Steelers Can Still Clinch AFC North with Win or Browns Loss
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ path to an AFC North divisional title has not changed in a week, but their number of chances to clinch it have shrunk by one-third.
The Steelers entered Week 15 needing either a win over the Cincinnati Bengals or a Cleveland Browns loss to the New York Giants to clinch the team’s first divisional crown since 2017.
Neither of those things happened, with the Browns taking care of business on Sunday night and the Steelers laying an egg in Cincinnati on Monday night.
In Week 16, it’ll be more of the same. If either the Steelers beat the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field on Sunday or if the Browns happen to lose to the New York Jets, Pittsburgh will clinch the AFC North.
The Browns are heavy favorites to defeat New York, while the Steelers are now slight underdogs to the Colts after opening with the week as favorites.
If the Steelers are unable to clinch the division this week, they will head to Cleveland in Week 17 in a must-win circumstance to gain the divisional title and the home-field advantage that comes with it.
Pittsburgh has already clinched a playoff berth. Cleveland needs and win and either a Baltimore, Miami or Indianapolis loss to secure a spot in the postseason.
The Steelers still have slight odds to claim the AFC’s lone first-round bye, but 13-1 Kansas City can wrap that up this week with either a win over the Atlanta Falcons, or a loss by the Steelers or Buffalo Bills. Buffalo has already clinched the AFC East title.