Pittsburgh grabs the North crown .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} NEW YORK - Ben Roethlisberger pilots Pittsburgh to a dramatic victory over Baltimore that saw the Steelers clinch NFL’s AFC North division. However, most of the playoff spots are up for grabs with two weeks left in the regular season.

On a day when competition for most of the playoff spots got tighter, the Pittsburgh Steelers was the only team to clinch a berth.

The Steelers clinched the American Football Conference North, scoring the only touchdown of the game on a 4-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds left to beat Baltimore 13-9.

The call was so close it had to be reviewed and even after referee Walt Coleman ruled it a score, Ravens coach John Harbaugh continued to protest.

The Steelers (11-3) also are now on track to secure home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs because the Titans (12-2) lost in Houston 13-12. So if Pittsburgh wins in Nashville next week and then again at home the final week against Cleveland, it is the top seed.

Three,way race
The Tennessee Titans has also clinched the South division. But the East remained a three-way race among three teams with 9-5 win-loss records: the New York Jets, Miami and New England, all of whom won Sunday.

New York, which appeared headed for its third straight loss, stayed alive by a bare margin, beating the Bills 31-27 when Abram Elam sacked J.P. Losman and Shaun Ellis returned the fumble for the winning touchdown with 1:54 left. New York had been trailing 27-24 and Buffalo was trying to use up the clock.

"That play that Shaun makes and Abe makes, who knows?" quarterback Brett Favre said. "At the end, we may look back and say that could be one of those plays that catapulted us into something great."

Denver (8-6), entered the day needing a win or a San Diego loss to clinch the West. But the Broncos lost in Carolina as expected, 30-10.

Indianapolis (10-4) won its seventh straight game by beating winless Detroit and leads the wild-card race. Baltimore (9-5) finishes with Dallas at home and at Jacksonville as it competes with whoever among the Jets, Dolphins and Patriots doesn't win the East for a wild-card spot - unless it can catch Indiana.

Meanwhile in the National Football Conference, nobody clinched anything in the day games, and the 20-8 loss by the Giants (11-3) to Dallas (9-5) Sunday night kept Carolina from clinching a playoff spot. It put the Cowboys at the top of the wild-card standings as the play of their defense overshadowed the problems Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and the rest of the offensive players were having with each other.

The Panthers, who finish at the Giants and at New Orleans, could go much further - if they win out, they get home-field advantage in the conference. They meet next Sunday with home-field advantage in the playoffs at stake and the Giants reeling with Plaxico Burress suspended and Brandon Jacobs injured. Only New York and Arizona (8-6) have clinched playoff spots in the NFC. The Cardinals, beaten at home by the Vikings 35-14, won the weak West last week to ensure their first home playoff game since 1947, when the Chicago Cardinals won the NFL title. The loss was their third in four games to non-division opponents, with their only win the division-clincher over St. Louis last week.

Tampa Bay and Atlanta (each 9-5) are alive in the South, although both much win out and hope the Panthers lose two. And Chicago (8-6) is a game behind Minnesota (9-5) in the North, so it can still make the playoffs as a division winner or a wild card.