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AFC North Week 14 Recap: Two teams battling for 2016 NFL Draft positioning

The Baltimore Ravens continued to play horribly, losing to the Seattle Seahawks. The Cleveland Browns were able to beat the San Francisco 49ers.

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 brought another victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers at the expense of AFC North division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, who not only lost the game, but also lost their quarterback Andy Dalton for at least a week (likely more) to a broken thumb. The Bengals are still the division leaders, but their Week 15 game against the San Francisco 49ers will be more of a challenge without their star quarterback at the helm.

The Steelers were able to keep their playoff hopes alive, but there is little room for error as the Black and Gold finishes off the season against the Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns.

The Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens took on the Seattle Seahawks and suffered an embarrassing loss, allowing Seattle to score 35 points and managing to get only six points on the board. The Ravens only had 28 yards rushing.

This debacle happened in Baltimore in front of a home crowd. By now, however, fans are used to the Ravens subpar performance. The team lost a slew of players to free agency during the last few years and had a particularly unlucky 2015 in terms of injuries to the few talented players who stayed with the team. After losing Joe Flacco to a torn ACL and other key players to other injuries (too many to mention), the Ravens have had little hope of salvaging their season and instead are looking ahead to the 2016 draft.

Joe Flacco isn't the team's only injured quarterback. The Ravens placed Matt Schaub on injured reserve and have been relying on the backup to the backup, Jimmy Clausen.  As a short-term remedy, the team will sign quarterback Ryan Mallettaccording to ESPN. His former employer, the Houston Texans, fired him after he missed a team flight to the Miami Dolphins game at the end of October. Mallett had a busy week. The Cincinnati Bengals also reportedly considered bringing him in to add some depth at quarterback after the injury to Andy Dalton.

The Ravens finish out their season by playing the Kansas City Chiefs (a likely loss), Pittsburgh Steelers (another likely loss), and the Cincinnati Bengals (a third probably loss, even if Andy Dalton is still out).

The Cleveland Browns

Quarterback Johnny Manziel is no longer grounded, so he was able to start in his teams Week 14 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Manziel led his team to victory completing 21 of 31 passes, throwing for 270 yards, and connecting with one receiver for an airborne touchdown. Manziel had a lone interception, after which he sat down on the bench and repeatedly banged his head with his Surface tablet.

The 49ers are  weak squad, one that allowed nine sacks in Week 14. Hence, the Browns victory is not particularly impressive. The 24-10 victory was much-needed, however. It was the team's first win since October 11.

This week, Browns cornerback Joe Haden was placed on injured reserve after missing the last five games with a concussion. Haden took the difficult news in stride, saying, "We've all learned how important it is to be very throrough with concussions, and I appreciate the care the Browns have provided for me." After five weeks, Haden still hasn't been able to complete the protocol. Scary.

Moving forward, the Browns face the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Though Johnny Manziel is capable of playing some decent football, the Browns are such a mess that it is unlikely they will win out during the last three weeks of the season.

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