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Steelers sweep the AFC North for only second time in Ben Roethlisberger era

The Pittsburgh Steelers accomplished something Sunday which has only been done one other time in the Ben Roethlisberger era.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday at Heinz Field, the Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious over the Cleveland Browns, 28-24. Considering the Browns finished the season 0-16, this isn’t some tremendous feat; however, this win marked a bigger ‘win’ for the Steelers.

It marked a clean sweep of the AFC North in 2017.

Week 1 - at CLE - 21-18
Week 4 - at BAL - 26-9
Week 7 - vs. CIN - 29-14
Week 13 - at CIN - 23-20
Week 14 - vs. BAL - 39-38
Week 17 - vs. CLE - 28-24

After finishing 6-0 in the AFC North, I wondered when the last time the team had done this. I looked solely in the Ben Roethlisberger era, which began in his rookie year of 2004. Since that time, Pittsburgh has only swept their division one other time, in 2008.

That year they clearly finished 6-0, but also beat the Ravens for a third time in playoffs en route to a Super Bowl 43 victory.

What certainly was interesting was Roethlisberger’s rookie season. The team finished 5-1 in the division, the only loss of the year coming in Baltimore when Tommy Maddox was injured and paved the way for the Roethlisberger era to begin. The team finished 15-1 and lost in the AFC Championship game that year.

The moral of this story is the AFC North is typically a very competitive division, and sweeping all division opponents doesn’t happen often.