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AFC North Recap: Mix up at the top of the division keeps everyone’s hopes alive

The Bengals’ win over the Ravens has opened the door for the rest of the division.

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The seventh week of NFL football is behind us, and it was quite the week in the AFC North division. With that said, it is time to see how the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns all did in the week that was.

Time to take a look...

Cleveland Browns - 17
Denver Broncos - 14

This Thursday Night Football game was tough to watch. It was hard to believe the Broncos were at one time 3-0, and have lost four in a row following their red-hot start. No Baker Mayfield or Nick Chubb already had the Browns undermanned, but no Kareem Hunt added to their growing list of injuries. Luckily for Cleveland, they were able to must a win and get a small bye week before hosting the Steelers in a huge AFC North clash in Week 8. Will they have Baker and Chubb back? Nothing is certain at this point, but the Week 8 game will put one of these two teams behind the proverbial 8-ball for the foreseeable future.

Cincinnati Bengals - 41
Baltimore Ravens - 17

Did anyone see this shellacking taking place at M&T Bank Stadium? I believed the Bengals had a shot at winning, but never once did I feel as if they would completely disarm the high-powered Ravens team. Some say this game is all about a vastly improved Bengals team, while others say the Ravens’ luck has run out. I think the truth is right in the middle. The Bengals are an improved team, but I feel like they just played out of their minds on Sunday. Likewise, the Ravens didn’t have much luck on their side, and maybe their 5-1 start was more smoke and mirrors compared to them being a top tier team in the AFC. Nonetheless, the Bengals’ win now keeps the divisional hopes for all four teams wide open. If the Ravens would have found a way to win the game, it would have put them two games ahead of everyone else. Now, the Browns and Steelers remain in striking distance, and I’m not talking about the legendary 1993 Bruce Willis movie filmed in Pittsburgh.

AFC North Standings

Cincinnati Bengals - 5-2
Baltimore Ravens - 5-2
Cleveland Browns - 4-3
Pittsburgh Steelers - 3-3

Week 8 AFC North Schedule:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns — 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets — 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday

A look ahead...

Next three opponents for all AFC North teams:

Baltimore Ravens: BYE, vs. Vikings, at Dolphins
Cleveland Browns: vs. Steelers, at Bengals, at Patriots
Pittsburgh Steelers: at Browns, vs. Bears (MNF), vs. Lions
Cincinnati Bengals: at Jets, vs. Browns, BYE