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AFC North title at stake on NBC's 'Sunday Night Football'

by jmaloni


Tue, Dec 23rd 2014 06:55 pm

Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh Steelers host Andy Dalton and Cincinnati Bengals

The AFC North division title will be decided on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" this week, when Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5) host Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1). Sunday night's coverage of Week 17, the final week of the 2014 NFL regular season, begins with "Football Night in America" at 7 p.m. ET.

The Bengals and Steelers enter Week 17 having already clinched postseason berths, but critical playoff positioning is still at stake. Cincinnati's defense intercepted Broncos QB Peyton Manning four times Monday night en route to a 37-28 win, securing a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive season. Pittsburgh beat the Kansas City Chiefs 20-12 on Sunday to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011.

With a victory on "Sunday Night Football," the Steelers would win the AFC North title and the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. A loss would force the Steelers to travel on the road in the Wild Card round as the No. 5 seed.

If the Bengals win Sunday night, they would be AFC North champions, and could finish as high as the No. 2 seed, if the Broncos lose Sunday. A loss would send the Bengals on the road in the Wild Card round as the No. 5 seed.

The two teams last met in Week 14 in Cincinnati, when the Steelers offense exploded for 25 points in the fourth quarter in a 42-21 come-from-behind victory.

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