PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Ramon Foster never stopped believing. Not after the embarrassing meltdown against Tampa Bay. Not after the debacle in Cleveland. Not after the New York Jets pushed the Pittsburgh Steelers around six weeks ago.The Steelers were a playoff team. Foster was sure of it. The self-assured guard figured it would simply take a little time for things to come together, particularly on a roster thats undergone a sizable makeover since its last post-season appearance in 2011.Ive said it since the beginning of camp, we have the tools capable of doing it, Foster said. It starts up front with the O-line and D-line. We have a quarterback. We have a running back. We have receivers. We have a defence that is getting hot.So hot that Foster sees no problem with taking the feeling he had since camp opened in July a step further.A lot of press look at me weird when I say it, but I think were a team thats capable of playing in Arizona, Foster said.Thats Arizona as in the host of the Super Bowl.Foster wasnt bragging or making a prediction, necessarily, but giving voice to a confidence that has slowly been building throughout the fall. Pittsburghs momentum crested in Sundays 20-12 win over Kansas City that secured a playoff spot and set up a showdown with Cincinnati this weekend for the AFC North title and the home playoff game that goes along with it.While quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stresses the Steelers (10-5) remain a work in progress, they also look less uneven than the group that slouched through a 3-3 start. Pittsburgh is 7-2 since getting crushed by the Browns on Oct. 12. Roethlisberger is in the midst of the finest season of his career. Antonio Brown is obliterating every significant team single-season receiving record and LeVeon Bell is entering the conversation as the most versatile running back in the league.Heck, even the defence has shown up. That really was 36-year-old James Harrison spending a good portion of Sunday afternoon in the Kansas City backfield. The team that gave up big plays with alarming regularity earlier in the year kept the Chiefs out of the end zone. Pittsburgh is no longer just jumping to the lead, the Steelers are keeping it.Pittsburgh has trailed for only 5 minutes since a 25-point fourth quarter outburst against Cincinnati on Dec. 7. The finishing instinct the Steelers lacked during treadmill-spinning 8-8 seasons in 2012 and 2013 has suddenly reappeared. In each of the last two weeks, the Steelers have held the ball early in the fourth quarter nursing a one-score lead. Twice they responded with lengthy scoring drives that sealed the outcome.We knew we had the talent, and that it was just a case of us being consistent and putting it together, Bell said. It might not have looked like we were making progress, but we knew that if we kept doing what we were supposed to be doing, wed be alright.The Steelers certainly look like it. The impact plays against the Chiefs were made by franchise fixtures who multiple Super Bowl rings at home like Roethlisberger and Harrison to newcomers like Bell and rookie defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt who are in the midst of a playoff push for the first time.Pittsburgh doesnt have the swagger that accompanied the franchise during its dominant run from 2005-10 where it won two Vince Lombardi trophies and played for a third. Thats fine by coach Mike Tomlin, who would prefer his team get by on its play, not its reputation. The Steelers have spent the last four months bucking tradition, riding one of the NFLs most potent offences back to prominence and sticking with a youthful core that is growing up in front of its coachs eyes.Same guys, but theyve matured through the process, Tomlin said. That maturation process is sometimes not easy.But its effective. The growing pains of September and October — and 2012 and 2013 for that matter — are now firmly in the rearview mirror. Following a two-year absence, the Steelers are back in the playoffs and have no plans on going home anytime soon.We had some up and downs but we just kept pounding the pavement and its been paying off for us, linebacker Lawrence Timmons said. Weve seen that if we believe, we can win. Weve just got to go do it.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL Edson Alvarez Jersey . A lawmaker is hoping the buzz from California Chromes run for the Triple Crown might build support for a bill that would place the U. 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The 5-7 Falcons are tied atop the dismal NFC South division with New Orleans in advance of their trip north to face the powerful Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football. And win or loss in Titletown, Atlanta will remain in control of its own destiny because of a perfect 4-0 record inside the division along with a looming Week 16 matchup at the Saints. If you look ahead, however, you can see things figure to get far stickier for the Falcons starting in Week 14. While Atlanta has to battle the Packers, who are 6-0 at home this season, New Orleans is hosting a Carolina team that has lost six straight a day earlier. Looker further the Saints will face opponents who currently have a 15-32-1 mark the rest of the way. Conversely, the Falcons face three teams with playoff aspirations (The Pack, Pittsburgh and New Orleans) before finishing off with the Panthers. Both the Saints and Atlanta are attempting to avoid joining the 2010 Seattle Seahawks as being the only NFL teams to win a division with a sub-.500 record. The Falcons have won three of four overall, including