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AFC North Recap: The Bengals set themselves up to win the division

The Cincinnati Bengals were the only winners in Week 16, and it puts them in prime position to win the AFC North.

Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The sixteenth 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...

Green Bay Packers - 24
Cleveland Browns - 22

The Christmas day Saturday Night game saw Baker Mayfield throw 4 interceptions in the game, the same number of interceptions Aaron Rodgers has thrown the entire season. Mayfield enters the offseason completely unsure of his standing with the team. Just a few weeks ago it seemed like a foregone conclusion Mayfield would get a new contract with the Browns, but now it seems as if the Browns might move on from the former No. 1 overall draft pick. The Browns’ postseason hopes are on life support, and Mayfield’s time with the Browns might be as well.

Cincinnati Bengals - 41
Baltimore Ravens - 21

The Ravens’ injury and COVID-19 issues continued to pile up, and Baltimore had to have a third string quarterback lead them against the Bengals. They kept up early, but Cincinnati eventually wore the Ravens’ depleted roster down. The Ravens have now lost four games in a row, and have to host the L.A. Rams this Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Another loss and John Harbaugh might be wondering what would have been had he not gone for the two-point conversion in all those games. Meanwhile, the Bengals continue to look like a serious contender on both sides of the ball, and a really good test with the Chiefs coming to Paul Brown Stadium awaits. So far this season, the Bengals have stumbled after winning a big game. Will that trend continue? Their hopes of winning the AFC North depend on them reversing that trend.

Kansas City Chiefs - 36
Pittsburgh Steelers - 10

The Steelers receive the football to start the game, and after a beautiful pass to Diontae Johnson for 18-yards, the drive stalled and the offense punted the ball away to the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes methodically moved the Chiefs’ offense down the field before Clyde Edwards-Helaire punched the ball into the end zone for the score. It was at that point I knew the Steelers were in trouble. After another stalled Pittsburgh drive resulted in another Mahomes touchdown drive, fans everywhere knew the game was over. It was that kind of game, but somehow the Steelers’ playoff hopes are still alive. Anyone else wonder how the Steelers managed to win seven games this season? I sure am wondering that heading into a Monday Night Football game vs. the Browns in Week 17.

AFC North Standings

Cincinnati Bengals - 9-6-0
Baltimore Ravens - 8-7-0
Pittsburgh Steelers - 7-7-1
Cleveland Browns - 7-8-0

Week 17 AFC North Schedule:

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals — 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday
Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens — 4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers — 8:15 p.m. ET, Monday

A look ahead...

Final two opponents for all AFC North teams:

Baltimore Ravens: vs. Rams, vs. Steelers
Cleveland Browns: at Steelers, vs. Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers: vs. Browns, at Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals: vs. Chiefs, at Browns