9. team. 55. Mike Tomlin’s club took a two-game losing streak into its off-week. The main culprit was a defensive unit that failed to answer the bell, especially when it came to stopping the run. The Steelers allowed a combined 362 yards rushing to Miami (222) and New England (140). Meanwhile Pittsburgh defenders have managed only eight sacks in seven games. This was a team that totaled 48 quarterback traps a year ago. Among the positives, running back Le’Veon Bell has been impressive since returning from his three-game suspension. He’s amassed 589 total yards from scrimmage in four games, although he’s yet to score a touchdown this season.
<p>Next Week: The Steelers and Baltimore Ravens renew their always-intense rivalry. Last season, Joe Flacco and company went into Pittsburgh and prevailed in overtime. Late in the year, John Harbaugh started Ryan Mallett and the journeyman quarterback and the team surprised the playoff-bound Steelers. These clubs play their share of down-to-the-wire affairs.</p>
<p>Playoff hopes: The Steelers are still atop the AFC North with a 4-3 record, with both the Ravens (3-4) and Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) breathing down their necks. It’s those losses to the Dolphins and Patriots that could come back to haunt them if they are unable to win a division title. Even minus quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, they look like the AFC North’s best team – at least at the moment.</p>. 4-3. Previous: . Pittsburgh Steelers