AFC North Week 9 Recap: Ravens, Bengals Both Lose With Steelers, Browns Both On Byes

Week 9 of the NFL regular season wound up being a great one for the Pittsburgh Steelers even though they didn’t play a game.

With the Steelers on their bye week, the two AFC North teams that did play on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals, both lost.

The Ravens lost 23-20 Sunday on the road to the Tennessee Titans and are now 4-5 on the season. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed 34 of his 52 total pass attempts in the game for 261 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Titans safety Kevin Byard was responsible for both Flacco interceptions and the Ravens quarterback was also sacked twice by the Tennessee defense on Sunday. The Ravens offense only managed 73 yards rushing against the Titans defense and they only scored two touchdowns in four total red zone trips.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 19 of his 28 total pass attempts against the Ravens defense for 218 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. His scoring tosses went to wide receivers Rishard Matthews and Eric Decker from 16 and 11 yards out, respectively. Like Flacco, Mariota was sacked twice during Sunday’s game.

The Ravens will now have their bye in Week 10 and will next play in Week 11 on the road against the Green Bay Packers.

As for the Bengals, they lost 23-7 Sunday on the road to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton completed just 10 of 18 total pass attempts against the top-rated Jaguars defense for 136 yards and he did not throw a touchdown or interception during the game. He was sacked twice, however, and the Bengals offense only managed 148 net-yards of offense.

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green caught just one pass for 6 yards on Sunday before being ejected from the contest late in the first quarter for attacking Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey was also ejected after that incident took place even though it didn’t appear as though he threw any punches like Green did. It will now be interesting to see if Green is suspended for a game for his actions in addition to being fined heavily.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles completed 24 of his 38 total pass attempts in the game for 259 yards and a touchdown. That lone scoring toss went to Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee in the second quarter. The Jaguars also scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter thanks to a 63-yard punt return by wide receiver Jaydon Mickens. Jacksonville kicker Josh Lambo also kicked three field goals in the win.

The Bengals dropped to 3-5 with their loss to the Jaguars and will next play the Titans on the road in Week 10.

The Cleveland Browns, like the Steelers, were on a bye this week. The winless Browns will next play the Detroit Lions on the road in Week 10 while the Steelers will play the Indianapolis Colts on the road next Sunday.

  • DirtDawg1964

    Nice to gain ground in the division without playing.

    As much as we complain about our team, the Bungles and Ravens are just putrid. Unwatchable.

  • Jones

    Perhaps as important as Cincy & the Ravens losing, KC also lost. Pretty solid day for the Steelers.

  • dany

    Hey the browns didn’t lose!

  • melblount

    The AFC North Division race is effectively over as of today.

    Strangely enough, the one AFC team other than NE (of course) that can wreck our playoff scenarios and our season is JAX. The loss to them was bad enough, but their remaining schedule is about as easy as it gets:
    LAC, @ CLE, @ AZ, IND, SEA, HOU, @SF, @ TEN.

    SEA and TEN appear to be their only real tests remaining, though they could stub their toes against LAC or AZ. Anyway you slice it, 6-2 looks pretty easy for them, and running the table ain’t out of the question. Fortunately the Jets handed them a critical L in Wk #4.

    I know many posters wonder why other posters rag endlessly on the Steelers. This a classic example of why some of us do.

    Had we beaten either CHI or JAX, especially the latter, it would almost take the unimaginable at this point for us to NOT get a 1st round BYE. But…having lost to both, again, especially JAX, we will likely stay in a precarious position for the rest of the Regular Season, having a great chance to be the #1 seed, but as equally a great chance to be the #3 behind NE and JAX.

  • Sam Clonch

    You see the Mccarron situation? They still lost at life…

  • nikgreene

    The Jaguars seem like a solid team this season, but with their poor quarterback situation they have a pretty small margin for error. Against a strong defense like the Steelers they basically had to create turnovers in order to score and be able to keep Fournette part of the game plan. Doesn’t seem like a sustainable formula. If their defense ever has an off day, that offense isn’t going to keep them in games. Like you said, they lost to the Jets, which means they can pretty much lose to anyone.

    The AFC is pretty weird right now, KC, Pit and NE look good, though with flaws, then maybe Jacksonville and Tennessee a few steps behind, and then a whole lot of garbage.

    Note: One analytics site has the Steelers chance of getting a 1st round bye at 60% after the Chiefs loss this week. So just take care of business, keep Ben healthy, and this team will earn a week off in January.

  • Chris92021

    Disagree. The only team that can wreck our chances for a playoff bye isn’t Jacksonville. It’s us. We’ve located the enemy and they are us. Us against inferior teams. Us against Big Ben on the road. Us against the mystique of Tom Brady. Us against Todd Haley. Us against rushing 3 and dropping 8 in coverage constantly. Us against Martavis Bryant’s Instagram account.

