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AFC North Recap: Steelers’ loss makes Week 12 huge within the division

The Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Chargers in Week 11 sets up a huge Week 12 where the AFC North plays one another.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Chargers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The tenth 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...

Baltimore Ravens - 16
Chicago Bears - 13

No Lamar Jackson? No problem. To be honest, I didn’t know who the Ravens’ backup quarterback was, but when Jackson was sidelined with a non-COVID illness the Ravens were able to continue their winning ways. Some say they are the luckiest team in the NFL, but there are times when it is better to be lucky than good. The only thing the Ravens have to worry about is if the luck runs out, just ask the 2020 Steelers. A huge prime time Sunday Night Football game in Baltimore awaits the Ravens in Week 12.

Cleveland Browns - 13
Detroit Lions - 10

All those Browns fans laughing at the Steelers tie with the Detroit Lions were sweating bullets in Week 11. Nonetheless, the Browns made enough plays to beat a Lions team without Jared Goff at quarterback. The Browns are a banged up team, and they don’t look anything those Super Bowl contenders everyone touted them to be in the preseason. Oh yeah, that Sunday night game vs. the Ravens will have huge implications for the Browns before their bye week.

Cincinnati Bengals - 32
Las Vegas Raiders - 13

The Bengals were reeling before their bye week, losing two in a row, but they have won two in a row coming out of their off week. The latest, against the Raiders on the road, was an impressive win for the young Bengals team. This victory proves the Bengals aren’t going anywhere, but to be considered legitimate contenders they will have to find ways to win tough divisional games they are expected to win. You know, like the Week 12 game at home vs. the Steelers where they are already 4.5-point favorites. Can they get the job done?

Los Angeles Chargers - 41
Pittsburgh Steelers - 37

There was a moment when it looked like this game was going to end with the score Chargers 50, Steelers 13, but the offense benefited from good field position and the defense slowed the Chargers just enough to keep them off that 50 point plateau. Not many will point the finger at the defense when they were without Joe Haden, Minkah Fitzpatrick and T.J. Watt, but at some point the motto of “the standard is the standard” has to be retired. At least for this season it hasn’t been “the standard”. The Steelers need to get their minds right before Week 12. Beat the Bengals on the road and they’ll find themselves facing the Ravens in a pivotal matchup the following week. Still a lot of games to be played, but the next two weeks are crucial.


AFC North Standings

Baltimore Ravens - 7-3-0
Cincinnati Bengals - 6-4-0
Pittsburgh Steelers - 5-4-1
Cleveland Browns - 6-5-0


Week 12 AFC North Schedule:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals — 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens — 8:20 p.m. ET, Sunday (SNF)


A look ahead...

Next three opponents for all AFC North teams:

Baltimore Ravens: vs. Browns (SNF), at Steelers, at Browns
Cleveland Browns: at Ravens (SNF), BYE, vs. Ravens
Pittsburgh Steelers: at Bengals, vs. Ravens, at Vikings (TNF)
Cincinnati Bengals: vs. Steelers, vs. Chargers, vs. 49ers