Week 10 has come and gone, but we have some shake-up in the AFC North. The Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to defy the odds (and the doubters), while the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals dropped pivotal games with a crucial game between them coming up this Thursday night.
Cleveland came back from 14 points down to shock Baltimore, the Bengals dropped an uncharacteristic game against the Houston Texans, and the Steelers were able to get by the Green Bay Packers.
Let’s review the AFC North and enjoy wide receiver Amari Cooper celebrating on IG live.
Houston Texans 30, Cincinnati Bengals 27
Let’s start with that other team in Ohio. For the past two weeks, everyone was saying “the Bengals are back!”, “Watch out for the Bengals.”, “This Bengals team is scary and no one should want to play them right.”
Yeah, cool story. Before I talk about the Bengals a lot, Texans rookie quarterback Coleridge Bernard Stroud (I used his government name, we all know his name is C.J. Stroud) has entered the MVP conversation and head coach Demeco Ryans is in the coach of the year discussion.
As far as the Bengals go, this team has had their fair share of losses but this was a bad one.
With the Browns and the Steelers winning, they find themselves in last place in the division (doesn’t feel good now does it). Offensively, this unit is inconsistent from drive to drive, one drive they are firing on all cylinders and the next they are struggling to get down the field.
The offensive line is still a problem, and with them missing wide receiver Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase not being 100% they stalled out at the wrong time.
Defensively, they let a rookie quarterback pick them apart in the passing game and their run defense was atrocious. Thursday night their season is on life support because if they lose to the Ravens, they are done. It’s not gonna be easy trying to make the wild card with Cleveland, Buffalo and potentially Houston being in the way and a really tough schedule.
Green Bay Packers 19, Pittsburgh Steelers 23
As much as I want to use the same rhetoric when it comes to the Steelers, I can’t this time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that they beat the Green Bay Packers, the Packers are not a good team. However, this was a game (like Cleveland against Baltimore) that Pittsburgh could’ve lost. They didn’t.
Offensively, the running game was working for the Steelers but that was the only thing that was working for them. The passing game, well I’ll show you this:
Kenny Pickett's passing chart pic.twitter.com/g0ETh7g2aG— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) November 12, 2023
Quarterback Kenny Pickett didn’t necessarily try to test the middle of the field (don’t know if it’s coaching or the quarterback, I’m guessing it’s both) and he got outplayed by quarterback Jordan Love.
Defensively, the unit wasn’t necessarily great (mainly their pass defense) but they found ways to get stops. The bad news for their defense is that they have lost their both inside starting linebackers in Cole Holcomb and Kwon Alexander for the year, not ideal.
Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns will be pivotal.
Cleveland Browns 33, Baltimore Ravens 31
As much as I would like to talk about the Browns stealing a win in Baltimore, I will not (that’s not in my department, the rest of the staff have got you covered there).
Let’s talk about the Ravens. I still believe that Baltimore is the best team in the division, however, blowing a 14-point lead to the Browns was less than ideal.
At first, it appeared that Baltimore was going to overwhelm Cleveland, they got a pick-6 on the Browns opening drive and the offense was moving the ball down the field and the defense was getting stops.
Cleveland fought back (despite trying to give away the game at times) and Baltimore gave this game away as much as the Browns took it. Offensively, the unit played well at times but they struggled to convert on 3rd down. Quarterback Lamar Jackson had a quiet 2nd half after putting together a solid 1st half. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr scored an exciting touchdown:
Defensively, the unit was gashed on both the ground and through the air which was uncharacteristic but it happens.
Thursday night is a must-win game for Baltimore if they want to get this division under wraps and prevent either Cleveland or Pittsburgh from taking it.