a big 29-18 win over the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals in Week 13 action at the Georgia Dome. Matt Bryant connected on all five of his field-goal attempts in that one and Matt Ryan finished with a season-high 361 yards on 30-of-41 passing with scoring throws to Julio Jones and Levine Toilolo. Jones led all receivers thanks to 189 yards on 10 receptions, Harry Douglas added 116 yards on nine grabs, and Steven Jackson contributed 101 yards on 18 carries. Arizona signal caller Drew Stanton was picked off twice by the much-maligned Atlanta defense, once by Josh Wilson and another by Dwight Lowery. The Packers, meanwhile, took another step toward what would be a franchise- record fourth consecutive division title when they outlasted the New England Patriots, 26-21, in a game that could have foreshadowed Super Bowl XLIX. MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns and kept two NFL-record streaks alive as he outdueled Tom Brady and the Pats. Rodgers was 24-of-38 and has now thrown 360 consecutive passes with 31 touchdowns since his last interception at home, which was over two calendar years ago. Eddie Lacy rushed 21 times for 98 yards and caught two passes for another 17, stretching his Green Bay running back record to four consecutive games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage. Davante Adams had six receptions for 121 yards and Randall Cobb made seven catches for 85 as the Packers ran their winning streak to four games since their bye week. Weve been great at home, said Rodgers. The fans have been excellent with the noise and weve got a good advantage with it. Weve just got to keep rolling. Green Bay leads its all-time series with Atlanta by a 14-12 margin, including a 22-21 win at Lambeau last season while Rodgers was out with a broken collarbone. On Monday nights the Falcons have been dismal historically, compiling a 10-26 mark. The Packers are also underwater but much better at 28-31-1. WHAT TO WATCH FOR Rodgers has thrown for 20 touchdowns without an interception at home this season. Overall, the All-Pro leads the NFL with a 118.6 passer rating and has thrown for 32 scores against just three INTs, caaptaining a team that scores 31.dddddddddddd points per game, the best mark in the league. In his four previous career meetings against the Falcons Rodgers has always crossed the 300-yard barrier throwing the ball and has nine TDs against just one INT. Its a big challenge for us this week with Aaron Rodgers, Falcons coach Mike Smith admitted. No doubt, hes playing the best of any quarterback in the NFL right now. Hes got a number of weapons he can get it to. Hes played extremely well at home. I dont think hes thrown an interception at home this season, and I dont even want to talk about how many points theyve scored. The answer to that is 40.9 points while outscoring foes 245 to 106 at Lambeau. I dont know that theres been a quarterback thats had a stretch like hes had in the history of the NFL, Smith continued. Rodgers finished November with 1,233 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and no interceptions for an NFL-best 128.1 passer rating. And more importantly a 4-0 record. No disrespect to any quarterback in the NFL, but right now hes at a level that is much higher than anybody else, Smith said. When you look at his pure statistics, theyre phenomenal. The key to Green Bay at home has been blitzing people out of the starting blocks. The Packers have outscored their opponents by an amazing 79-0 margin in the first quarter of their last five home contests. That number expands to 151-23 at halftime and 14 of those 23 points were scored by the powerful Patriots last week. Foes have been looking up and finding the score 14-0, or in the case of the Pats 13-0, and that has enabled a flawed Packers defense to excel as teams become more one-dimensional. Despite some talent issues on the defensive side Green Bay has allowed just 17.3 ppg in its current four-game winning streak. When you watch the tape, its even more impressive, Smith said. (Rodgers has) got a great grasp of how to attack defenses. Hes extending plays. If he can extend the play and when the play gets off schedule, he can make the throws. Hes been very accurate. His quarterback rating is off the charts. You would think the only way Atlanta can beat the Packers is in a shootout and Ryan isnt too shabby himself, currently second in the NFL with 3,427 passing yards, slightly ahead of Rodgers 3,325. The veteran also has 21 TD passes versus 10 interceptions and a solid 93.7 passer rating. Jones, meanwhile, is one of the best receivers in the game as evidenced last week when he torched the highly-regarded Patrick Peterson time and time again. The Falcons could also get a boost from the potential return of Jones regular running mate, Roddy White, who sat out last week with an ankle problem. Roddy was close to playing (last week), Smith said. He worked with our athletic performance guys late in the week. We felt that it was in the best interest long term for him to not play in the game this past week. We anticipate, with the extra day, that hell be ready to go this week. OVERALL ANALYSIS Rarely is a division leader favored by double digits over another division leader but thats the story here and its hard to imagine a team with so many issues on defense like the Falcons solving Rodgers at Lambeau. We have some big goals, and were getting into December football now with a chance with everything right in front of us, A-Rod said. Expect the Packers to keep rolling here. Sports Network predicted outcome: Packers 34, Falcons 20 ' ' '