But the Steelers’ 13-10 loss not only offered the Ravens the inside track in the AFC North Divisional race, it also essentially put the six-time Super Bowl champions in a must-win dilemma against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Hypothetically speaking, if the Steelers fall to the Browns and the Ravens defeat the Chargers this week, the Ravens will carry a three-game lead into their second meeting with the Steelers on Dec. 2 in Baltimore.
A loss this week also leaves the Steelers at risk to lose their status as the AFC’s top wild card team. The Indianapolis Colts and the Steelers enter Week 12 tied atop the AFC Wild Card standings with 6-4 records.
So it’s safe to assume that if the Steelers intend to preserve their hopes of earning their fifth playoff berth in the last six years, they’ll need to play with more urgency and more precision against the Browns this week.
Here’s a look at five keys to victory for the Steelers against the Browns.