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Old 11th February 2019   #1
Join Date: Jan 2019
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With Week 14 of the NFL schedule nearly officially in the books Joe Gilliam Jersey , it’s time to take a look back at those teams who call the AFC North home to see how they fared and what the standings look like after this week’s action. The first goal for each team in the NFL is to win its division. Doing so guarantees both a playoff spot and a home playoff game, so even early-season games are important when it comes to divisional rankings. Let’s take a spin around the AFC North to check on the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.Week 13 ResultsKansas City Chiefs - 27 (OT)Baltimore Ravens - 24This was a great game to watch, and was back-and-forth for the duration of the contest. However, when it came down to it Patrick Mahomes and company were able to make the plays when they needed it most, snatching victory out from underneath the Ravens. Talk about how different the Ravens look though with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. The offenseis unconventional, but it is working. Ravens are in prime position to claim the division.Cleveland Browns - 26Carolina Panthers - 20Hue Jackson must have been the cancer which kept this team from winning, because without him on the sideline the team has not just been competitive, but are winning football games. Cleveland has won 5 games this season, and don’t be stunned if Greg Williams doesn’t get a legitimate shot to be the head coach next year after this turnaround.Los Angeles Chargers - 26Cincinnati Bengals - 21The Bengals, and their coaching staff, are playing for their jobs, and it doesn’t look good. Cincinnati falls to 5-8 on the season, and them remaining ‘in the hunt’ for a playoff spot seems more of a formality than a reality. Everyone wants to know if Marvin Lewis will be fired, and we all thought he would get canned after last season...and look what happened.Oakland Raiders - 24Pittsburgh Steelers - 21In a game which had everything the Steelers would need to do in order to fall flat on their faces in Oakland. Miscues (Chris Boswell), poor management (Coaching Staff) and bad defense in key positions. Add that up, and you get a third straight loss and a team who at one time was considered a lock for a playoff spot now teetering on the edge of watching the playoffs.Week 15 ScheduleCleveland Browns at Denver Broncos - Saturday, 8:20 p.m. ET kickoffBaltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sunday JuJu Smith-Schuster Color Rush Jersey , 1 p.m. ET kickoffCincinnati Bengals vs. Oakland Raiders - Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET kickoffPittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots - Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET kickoffAFC North StandingsPittsburgh Steelers - 7-5-1Baltimore Ravens - 7-6Cleveland Browns - 5-7-1Cincinnati Bengals - 5-8...Let us know what you think about the division after Week 13 in the comment section below. Do you see this being a powerhouse division? Which teams are contenders and which ones are nothing more than pretenders? In a lot of ways, the Steelers’ post-bye match-up against the Browns at Heinz Field on Sunday was a lot like many of their pre-bye match-ups with the Browns and a few other teams.Pittsburgh’s high-powered offense spent the first quarter being anything but that, as it netted just seven yards on nine plays on its first three series. Then there was the defense that allowed Cleveland’s offense to look pretty decent on multiple first-quarter scoring drives. Also, there was Stevan Ridley’s fumble early in the third quarter, followed by that ridiculous special teams gaffe on a post-safety free kick later in the period.Oh yeah, and the Steelers also lost the turnover battle to the Browns, something not unfamiliar to them, as they’re now minus-three on the season in that very vital category. But a funny thing happened on the way to another lackluster Steelers’ performance at Heinz Field: they were able to overcome their mistakes to the tune of a 33-18 victory.Despite looking ridiculously awful on its first three series, the Steelers’ offense did more than enough to make up for that over its next eight possessions, netting 402 yards and 33 points on the way to a 33-12 advantage by the two-minute warning. Sure, the offense had shown such potency pre-bye—the Steelers did come into Sunday averaging 28.5 points per game. However, unlike in previous games when Pittsburgh’s offense finally decided to wake up from its first-quarter slumbers, the team wasn’t down by two or three touchdowns. Instead, the deficit was only six, thanks to a suddenly capable-looking defense that held Baker Mayfield and Co. out of the end zone, while Ben Roethlisberger and Gang were working out the bugs. Back to Ridley’s fumble, one that thwarted a potential scoring-drive shortly after halftime; it could have shifted momentum , but didn’t, as the Browns were unable to take advantage.What did seem to shift fortunes to the visitors’ side, however, was the failure to know what a free kick was following a safety that gave Pittsburgh a 16-6 lead and all the momentum it should have needed to put the game away. But despite the Browns quickly turning that gift into a touchdown, Pittsburgh didn’t buckle. No, there would be no repeat of Week 1, when a late fumble by James Conner proved to be the catalyst to Cleveland’s come-from-behind tie. Instead, the Steelers merely waved the Browns’ momentum away like an annoying fly and reestablished control with 17-unanswered points. Speaking of Conner, who totaled 195 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns against the Browns in Week 1, he bettered that performance by 17 yards on Sunday, while leaving that fumble in the rear-view mirror. You might say the Steelers got away with their mistakes because of the team they were going up against. Maybe, but the Steelers can’t control who they play, and that very same team that took advantage of similar mistakes seven weeks earlier, couldn’t on Sunday. The Steelers aren’t perfect. The Steelers still have some work to do. But the Steelers appear to have turned a corner as the 2018 season approaches its midway point.The Steelers are 4-2-1, in first place in the AFC North, and they still have yet to play their best football. What’s that all mean? It means the best could still be yet to come for the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers.
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