The AFC North had another strong weekend, tallying a 3-1 overall record. The Steelers won the big game of the week as they went into Baltimore and prevented the Ravens from clinching the division. The surprising Bengals continued their good play and kept their playoff aspirations alive.
Let’s see where the AFC North stacks up against the rest of the NFL in this week’s power rankings.
6) Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens fall 3 spots this week, but that tends to happen when Charlie Batch comes into your home stadium and beats you. No excuses for the Ravens this week. They had a chance to clinch the division against their biggest rival – a rival that was basically taking bids on who to play quarterback for a week. The Ravens are obviously still in very good shape to win the division with a 9-3 record, but a loss like that can get you twice if you’re not careful. The Ravens need a strong bounce-back performance against RG3 and the Redskins this week.
8) Pittsburgh Steelers: With their backs against the wall the Steelers came up clutch. Led by Charlie Batch, the Steelers went into Baltimore and beat their most hated rival to keep their division title aspirations alive. A win like that will jump you up several spots in my rankings, obviously, as the Steelers go from 11 to 8 this week. With Big Ben on the verge of returning this week (or next at the latest), the Steelers just need to keep their heads above water. The struggling Chargers come to town this week so the Steelers are likely going to keep their playoff push on track.
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9) Cincinnati Bengals: For the second straight week the Bengals have made a push to jump the Steelers. The Bengals went into San Diego, won a thrilling game, and have really created a legitimate shot for themselves at making the playoffs. Cincinnati cracks the top 10 for the first time this season, and will look to keep on climbing with a few winnable games lined up on the schedule over the next month.
26) Cleveland Browns: The Browns continued their upward trend with a win on the road against the Raiders. This extremely young team continues to play better every week. Brandon Weeden had a career day against Oakland, and Richardson has been running the ball very well for the last several weeks. The Browns aren’t going to make the playoffs, but their play lately has to be encouraging for the fans and organization. Their recent success jumps them up a couple spots to 26.