The Pittsburgh Steelers remained on the heels of the Baltimore Ravens with their second straight win. They put on a convincing show by defeating the Washington Redskins 27-12 and now sit one game behind the Ravens in the AFC North.
The main reason the win was so convincing is more due to the defense holding Redskins QB Robert Griffin III to only eight yards rushing even though Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for three TDs in the win. The Steelers dominated on both sides of the ball and also won the all-important time of possession battle by seven minutes.
The Ravens may only lead the Steelers by a game in the standings but while Baltimore has a 4-1 conference record, Pittsburgh is only 2-3 in the AFC. The Ravens have a chance to increase their lead in both the division and conference next week as they travel to play the Cleveland Browns while the Steelers must go to New Jersey to face the New York Giants.
Week 10 finds the Ravens at home against the Oakland Raiders while the Steelers host the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. The two teams collide in week 11 on national TV for Sunday Night Football. Pittsburgh and Baltimore will then play each other twice in three weeks, a stretch that will probably determine who rules the AFC North in 2012 and perhaps even will end up with the first round playoff bye which means a home playoff game.
Hopefully, the Ravens will improve on their recent performance and beat both Cleveland and Oakland to go into Pittsburgh with a 7-2 record. Meanwhile there is a good chance the Steelers will lose to the Giants and beat the Chiefs to be 5-4 when they first meet on November 18th.
A two-game lead headed into that game will not mean much other than give the Ravens a bit of breathing room as they head into what could be Baltimore's toughest three-game stretch of the season, as their two games with Pittsburgh sandwich a trip to play the San Diego Chargers, who, regardless of them having a disappointing season, has always been a tough place for the Ravens to play.
Until they finally meet, all the Ravens need to do is focus on the next game on the schedule and take care of business.