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Steelers need win vs. Eagles to keep pace in AFC North

It seems a little bit early to be thinking about playoff positioning after just four weeks of NFL play, but match-ups in Week 5 could find the Pittsburgh Steelers in a serious hole when looking at the AFC North standings.

Obviously, 1-2 wasn't an optimal start for Pittsburgh, especially considering the team lost a seemingly winnable game against the Oakland Raiders, giving Oakland its only win of the year thus far. But with the 3-1 Philadelphia Eagles next on the docket, Pittsburgh could see things spiral out of control quickly, as Mike Bires pointed out via Twitter.

While Pittsburgh plays a tough opponent, both of the teams above .500 in the division have easier matchups: the 3-1 Baltimore Ravens head to Kansas City, whose only win on the season was against the winless Saints, while the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals host the one-win Miami Dolphins.

If those two games go as predicted and the Steelers lose to Philadelphia, they could be 1-3 in a conference with a pair of 4-1 teams. The season is still very young, and the schedule makes sure everybody's strength of schedule is close enough, so Pittsburgh will have its share of easy games later this year, but a deficit that large this early would certainly put other teams in the driver's seat for the division title.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.