Art Rooney II: Six AFC North games in final eight weeks will be a challenge

The Steelers will be spending a lot of time in the AFC North during the second half of the 2024 season.

All six of their divisional games will be played over the final eight weeks of the regular season. The run starts in Week 11 with a home game against the Ravens that is followed by road games in Cleveland and Cincinnati before a home game against the Browns in Week 14. They'll head to Baltimore in Week 16 and then close the season at home against the Bengals.

The Steelers were 5-1 against AFC North teams last year and they have a winning divisional record over the last eight seasons, but team president Art Rooney II said that won't make the closing run any easier for his club.

"You never take anything for granted. The teams in our division are all tough," Rooney said, via the team's website. "Some people would say we have the toughest division in football, and I probably would agree with that. They'll all be tough games. It will be a challenge."

The difficulty of the second half is enhanced by the first Browns game coming on a Thursday night and the trip to Baltimore coming on a Saturday ahead of a Christmas home game against the Chiefs. The other non-divisional game in the second half is in Philadelphia, so the Bengals games are the only ones against a team that didn't make the playoffs last year.

Rooney said it's "not exactly how I would have drawn it up," but it's what the Steelers will have to navigate if they hope to return to the postseason.