The Steelers continue to reign supreme in the AFC North. After a victory against the Jets and every other team in the AFC North losing, the Steelers are clearly the top team.
The Steelers beat the Jets. That gives them the best record in the AFC North. Every other team appears to be struggling at the moment. The Ravens haven’t rebuilt yet. The Bengals appear to be a slightly worse team. The Browns are the Browns.
This week the top and bottom were easy decisions but as we predicted on this series of articles, the real battle in the AFC North is between the Ravens and Bengals for clear number 2. Let’s dive in and see where they stand.
The Steelers had a good win against the Jets Sunday. Obviously the week before they were dominant but this game was nice to see because the Steelers down at one point but still handily won the game. Pretty much all sides of the ball looked good, certainly none looked bad, and that’s with several injuries and against a good team.
Ben Roethlisberger had a dynamite game. He finished with 380 yards and 4 touchdowns. Of course, Brown did well as always but Sammie Coates had 139 yards and 2 touchdowns. Imagine if he could catch. Bell continues to be an asset and the tight ends are doing well. The defense held the Jets in check. Plus, nice to see some more sacks too.
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Oh Bengals, under .500. I’m being pretty generous by placing you at the second spot. But I do it because you’re so classy. My generosity leaves room for sarcasm, balance. The Bengals had one of those offseasons where multiple important players are free agents looking for paydays and there is just not enough money to go around. It’s taken a toll.
Andy Dalton had a decent game with 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but all in the 4th quarter. AJ Green only had 50 yards on the day. The run game didn’t do that well either. Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott handled the Bengals defense. It was a rough game, even worse than the score suggested. Dallas is a good team, but if you are too then you don’t get handled this easily.
The Ravens lost to the Redskins. They’ve yet to face a good team but at this point they’ve beaten the terrible ones and lost to the mediocre ones. This is not a good sign. Luckily, they play the Giants next week and the Bengals play the Patriots so they might ascend via their easy schedule but the Ravens are not showing a lot at this point. If the Steelers or Bengals had their schedule they’d probably have a better record.
Joe Flacco had 210 yards and a touchdown. He’s very reliant on the drop back and throw it as far as you can style of play. The longest pass play was 15 yards. So they did not score much. The defense did a solid job but a punt return gave the Redskins a touchdown, making two. The Ravens had one. So it goes.
The Browns faced the Patriots. I’m sure they’ll eventually get a first win but this week was obviously not going to be it. They lost, 33-13. What’s there to say about the Browns? Same thing every game. Same thing every year. They’re the most boringly bad team in the league. I wonder if they’ll draft 1st overall next year. A QB maybe who they’ll release before his rookie contract is up.
Whitehurst and Kessler combined for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Almost no run game to speak of. Gary Barnidge had a nice game. They let Brady throw for over 400 yards. You get the idea. They lost.
So next week the Steelers face off against the Dolphins, because apparently everyone in the AFC North has to. The Ravens face the Giants and the Bengals face the Patriots. If the Bengals win, clearly jump ahead of the Ravens. But if they lose and the Ravens win. Have to buckle to the record. Also, the Browns play the Titans, winnable?
We’ll see you next week.
All stats via NFL.com