The AFC North has been a split division for the better part of a few decades. Though the Cincinnati Bengals has made the playoffs twice since 2005, it had stretched back to the 1990 season that had their previous post season experiences. The Cleveland Browns have one playoff appearance since 1999.
The Steelers, who won four Super Bowls in the 1970's, have been to the playoffs seven times since 2001. This includes two Super Bowl victories in three appearances since 2005.
While the Bengals appear to still be bungling, Cleveland is showing positive signs as they rebuild under new management. The Browns might not yet be ready to challenge for a division crown, but they certainly will give Pittsburgh and Baltimore a tough time as they progress.
This may be yet another year of the Ravens and Steelers battling alone for the AFC North title, but the fact is that these are two of the best teams in the NFL. What makes this rivalry better is the fact that neither team likes each other much and looks forward to inflicting damage when they collide twice a year in the regular season.
Pittsburgh not only holds an edge in their regular season history, but they have beat Baltimore in each of their three playoff meetings. There is a very good chance these two teams will meet once again when the 2011 regular season concludes.