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AFC North Recap: Steelers division, and playoff, hopes remain alive

Somehow, some way, the Steelers are still in contention in both the AFC North and the AFC Playoff Picture.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The fourteenth 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...

Minnesota Vikings - 36
Pittsburgh Steelers - 28

The Thursday Night Football game was both marred with horrible play, and also a near comeback of epic proportions. The Steelers’ inability to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball is nothing new, and will plague this team to the point of them being on the outside looking in at the AFC Playoffs. Nonetheless, despite their struggles the Steelers remain alive and well in the playoff race. Is the future bright or bleak? Most would say bleak, but for another week the Steelers still have some hope on their side.

Cleveland Browns - 24
Baltimore Ravens - 22

What looked like a dominant Browns win turned into a near comeback from the Lamar Jackson-less Ravens. Jackson, who left the game with an ankle injury, was ruled out and the Ravens were still able to come storming back and make it a game. Either the AFC North is ridiculously competitive, or incredibly mediocre. You could argue both sides of this debate, but either way you slice it the Ravens are clinging to dear life with some extremely difficult games ahead.

San Francisco 49ers - 26
Cincinnati Bengals - 23 (OT)

Like the other games in the division, there were several points where this one looked over and done with. Whether it was an early 49ers lead, or the Bengals taking the ball down the field to kick an overtime field goal, only to have the 49ers answer with a game-winning touchdown. This was a tough home loss for the Bengals, and their second in a row. It seems as if after a big win the Bengals just can’t keep any type of momentum going. The loss keeps the Ravens in first place in the division, and allows teams like the Steelers to remain relevant for another week.

AFC North Standings

Baltimore Ravens - 8-5-0
Cincinnati Bengals - 7-6-0
Cleveland Browns - 7-6-0
Pittsburgh Steelers - 6-6-1

Week 15 AFC North Schedule:

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns — 4:30 p.m. ET, Saturday
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers — 1 p.m. ET, Sunday
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos — 4:05 p.m. ET, Sunday
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens — 4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday

A look ahead...

Final four opponents for all AFC North teams:

Baltimore Ravens: vs. Packers, at Bengals, vs. Rams, vs. Steelers
Cleveland Browns: vs. Raiders, at Packers, at Steelers, vs. Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers: vs. Titans, at Chiefs, vs. Browns, at Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals: at Broncos, vs. Ravens, vs. Chiefs, at Browns