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Steelers Analysis

Do Steelers Have Easiest Path to Winning AFC North?



Steelers AFC North Browns T.J. Watt
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt battles against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 18, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The AFC North is loaded right now, as all four teams are currently in playoff positions, and the clubs are a combined 12-2 over the last four weeks.

Since the NFL went to eight divisions in 2002, this is the latest in the season that all four teams in a division have been in playoff position.

But we all know that probably won’t last. The teams will play each other — the Steelers have five AFC North games remaining — and at least one team will likely be unable to keep up the pace they’ve established through the first half of the season.

But who? Part of that answer will come down to who has the most difficult remaining schedule. There, the Steelers seem to have quite an advantage.

According to Tankathon, the Steelers have the easiest remaining schedule of the AFC North teams, with a strength of schedule of .487 of their remaining opponents. In addition to their AFC North rivals, the Steelers play just one winning team the rest of the way in the Seattle Seahawks. They also play the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots and three of those four games will be at home.

The Cincinnati Bengals have the toughest remaining schedule in the entire country, with a .632 strength of schedule featuring games against the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts in addition to five AFC North games.

The Baltimore Ravens are right behind at .591, with games scheduled against the Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams and three AFC North Games.

The Cleveland Browns are more middle-of-the-road. Cleveland has a .520 strength of schedule and still has yet to play the Jaguars and Rams, but also faces less-tough tests in the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and New York Jets.

So which AFC North team has the easiest remaining schedule?

Bengals: Houston, at Baltimore, Pittsburgh, at Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Minnesota, at Pittsburgh, at Kansas City, Cleveland

Browns: at Baltimore, Pittsburgh, at Denver, at L.A. Rams, Jacksonville, Chicago, at Houston, N.Y. Jets, at Cincinnati

Ravens: Cleveland, Cincinnati, at L.A. Chargers, L.A. Rams, at Jacksonville, at San Francisco, Miami, Pittsburgh

Steelers: Green Bay, at Cleveland, at Cincinnati, Arizona, New England, at Indianapolis, Cincinnati, at Seattle, at Baltimore


Overall AFC North AFC Head-to-head
Ravens 7-2 2-1 4-2 CIN 1-0, CLE 1-0, PIT 0-1
Steelers 5-3 2-0 4-2 BAL 1-0, CLE 1-0
Browns 5-3 1-1 2-2 BAL 0-1, CIN 1-0, PIT 0-1
Bengals 5-3 0-2 1-3 CLE 0-1, BAL 0-1