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AFC North Roundup: Back-to-back Steelers losses opens door for Ravens in division race

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Taking a look around the AFC North heading into Week 14.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 13 of the NFL schedule nearly 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 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 13 Results

Denver Broncos - 24
Cincinnati Bengals - 10

The Bengals lose again, without Andy Dalton and watching AJ Green get carted off the field with another foot injury, but the biggest question on everyone’s mind is — will this be the year Marvin Lewis actually gets fired? At 5-7 things are looking bleak, to say the least.

Houston Texans - 29
Cleveland Browns - 13

The Texans keep winning, and their latest win took some of the luster off the upstart Browns. Houston has a stranglehold on the AFC South, and is looking like they want more than just a division title, but maybe a first round bye.

Baltimore Ravens - 26
Atlanta Falcons - 16

Did this game say more about the Ravens and Lamar Jackson? Or just how bad the Falcons team is? Either way, the Ravens, and Jackson, keep on winning, and for the second straight game the defense has put points on the board to help buoy the rookie quarterback and a struggling offense.

Los Angeles Chargers - 33
Pittsburgh Steelers - 30

This was such a strange game. From the missed penalties to the second half collapse, this is a game which can send the Steelers into a tailspin. However, this game reminds me of the loss to the Dallas Cowboys at Heinz Field in 2016 when the defense allowed Ezekiel Elliot to run through them en route to a stunning win. That loss galvanized the team as they marched through the rest of their season to the AFC Championship game. I’m not suggesting this team will run the table, although they could, but rather get the team to play their best football when it matters most.

Week 14 Schedule

Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers - Sunday, 1 p.m. ET kickoff
Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, 1 p.m. ET kickoff
Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers - Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders - Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff

AFC North Standings

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

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Let us know what you think about the division after Week 13 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?