Mike Mitchell: Steelers 'want to run the North'

The Steelers currently hold the fifth seed in the AFC Playoff Picture, but Pittsburgh isn't resigned to a wild-card berth.

"We want the division," safety Mike Mitchell told the team's official website. "We never want to back door into the playoffs. Obviously you will get in any way you can. We want to win the division. We want to run the North."

Pittsburgh (6-4) sits two games behind the division-leading Bengals (8-2), but the Steelers also lost their first matchup to Cincinnati back in Week 8. The two will play again in Week 14, but this year's Bengals don't have the feel of a club about to collapse. Despite two straight losses, Cincy's defeat at the hands of Arizona on Sunday night saw quarterback Andy Dalton do all he could to keep his team in the competition.

The Steelers still have challenging contests left against the Seahawks, Colts and Broncos before closing down the campaign against the Ravens and Browns. We believe in Pittsburgh as a threat in the AFC because of the resilience they displayed despite losing Ben Roethlisberger for a rash of games and premier running back Le'Veon Bell for the year.

Big Ben returned before last Sunday's bye to fry the Browns in Week 10, throwing the ball all over the place and looking like the division's best passer -- by far. His presence alone might not be enough to win the division at this stage, but we like Pittsburgh's chances to make a more important "run" in the AFC playoffs.

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