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.
Cleveland Browns - 13
Baltimore Ravens - 3
This game was played on Saturday, and Steelers fans had to sit and watch as the Browns defense did to the Ravens offense what the Pittsburgh defense should have done in Week 14. They completely stopped the run, and forced Tyler Huntley to beat them. They were successful as Huntley failed to get the job done, and produced only three points. The Cleveland win keeps them ahead of the Steelers, for now, and it moves the Ravens to second place in the division standings. A tough loss for Baltimore, and suddenly they have to hope Lamar Jackson can return in Week 16 to keep their wild card hopes alive.
Pittsburgh Steelers - 24
Carolina Panthers - 16
This was the most complete game of the season for the Steelers, and in every possible way. When the one thing everyone is complaining about is a Marcus Allen personal foul penalty, you’re doing something right. Allen’s infraction was beyond idiotic, but the way the Steelers dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball was promising. The recipe for success is clear, and fans saw a glimmer of potential in the Week 15 win. The question now is can the Steelers show some level of consistency in their game in the final three weeks of the regular season? If they do, they’ll preserve Mike Tomlin’s non-losing season streak, much to the chagrin of Tomlin’s many doubters.
Cincinnati Bengals - 34
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 23
The Bengals didn’t start this game strong, but they sure did finish strong. Spotting the Buccaneers a double-digit lead, Cincinnati took over in the second half and never looked back. The win propels the Bengals above the Ravens as the top team in the AFC North, and all eyes will be on the Bengals and Ravens Week 18 matchup which could decide the division. When looking at the final three games, the Bengals have the toughest road ahead. They go to New England, host the Bills and finish with Baltimore at home. If the Bengals win the division, they’ll certainly deserve it.
AFC North Standings
Week 16 AFC North Schedule:
Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens — 1 p.m. ET, Saturday
New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns — 1 p.m ET, Saturday
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots — 1 p.m. ET, Saturday
Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers — 8:00 p.m. ET, Saturday
A look ahead...
The final opponents for all AFC North teams:
Baltimore Ravens: vs. Falcons, vs. Steelers, at Bengals
Cleveland Browns: vs. Saints, at Washington, at Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers: vs. Raiders, at Ravens, vs. Browns
Cincinnati Bengals: at Patriots, vs. Bills, vs. Ravens