    The AFC North isn’t over and it won’t be for a while. I want to buy into what you are selling but this current group have let me down too many times. Sure, I could pull my hair out about the terrible losses to Chicago and the worst home loss I’ve ever seen in over 25 years when Big Ben threw more TD passes to the Jaguars than he did for us in week 5. I’ve gotten over those but I am nervous for the next 8 weeks. Why? Because the team is relatively healthy, extremely talented on both sides of the ball, and the schedule is looking easy, something the Steelers under Mike Tomlin have not handled as well as they should have. It looks like the first overall seed is ready for us to take but I am not counting that chicken until it hatches.

  • Chris92021

    Agreed. The Jaguars can only win one way: have their defense get turnovers and make sure Blake Bortles does not screw up and their RBs get over 130+ yards and several TDs. In other words, they can only win by playing conservatively on offense. They cannot come back from a double digit deficit. Every win they’ve had so far, the opposing QB has played either horribly (see Tom Savage, Joe Flacco, Ben Roethlisberger, Jacoby Brissett) or meh (Andy Dalton today). I still think Tennessee is the team to beat in that division. If the Jaguars had a decent QB, I would fear them but they don’t so they are going to be at worst, finishing out of the playoff race and at best, getting destroyed by an elite team in the wild card round. But at least they are competent for the first time in a while.

  • Chad Weiss

    As did the dolphins

  • Matthew Marczi

    They even took the L in the record books. Alex Smith broke Bernie Kosar’s record for the most pass attempts without an interception to start a season…by one.

  • will


  • FATCAT716

    Very well said brother

  • Sam Clonch

    Haha! Michael Irvin called it on NFL bold predictions that Smith would throw his first pick in the last series to clinch it for Dallas. Pretty good prediction!

  • Jim Foles

    If mccarron was so good he would be the starter.

  • Sam Clonch

    I didn’t say he was “so good”. I said the Browns botched the situation. That the player wasn’t all that just further proves that Cleveland can always find a way to lose.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    It’s not just Ben on the road we have to worry about. It’s Ben on the road AND half the time at home.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    I don’t think the difference between Ben and Bortles is really that large at the moment…


    I seem to remember someone (whose name starts with ‘tc’ and ends with ‘irish53’!) saying that before it was all over the Jags might end up not looking like one of our typical trap loss opponents!!!! 😎
    Apparently that was correct!


    Really? Bernie frigging Kosar!?
    Would have never thought that!!

  • Jeff Dudash

    I don’t know. I guess it’s funny if the Browns truly just “botched” the situation, but there’s a lot of speculation that someone with some sense killed the deal at the last minute. AJ McCarron for a 2nd and a 3rd, when Garrapollo gets just a 2nd?

    Not to mention, you aren’t going to win a superbowl with AJ McCarron, so what’s the point of a team like the Brown’s trading valuable picks for him?

    The whole thing is silly, but I think the Browns are better off without the deal.

  • MintDragon

    silly, yes. came to their senses, i get it. but cleveland initiated the trade when they said ‘deal’.

    No free-agent or team is going to want to do business with that front office moving forward. what a mess.

  • Sam Clonch

    Like Mint said. If they didn’t want to do it, they shouldn’t have taken it to the last minute. Shouldn’t have even started the process. They even called the league to argue it should have been allowed. They look like fools whether they killed it intentionally or not. Laughing. Stock.

  • Jeff Dudash

    It’s a fair point. I’m just saying that they’re better off with the draft picks rather than McCarron, but you’re right in pointing out the long-term damage this does their reputation. (such as it is)

  • Cwallace

    Man ive been saying that entire scenario and have had the jags on the ‘team to watch’ list for months. Im very familiar with that team as I’ve stated before. Wake up steelers nation. As much as we’d like to think its just us and the patriots better think again. That jags team is for real and if anybody on this site think them beating us was a fluke then check the history and game film. And that was a ass whipping so we’re not that much better than them and they DO have a better defense than us. So itl be two teams that have our number in the post season and every player on our team outa want revenge on both.

  • ThatGuy

    Opened up as 10 point road favorites Sunday. Yikes.

  • nikgreene

    Bortles is often considered one of the worst QBs in the league: he can’t handle the pass rush, takes too many sacks, is inaccurate, and makes a lot of terrible decisions. Do you think he is better than that, or do you think Ben has fallen into the depths of being one of the 5 worst current QBs?

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Do I think Ben is bottom five? No. Do I think he’s bottom half? Yes. Based on his performance this year.

  • Justin Warrenfeltz

    Also, though QB rating is a flawed statistic, Ben is currently 26th of 33 qualified passers in the league. Bortles is 21st. So the difference between the two is not large.

  • John Noh

    The Cheatriots play five of their remaining games on the road, though one of them is Mexico City. Also, I am not rooting for injuries but their backup QB now is Brian Hoyer. I’d say that’s precarious.

  • John Phillips

    Jets can lose or beat anyone, much like us.

  • bob_1

    Totally disagree. A team that gives away Joe Haden is exactly the team I want to trade with.

  • pittfan

    that guy was right, tell him I said so. they have the best point differential in the NFL with BORTLES at the helm.

  • pittfan

    no, they tied. Clowns.