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AFC North Roundup: Steelers take a step backwards after loss to Broncos

Taking a look around the AFC North heading into Week 13.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 12 of the NFL schedule officially in the books, it’s time to take a look back at those teams who call the AFC North home to see how they fared and what the standings look like after this week’s action.

The first goal for each team in the NFL is to win its division. Doing so guarantees both a playoff spot and a home playoff game, so even these early-season games are important when it comes to divisional rankings.

Let’s take a spin around the AFC North to check on the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Week 12 Results

Baltimore Ravens - 34
Oakland Raiders - 17

Lamar Jackson is 2-0 as a starter, and was helped largely due to a special teams and defensive touchdown on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Nonetheless, the 6-5 Ravens have inserted themselves back into the AFC Playoff Picture for now. The question for Week 13 is simple — who will start at quarterback? Joe Flacco or Jackson? Inquiring minds want to know...

Cleveland Browns - 35
Cincinnati Bengals - 20

Don’t look now but the Cleveland Browns have won consecutive games, and may have single-handedly knocked the Bengals out of the playoff picture. What is crazy to consider is how many overtime games the Browns have lost this year. If a few bounces go their way, you are looking at a team who is a lot better than 4-6-1. Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, will this finally be the year Marvin Lewis gets canned? If so, we can only hope they hire Hue Jackson in his place.

Denver Broncos - 24
Pittsburgh Steelers - 17

The Steelers had every opportunity to win this football game, but continued to shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly. If the Steelers end up having to play in the Wild Card Round of the AFC Playoffs, this game will be on fans look back on and say they let this one slip away.

Week 13 Schedule

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans - Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals - Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Baltimore Ravens at Atlanta Falcons - Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sunday Night Football, 8:20 p.m. ET

AFC North Standings

Pittsburgh Steelers - 7-3-1
Baltimore Ravens - 6-5
Cincinnati Bengals - 5-6
Cleveland Browns - 4-6-1


Let us know what you think about the division after Week 11 in the comment section below. Do you see this being a powerhouse division? Which teams are contenders and which ones are nothing more than pretenders?