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Around the AFC North: Bengals Searching for Answers After 0-2 Start

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) makes a toss during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Arlington, Tx.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) makes a toss during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Arlington, Tx.

It was a rough Sunday for the AFC North, with all four teams losing close games.

In addition to the Ravens' shocking fourth-quarter meltdown loss, Cleveland blew a 13-point lead in the final two minutes, the Steelers didn't score a touchdown until the fourth quarter, and the defending AFC champion Bengals fell to 0-2 to a Cowboys squad on its backup quarterback.

Here's a look at what's going on with the Ravens' division rivals:

Cincinnati Bengals: Ja'Marr Chase Says In-Game Adjustments Are Lacking

The Bengals are off to an 0-2 start after reaching the Super Bowl last season, and they are also struggling offensively.

Cincinnati signed offensive linemen Ted Karras, La'el Collins and Alex Cappa during the offseason after Joe Burrow was sacked 70 times last year. However, Burrow has already been sacked an NFL-leading 13 times in two games.

The Bengals lost to the Cowboys, 20-17, on Sunday even though Dallas was without injured quarterback Dak Prescott. Cincinnati star wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase was held in check (five catches, 54 yards) for the second straight week, and offered his opinion on how the team needs to fix its offensive woes.

"I just think people know how to adjust to us now," Chase said via the team’s website. "I feel like we need to learn to make more adjustments in game. Everybody knows what we're going doing to do now. So everyone knows what to expect when we play."

Burrow said the Bengals can expect to see plenty of soft zone coverages until they prove they can methodically move the ball downfield and avoid negative plays and turnovers. Burrow's longest completion Sunday was for 19 yards.

"We're going to have win a different way this year and we need to figure that out quickly so that we can get in the win column," Burrow said. "Teams are going to keep playing us in a soft zone until we prove that we can beat them that way."

Pittsburgh Steelers: Fans Chant for Kenny Pickett While Offense Struggles

Pittsburgh's offense has scored just two touchdowns in two weeks, and fans and players are losing patience.

New starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw for fewer than 200 yards for the second straight week during Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Patriots. After Trubisky threw a pass short of the yard marker on third-and-8 in the third quarter, Steelers fans began chanting for rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Tribusky admitted he heard the chants.

"It is what it is," Trubisky said via Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You just block it out and continue to play football."

But Steelers players are frustrated as well, including wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who was held to six catches for 57 yards. Johnson was visibly upset after several Steelers' drives stalled.

"I thought I was open," Johnson said. "The ball didn't come my way so I showed a little emotion. I have to do a little better with that."

Tribusky said it would be important for the offense to stick together with the players and coaching staff under fire.

"Everyone's got suggestions," Trubisky said. "Everybody wants the ball in their hands. I want the ball in my hands. We've just got to figure out what works best for us going forward."

Cleveland Browns: Jadeveon Clowney Scheduled for Tests on Injured Ankle

Browns edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney left Sunday's 31-30 loss to the Jets in the third quarter with a non-contact ankle injury. Clowney was wearing a walking boot leaving the stadium and was scheduled for tests on Monday.

All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett doesn't think Clowney will be sidelined for long, but the Browns face a short week before hosting the Steelers on Thursday night. The Browns missed Clowney after he left Sunday's game, giving up two touchdowns in the final two minutes. Garrett said the Jets took advantage of Clowney's absence.

"Even though I can switch from each side, they don't have to worry about both of us screaming off the edges," Garrett said via The Akron Beacon Journal. "So, it's tough missing him."

Cleveland (1-1) led 30-17 at the two-minute warning, but Joe Flacco rallied the Jets with two late-game touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Garrett Wilson with 22 seconds left. The Browns left the door open for New York by missing an extra point after their final touchdown, and they allowed the Jets to recover an onside kick to set up the game-winning drive.

After the game, Head Coach Kevin Stefanski lamented the mistakes in coverage made by Cleveland's secondary.

"Obviously, guys are not on the same page," Stefanski said via Terry Pluto of "It's very, very clear what we were doing. We talked about it on the sidelines before everyone went out on the field. We talked to the entire defense about what they (the Jets) were about to do – which was throw it over our head. We can't let that happen."

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