AFC North Power Rankings: Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers on the rise
By Alex Fasano
The Pittsburgh Steelers continue their fight back to the top, as they climb the AFC North.
After Week 6, the AFC North remains a contender as one of the most competitive divisions in the league. Currently sitting as the highest total scoring division, and with every team being in reach of the division title. Power Ranking are tricky for tough divisions like these, so cheers to the top ranked Ravens, but also keep an eye on these momentum gaining Steelers.
We are officially a third of the way through the season! The league continues to give fantasy owners migraines (David Johnson, I’m looking at you). I feel awful for the Buffalo Bills, their fans, and more specifically Nathan Peterman. Aside from all this league drama, the AFC North continues to amaze and entertain. Check out this week’s Power Rankings!
Throw the standings out the window, these are power rankings! The Baltimore Ravens are a totally dominant team, and they’re not even playing unbelievable football. Dominating the Titans 21-0, Joe Flacco went for 238 yards, a touchdown, and a pick. Plus, he never got sacked. Michael Crabtree led the way with six catches for 93 yards, while Alex Collins ran in two scores. Only finishing with 21 points, this Ravens team can play consistent on both sides of the ball. I say this every week…defense wins championships! Its only week 6, but if Baltimore continues, there might be a new “King of the North” this year.
The Steelers continue to rise, especially after a dramatic win on the road against the first place Bengals, 28-21. Pittsburgh has finally found their rhythm, finishing with 28 points and 481 total yards. Ben Roethlisberger, who currently leads the league in passing yards, finished with 369 and a score. James Conner left everything on the field, in what could be his last start of the season, with 111 yards on 19 carries, and two touchdowns. Juju and Antonio went for 111 and 105 yards respectively. Not allowing a sack but grabbing three of their own was big for this struggling Steelers defense. They head into the bye with back to back wins and the “possible return” of their franchise player, Le’Veon Bell.
They tie for the #2 spot mainly because the team remains in first place, for now. The game was well played; no turnovers for either team, not too high of a total score, an all-out blood bath match-up with hard hits and clock management. Andy Dalton only went for 229 yards and two touchdowns, both to Tyler Boyd (seven catches, 62 yards). Joe Mixon also had a day, with 11 carries for 64 yards and a score. A great game all around, which is nothing new for these division rivals. This was a back and forth contest with the difference maker being an epic slant route. The Cincinnati Bengals are a preverbal September team, so their Sunday night match-up against the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs offense is very crucial to the rest of their season.
The struggles continue for this always plagued franchise. The awe and hype surrounding Baker Mayfield is starting to drain as he failed to win back to back games at home. He finished with 238 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. Getting sacked five times probably didn’t help the team either. Failing to feature a receiver with more than 85 yards, or a back with more than 40 rushing yards was the biggest takeaway from this beat down by the Chargers. This Browns defense, which is often seen as a good unit, allowed Melvin Gordon to go off for 132 yards and three scores. Cleveland travels to Tampa to meet the Bucs for what may be the last chance for the Browns to stay relevant.