Steelers tied in AFC North standings heading into week 3

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The Steelers season is two weeks old, which means we were treated to way-too-early playoff prognostications and analysis of the historical record for the 2-0 and 0-2 teams.

The Steelers’ 26-21 win over the Denver Broncos Sunday makes them 2-0 heading into a Week 3 matchup with the Houston Texans. Their still-perfect record knots them with the Baltimore Ravens on top of the division, with the Cleveland Browns at 1-1 in third place and the Cincinnati Bengals holding up the division at 0-2.

Cleveland and Cincinnati met on Thursday night in a battle of Heisman Trophy winners. My initial reaction to seeing this game showcased on Thursday night football was bemusement that it was being shown outside the state of Ohio, as I prefer to have these teams quarantined within the Buckeye State’s borders whenever possible. However, the game of football loves nothing more than to prove me wrong, and a national audience was treated to a solid game of football.

The Browns and their signal-caller/insurance salesman Baker Mayfield ran out 35-30 winners at home over Joe Burrow, the reigning Heisman holder, collegiate national champ, and belle of the ball at the 2020 Draft. The Bengals’ offense ran heavily through Burrow’s arm, as he completed 37 of a herculean 61 attempts for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns.

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Burrow tried to keep his head high about the goose egg in the Bengals’ win column:

"…Losing isn’t very fun. This might be the only time in my sporting career that I have lost two games in a row. It doesn’t feel very good. I know that the guys in there are hurting. We are going to come back to work tomorrow and try to get this thing right. Losing is unacceptable to me, to everyone in there, to (Bengals Head) Coach (Zac) Taylor and to everybody in this organization. We are just going to have to get it fixed.”"

The Ravens and Lamar Jackson traveled to Houston to loosen them up for their trip to Pittsburgh next week. What was heralded as a battle of titans between Jackson and Deshaun Watson went decisively Baltimore’s way.

Jackson was 18 of 24 for 204 yards, despite being sacked four times, while Watson was 25 of 36 for 275 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, taking four sacks of his own.

The Ravens held the Texans to 51 total rushing yards, with David Johnson Houston’s leader on the ground, gaining an unremarkable 34 yards on 11 carries.

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While the Steelers have the Texans at home next week, in the rest of the division, the Washington Football Team visits Cleveland, the Bengals go to the Eagles, and the Ravens host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.