Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Rod Woodson was a guest on The Rich Eisen Show on Friday, and Woodson gave his thoughts on the AFC North. Woodson also played for the Baltimore Ravens in his career, and he talked about the similarities between Pittsburgh and Baltimore and why the Steelers already having a win over the Ravens makes them a threat in the AFC.
“The Steelers are a threat. Now, the great thing is, they gotta come and play in Baltimore at the end of the year, the last game of the year, it could be for all the marbles. That could be for the AFC North and who has that one or two seed in the AFC,” Woodson said. “You always gotta think that any team inside your division has beat you already is a threat,” he said about Pittsburgh.
He said that the two teams are so similar that even their mottos, “The Standard is The Standard” and “Play Like A Raven,” have just the same meaning, just in different colors. As someone who played for both teams, Woodson is acutely aware of how similar both teams are, and it’s one of the reasons why this divisional race coming down to the end of the season could be so fun to watch.
Baltimore has been the much more dominant team this season, but against Pittsburgh, the Steelers’ defense and special teams kept the score low and made splash plays while QB Kenny Pickett led a fourth-quarter comeback in a 17-10 win. While Baltimore currently leads the division, the fact that the Steelers have a game up against them is important, and the Ravens have two divisional losses. Pittsburgh has yet to lose a divisional game, although the Ravens have already played five while the Steelers have only played two.
That’s one of the reasons why the next two weeks are going to be such an important stretch for the Steelers. With games against the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, both on the road, the Steelers can look to improve their divisional record and put themselves in a position to overtake Baltimore if the division was to come down to tiebreakers. Obviously, the Steelers want to win as much as possible regardless of the opponent, but it does add a little extra emphasis when it comes to winning over the next two weeks.
The divisional race and the battle for a higher seed in the AFC, and thus home-field advantage during the postseason, could very well come down to Week 18. If that’s the case, the Steelers are going to need to go into M&T Bank Stadium and manage to win like they did last year, and probably once again by keeping the score low and the offense doing just enough to win late in the game.
Watch the full segment with Woodson and Eisen below: