try to hang onto the division with injuries mounting

The weight of the crown is hanging on the Ravens’ heads heavily right now as they cannot seem to catch a break. Injuries are starting to pile up, and now they need to try and go on without Lamar Jackson for potentially a couple of weeks. Going into a hostile road environment is going to be tough for their backup quarterback to overcome.

Baltimore Ravens (8-4) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7), Sunday at 1 P.M. EST

No matter who is at quarterback, this is going to be a tough game for the Steelers to win. Baltimore always plays hard no matter what starters are in or out of the lineup when game time rolls around. Expect a close game between these two teams as the Ravens’ backup can play the same style as Jackson.

Trending. Latest injury to T.J. Watt is clearly affecting the Steelers star. light

The Steelers are trying their best in recent weeks to not go out of the season without a fight. They are still far from the top of the AFC North mountain top, but they could make some noise with a win this week.