(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
The Steelers have already clinched a playoff berth, but they can clinch the AFC North for the first time since 2017 with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. The Steelers would then be guaranteed at least a home playoff game. The Steelers can also clinch the AFC North with a Cleveland Browns' loss to the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, but with how the Browns have been playing lately it seems unlikely they'll lose to the Giants.
The Steelers will look to bounce-back against Cincinnati after two consecutive losses and an ugly performance in Orchard Park, N.Y. on Sunday night.
"There's a lot on the table for us," Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly press conference about Monday night's game against the Bengals. "We are excited about primetime football. We essentially laid an egg last week on primetime football, so we are excited about getting another opportunity at that."
"We are back in the AFC North in divisional play. If you want to dominate the NFL and be one of the teams in contention to dominate the NFL, it starts first and foremost with divisional play. We have an opportunity to play a divisional game and secure an AFC North title."
The Bengals are 2-10-1 on the season, but Tomlin knows the AFC North foe would love nothing more to upset the Steelers on MNF in front of a national audience.
"Those are tangible things that have our attention and excitement as we work this week. For us, it's about assessing who we have available to us and sharpening our sword for the battle that lies ahead," Tomlin said. "We expect to get the very best of Cincinnati. That's a rivalry-type game if you will. It's an opportunity for them to have a feel-good in the midst of a trying circumstance of a season for them. It's Monday Night Football. We understand and expect all of that."
The Steelers have won 11 straight games (including playoffs) against the Bengals and haven't lost to Cincinnati since Nov. 1, 2015. It's the most consecutive wins by the Steelers since the two teams started playing each other in 1970.