The AFC will be very competitive in 2012, and it will not be easy for the Pittsburgh Steelers to make the playoffs.
Pittsburgh’s task becomes exceptionally difficult, as two of its AFC North opponents made the playoffs last season and are primed for return trips this year.
The Baltimore Ravens are always in contention for the division behind a strong defense, while a young Cincinnati Bengals squad will be looking to take the next step in their growth and challenge for a division title.
But the Steelers will not back down and are a good bet to make a push for the playoffs once again.
Since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007, the Steelers have averaged 11 wins, and they have only missed the playoffs once.
Pittsburgh has won 12 games three times under Tomlin, but if it wins at least 10 games this season, it should be enough to earn it a playoff berth.
Here are 10 games that the Steelers have to win to make the playoffs.