Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes and the Baltimore Ravens clinched their third straight playoff appearance, in defeating the Cleveland Browns 20-10 on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, the Ravens (11-4) put pressure on the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) and stay in contention for the AFC North title.
The Steelers head into the final week of the season controlling their destiny and clinch the division with a victory against the Cleveland Browns (5-10) in week 17.
A win by the Browns would have clinched the division title for Pittsburgh and given the Steelers an opportunity to rest some of their key players next weekend.
That won’t be the case now as the Steelers are seeking their 3rd AFC North title in four years and looking to secure a first round bye.
The Steelers and Ravens enter week 17 with identical records at 11-4 and identical conference records at 8-3. Both teams are 1-1 in head-to-head matchup, the No. 1 tiebreaker.
Where the Steelers hold the key advantage is in divisional play which is the No. 2 tiebreaker.
Pittsburgh is 4-1 in the division, while the Ravens are 3-2 in the division. The Ravens are home against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 17.
The Steelers clinch the division under two scenarios:
The Steelers clinch the division with a win or they can clinch the division with a loss and a Baltimore loss. Under that scenario the Steelers would finish with a 4-2 division record to the Ravens 3-3 division record which would give the division to Pittsburgh.
The winner of the AFC North will earn a No. 2 bye as the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs (10-5) are 6-5 in conference play.
The New England Patriots (13-2) have locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win today in Buffalo and a New York Jets (10-5) loss.
The Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) suffered a devastating overtime loss to the woeful Washington Redskins and the Indianapolis Colts (8-6) have the inside track to winning the AFC South.
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