It certainly was an entertaining day in the AFC North and it really played out in favor of the Steelers in a big way. Not only did the Steelers get their first AFC North win of the season today against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the Baltimore Ravens went out west and laid an egg by losing to the Seattle Seahawks 22-17. Throw in a Cleveland Browns loss to the St. Louis Rams and the only thing better would have been a larger margin of victory by the Steelers.
Following the disheartening loss last Sunday night to the Ravens, I posted that the month of November may bring Gatorade baths, but never AFC North crowns. As I mentioned in that post, the Ravens are highly susceptible to laying eggs this year and today they certainly did just that against the Seahawks. They clearly took this week too lightly, much like they did against the Titans back in week 2 after beating the Steelers to start the season.
The Steelers head into the bye with a half game lead over the Ravens, but let us not forget that the Ravens own tiebreakers over us, while we currently own tie breakers over the Bengals thanks to the win today. What does all of this mean right now? It only means the Steelers get to sit in front of their televisions to watch the Ravens take on the Bengals. Should the Ravens win, they will be back in first place and still control their own destiny. If the Bengals win, the Steelers will have a one game lead over the Ravens despite being swept by them.
The Steelers return from the bye with a road game against the Chiefs before coming back home to host the Bengals and Browns. It should be noted that the Browns game is on a short week. After the Ravens Bengals game next week, the Ravens host the 49ers then play the Browns and the Colts. The Bengals get the Browns and Texans sandwiched around the Steelers rematch in Pittsburgh.
In short, there is a ton of football left to be played and as we saw today, the AFC North can turn sharply from week to week. Enjoy the win this week and next week make sure you are big Bengals fans. Gatorade baths are a long ways away, that is unless you are the Ravens and the ones they take in November are meaningless and foolish.
Below are the current AFC North standings and the remaining schedules of the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals.
|Nov 20||BYE||Nov 20||Cincinnati||Nov 20||@Baltimore|
|Nov 27||@Kansas City||Nov 24||San Francisco||Nov 27||Cleveland|
|Dec 4||Cincinnati||Dec 4||@Cleveland||Dec 4||@Pittsburgh|
|Dec 8||Cleveland||Dec 11||Indianapolis||Dec 11||Houston|
|Dec 19||@San Francisco||Dec 18||@San Diego||Dec 18||@St. Louis|
|Dec 24||St. Louis||Dec 24||Cleveland||Dec 24||Arizona|
|Jan 1||@Cleveland||Jan 1||@Cincinnati||Jan 1||Baltimore|