The AFC North remains the most competitive division in the NFL, but to say the division is the best in the league might be a stretch as the season unfolds.
Heading into Week 13, each team in the division had at least seven victories and was three games over .500. After Week 14, the standings remain a jumbled mess, with a front-runner starting to distance themselves from the pack. However, with four games remaining, nothing is certain within the crazy division that is the AFC North.
The Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1) are the first-place team in the division, and have started to distance themselves from the other teams, as they were the only team to win Sunday.
Their record gives them a 1.5-game lead in the division but, with some divisional games upcoming, that lead could evaporate quickly. The Bengals will host Pittsburgh on Sunday before traveling to Cleveland in Week 15. The Denver Broncos await on Monday Night Football in Week 16 before the Bengals make a trip to Heinz Field to finish the season.
The Baltimore Ravens (7-5) are in second place due to tie-breakers, and they lost a stunning game to the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. Their remaining schedule looks as if this team might not be going anywhere in the AFC North divisional race.
The Ravens travel to Florida this week to play the Miami Dolphins, followed by a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The final two weeks have the Ravens traveling to Houston to play the Texans before returning to Baltimore for a final game against Cleveland.
The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) are in third place after falling flat against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Heinz Field. The Steelers, coming off of a bye, were unable to hold serve at home, thus putting them behind the 8-ball within the division.
The road games for the Steelers don't get easier as they travel to Cincinnati on Sunday, followed by a trip to Atlanta to play the Falcons in Week 15. They finish the season at Heinz Field with back-to-back home games against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Bengals. Not quite a murderer's row of games, but the Steelers still control their own fate with games against the Chiefs and Bengals remaining.
The Cleveland Browns (7-5) remain in the basement of the division with a loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, but the Cinderella story of the 2014 Browns might be coming to an end with some difficult games ahead. The Browns will host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday in the first of back-to-back home games that end with the Bengals coming to town.
The Browns follow up their two home games with two road games, traveling to Charlotte, NC to play the Carolina Panthers and playing their season finale in Baltimore.
Analyzing the schedules of these four teams can lead fans to try to predict how teams will finish the season. If the 2014 AFC North has taught us anything, it's the fact that this division isn't just the most competitive, but the most unpredictable as well.