The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-17 Sunday night to claim the AFC North title and with that they also became the number No. 3 seed in the AFC.
As the No. 3 seed, the Steelers will now host the No. 6 seed Baltimore Ravens next Saturday night at 8:15 at Heinz Field and the game will be broadcasted on NBC.
The Steelers have never lost to the Ravens in the three career matchups between the two teams: 2001, 2008 and 2010, which have all taken place at Heinz Field.
In 2001 the Steelers (13-3), who were the No. 1 seed with first round bye that year, defeated the No. 5 seeded Ravens 27-10 in the divisional round. They went on to lose their next game, the AFC Conference championship, to the No. 2 seeded New England Patriots 20-17. The Patriots would go on to win the Super Bowl that season.
In 2008, the Steelers (12-4) were the No. 2 seed in the AFC and they defeated the No. 6 seeded Ravens 23-14 in the divisional round. This time, however, they went on to win the Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals 27-23.
In 2010, the Steelers (12-4) were again the No. 2 seed in the AFC and again they defeated the No. 5 seeded Ravens 31-24 in the divisional round. They would go on to play in the super Bowl that year went on to the Super Bowl, but lost to the Green Bay Packers 31-25.
Interesting enough, in the last three Super Bowl appearances that the Steelers have made, they’ve had to defeat an AFC North divisional foe (2005 – Bengals) in order to make a run at a championship.
Although there’s still lot of football remaining before this year’s Super Bowl, another Steelers run at yet another Lombardi Trophy will first require them to beat the Ravens.