AFC North Midseason Report


The Ravens have some ground to make up in the AFC North if they are going to make a run for the division crown after the bye week.

Baltimore has to climb out of a 2.5-game hole to catch the Pittsburgh Steelers in the division race, and the Steelers have been heating up in recent weeks.

"At no point in time are we going to say we can't win the division or make the playoffs, but we have to get on a roll," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

Here's a rundown on where the division stands as the Ravens head into the bye weekend.


Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)

Baltimore Ravens (4-5)

Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)

Cleveland Browns (0-8)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Remaining games: @Colts, Titans, Packers, @Bengals, Ravens, Patriots, @Texans, Browns

Overview: The Steelers are leading the way in the AFC North and the favorites to bring home the division title for the second-straight year. Pittsburgh got off to a slow start this season, but they've fixed their issues to win four of their last five games, and they again look like a playoff team. The Steelers have one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL, as Antonio Brown leads the league in receiving yards (835) and Le'Veon Bell is third in rushing yards (760). They also now have the defense to match their scoring firepower, and rank fifth in the NFL in yards allowed (286.6 per game). Pittsburgh does have a tough matchup with the New England Patriots looming in Week 15, but they will likely be favored in the rest of their contests.

Cincinnati Bengals

Remaining games: @Titans, @Broncos, Browns, Steelers, Bears, @Vikings, Lions, @Ravens

Overview: After making the playoffs for five-straight years, the Bengals are in danger of missing the postseason for the second-straight year. Cincinnati has struggled offensively and currently ranks last in the league in yards per game (269.8). Wide receiver A.J. Green is still highly productive, but the Bengals have struggled to replace key players who have departed in free agency in recent years, including wide receiver Marvin Jones and left tackle Andrew Whitworth. The Bengals are still just one game behind the Ravens, but they have a lot of ground to make up to put themselves back in contention for a playoff spot.

Cleveland Browns

Remaining games: @Lions, Jaguars, @Bengals, @Chargers, Packers, Ravens, @Bears, @Steelers

Overview: The struggles have continued in Cleveland. The Browns are 1-23 under Head Coach Hue Jackson over the last two seasons, and reports have started to surface that the rift between the coaching staff and front office has widened. The Browns failed to properly execute a trade with the Bengals last week for quarterback AJ McCarron, and some Browns coaches reportedly believe the deal was intentionally sabotaged by General Manager Sashi Brown. Cleveland's quarterback situation is also still in flux, as DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan have both started games this season. The Browns look like they're headed for another high draft pick, which they could use on trying to find a long-term answer to the quarterback position.

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