State of the AFC North: Week 7 Edition
State of the AFC North

Baltimore Ravens (5-2)

The Ravens set out to hold their spot in first place in the AFC North when they welcomed the up and coming Cincinnati Bengals to M&T Bank Stadium. The game started as a back and forth contest with Cincinnati holding a 13-10 advantage heading into the half. Lamar Jackson hit Marquis “Hollywood” Brown on a 39 yard touchdown strike coming out of the break and looked on his way to a sixth straight win over the Bengals. Baltimore soon found out they were in for more than they could handle because they were held without a score the rest of the game. The Ravens looked completely outmatched as the defense let up 520 total yards and the offense gave up five sacks on Lamar Jackson which ties a career high. The Ravens have the week off to lick their wounds before the Minnesota Vikings come to town on November 7th.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)

A matchup for first place in the division at this point in the season isn’t something that many people predicted the Bengals to be in, and yet, that’s the position they were in heading into Baltimore this past Sunday. Cincinnati’s defense showed they were up to the challenge of facing Lamar Jackson as they constantly harassed him in the pocket and racked up five sacks on the day. That number matches the most times Jackson has been sacked in a game. The Joe Burrow to Ja’Maar Chase connection also faced their own challenge coming in as All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey was matched up against the rookie most of the game. Chase passed that test with flying colors on his way to a career high in yards with 201 on eight catches and an 82 yard touchdown. Burrow wasn’t too bad on the day either, throwing for 416 yards and three touchdowns with a lone interception in the biggest win of his young NFL career to date. Cincinnati will head up to New Jersey for a matchup with the Jets and possibly familiar foe Joe Flacco.

Cleveland Browns (4-3)

The shorthanded Cleveland Browns set off to battle the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football with both teams looking to prove their worth. Third year Browns running back D’Ernest Johnson took his opportunity and literally ran with it on his way to 146 yards and a touchdown. Veteran backup Case Keenum managed the game well and added in a touchdown pass to fullback Johnny Stanton (did I mention the Browns were shorthanded this game?). Even though the final score was 17-14, it never really seemed to me like Cleveland was going to lose this one. A rested Steelers team comes to town on Halloween for what should be a hard hitting divisional game.

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)

The Steelers were on a bye this past week and couldn’t get helped out in the standings by a Browns loss against Denver. They’ll have a chance of handing them one themselves when they head to Cleveland this Sunday.


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