A shakeup at the top

When the Steelers packed up and left for a four-day break for the bye weekend, they were in an unfamiliar spot, third place in the AFC North.

When they returned, things looked much different.

They are currently in first place in the AFC North, after the Bengals, Ravens and Browns all lost over the weekend.

"You have to count that," said Ramon Foster. "Any kind of position you can take, you take advantage of it. It sucks for them. I am happy for us. Their misfortune is a grand thing for us. We have to see those guys again. We have to be on our job."

The Steelers are 3-2-1, while the Bengals and Ravens are 4-3, and the Browns are 2-4-1.

"It took a lot of hard work," joked Maurkice Pouncey about moving up to first place while not playing.

"Honestly, it's a great feeling," said Pouncey. "But we know how the season is, very long. You never know how it plays out. You have to take it one game at a time.

"We didn't do anything to get it. Other teams put us in this position. We have to go out there and keep working this Sunday."

The Steelers have two straight AFC North games starring them in the face, starting this week with the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. Nobody will forget the outcome of the last meeting, a 21-21 tie at FirstEnergy Stadium.

But this is a different Steelers team, coming off two consecutive wins and finding their groove. It's also a different Browns team that will be coming to Heinz Field.

"Hopefully they will see a better team on tape, offense, defense and special teams," said Foster. "That's what we need going into this week. The Browns have been in four overtime games. They are not the same Browns of the past. We have to be a team that recognizes that. Also we have to get an AFC North victory at home too.

"We can't be sluggish coming out of this bye week. We have to be a team that is red hot, especially these later months."

The Steelers are 1-1-1 in the AFC North Division, so there is very little margin for error when it comes to the next few games, starting specifically on Sunday.

"It's going to be a big game," said David DeCastro. "The division is close. They are going to be hungry to come out and get a win. We all need wins right now. It's a tight race.

"They are a good team. They are a really good defense, a lot of turnovers, a lot of takeaways. We have to be good to beat them. We have a big game ahead of us. A divisional home game. We have to give the fans something to cheer about."

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