AFC North power rankings: Steelers slip to the bottom, Bengals rise
By Tommy Jaggi
The AFC North is one of the tightest divisions in football, but there have been some changes as of late as the Steelers struggle and Bengals impress.
Week 12 was a battle of AFC North matchups as the Steelers took on the Bengals and the Ravens hosted the Browns. This is one of the NFL’s tightest divisions and not a single team has a losing record entering Week 13.
This week’s performances were very telling, however, as Pittsburgh was trounced in a 41-10 blowout while Baltimore narrowly topped Cleveland in a hard-fought defensive showdown. As we draw closer to the end of the 2021 season, here are my updated AFC North power rankings:
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1)
After their most recent loss on Sunday Night Football, the Cleveland Browns are now a 6-6 football team. Still, it’s hard to put them lower than the Steelers in my most recent power rankings. While the Browns have been blown out a few times this season, each of their last two contests has been within one score and they destroyed the Bengals early in November.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has put up back-to-back dismal losses while tying the Detroit Lions and narrowly escaping with a victory against the Bears in the month of November.
Ben Roethlisberger gave us some hope after a pretty strong performance against the Chargers, but he was dreadful this week against the Bengals, and the Steelers didn’t score their first touchdown until there was just 2:59 remaining in regulation during garbage-time. With the defense performing just as bad as the offense as of late, this team is plummeting in power rankings and takes the bottom spot in the AFC North entering Week 13.