AFC North Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers are in full control
By Alex Fasano
Week 11 has come to an end. The Bengals lose a hard fought battle to the rival Ravens, while the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled away with a dramatic win over the stingy Jaguars.
I’m sure the Browns enjoyed their week off. Watching division rivals go at it, while the Steelers almost lost to the lowly Jags. All relaxation aside, the season is more than likely over. A better season than last year, the biggest upside that comes from it all…Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb. The future of this franchise is in the hands of two young studs with all the potential in the world. The rest of the season should be used to groom these rookies and utilize their full potential for the years to come. A road game against Cincinnati is a good place to start.
The Bengals season may have come to an end. After a tough 24-21 loss to the Ravens, they drop to 5-5 and are 1-2 against the division. Cincinnati needs to run the table and a lot of help to make the wild card. Despite the loss, Andy Dalton played well, throwing for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Boyd only had 71 yards on four catches. The Bengals have lost four of their last six games. They need a little more than a miracle to see the postseason, and hosting the Browns is a good way to get things going.
The Ravens have found their franchise player, and his name is Lamar Jackson. Setting an NFL record, 117 yards rushing, the most ever by a rookie quarterback in their first start, turned heads and confirms that Baltimore made the right choice in last year’s draft. Finishing with 267 total yards and an interception, the Ravens earned the victory thanks to a Justin Tucker field goal, the only points in the 4th quarter. Another rookie had his breakout game, running back Gus Edwards finished with 115 yards and a score. A few games behind the rival Steelers, the Ravens sit at the 6th seed, earning the last wild card spot. They need to win out in order to keep that seat, and a home game against the 2-8 Raiders is a perfect chance to start the journey.
The Pittsburgh Steelers almost ruined any chance of being in the super bowl conversation. After their dramatic win in Jacksonville, Pittsburgh is a clear contender. Scoring 14 unanswered points in the final six minutes of the game, the Steelers hung tough. Big Ben finished with 314 yards, two touchdowns and three picks. He played hero yet again, with his unbelievable dive for the end zone with three seconds left. Antonio Brown finished with five catches for 117 yards and a score, while Juju had eight for 104. The defense held the Jags to under 250 total yards of offense.
The Steelers are riding a 6-game win streak into a Sunday afternoon game in Denver. If they keep this momentum, the probability of reaching Atlanta in February is quite high.