Around the AFC North: Steelers in First Place as Division Is Up for Grabs


Steelers: Suddenly in First Place in AFC North

The Steelers had quite a nice weekend off. They went into Week 7 in third place in the AFC North. After losses by the Ravens and Bengals, they're suddenly in first place in the division.

The fact of the matter is that the AFC North race is extremely tight. Just about midway through the season, it's up for grabs.

The Steelers had a 1-2-1 record through their first four games. Since then, they've stacked a pair of wins over the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals.

This seems like just another typical Steelers season. Last year, they were 3-2 after five weeks, then rattled off eight straight wins. In 2016, Pittsburgh was 4-5 before reeling off seven straight victories to close the season.

Running back Le'Veon Bell was originally expected to return to the Steelers during their bye week, but Pittsburgh reportedly hasn't heard from him yet. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that there are people around the league who believe Bell is waiting until after the trade deadline on Oct. 30 to report because he doesn't want to sign his franchise tender and be traded.

Bengals: Defense Is Looking Shaky Coming Out of Kansas City

After starting the season at 4-1, the Bengals have dropped back-to-back games and are still tied with the Ravens with a 4-3 overall record.

Sunday's 45-10 loss in Kansas City was particularly lopsided, as Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns. It's the most points the Chiefs have allowed in the eight seasons of the Andy Dalton-A.J. Green era.

Granted, the Chiefs offense is very good. But the Bengals' defense has given up at least 480 yards in three of its last four games and Cincinnati is on pace to allow the most yards in its history, per

Browns: Another Overtime Game for the Browns, This Time a Loss

The Browns played their fourth overtime game Sunday in Tampa. It's tied for the second-most overtime games played in a season and we're not even at the midway point.

Cleveland lost this time, 26-23, to a Bucs team that was on a three-game skid. Browns safety Jabrill Peppers fumbled at midfield, allowing the Buccaneers to take over and Chandler Catanzaro to hit a game-winning 59-yard field goal.

Behind quarterback Baker Mayfield and new lead running back Nick Chubb, a rookie who replaced Carlos Hyde after he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, the Browns rallied from 14 points down with 28 seconds left in the third quarter but still lost to fall to 2-4-1.

Also, former Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman is with the Browns now and caught a 6-yard pass in the loss.

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