AFC North Update: Bengals Are Your AFC North Champions

AFC North Update: Bengals Are Your AFC North Champions

Sam Frohman
3 years ago
2 min read
AFC North Update: Bengals Are Your AFC North Champions

The AFC North Race wrapped up this past Sunday with the Cincinnati Bengals’ win against the Kansas City Chiefs. There is still hope for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens to make the playoffs, but the Cleveland Browns are officially out of playoff contention.

The Steelers have a big matchup against the Browns on Monday night to try to win and keep their playoff hopes alive. A loss would put them in the same company as the Browns and kill their playoff hopes and Big Ben’s last chance to compete if this is his last season playing in the NFL.

Let’s look at the Cincinnati Bengals and how they were able to win the AFC North.

Heroics of the Cincinnati Bengals

The first four games of the Bengals’ regular season set them up nicely for a great start in the AFC North at 3-1, including a win against division rival Pittsburgh. They stole a game against the Minnesota Vikings in overtime, didn’t show up against the Chicago Bears, and snuck in a game-winning field goal against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Their next five games put their playoff hopes in jeopardy, with three losses in that span against the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, and Cleveland Browns. They were in must-win mode after this with a 5-4 record in a very tight AFC North race.

They won their next six out of seven games to catapult them into first place and ultimately win the division one week before the end of the season. Their 34-31 win in Cincinnati was one of their most impressive wins since it snapped the AFC-leading Chiefs’ eight-game winning streak.

They have one more game left against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland, but there will not be much to play for in this game since the Bengals have clinched, and the Browns are out of contention. It is expected that the Bengals will rest many of their starters so that they can get some much-needed rest before the playoffs and keep them from getting injured.

What’s Next for the Ravens and Steelers

The Ravens currently sit above the Steelers at 8-8, and the Steelers at 8-7-1. This changed with a win against the Browns in primetime on Monday Night Football. Both teams finish the season playing against each other in Baltimore, which could prove to be a very important game to both teams.

So, who sits ahead of them in the wild card race? The Titans, Chiefs, and Bengals have all clinched playoff berths. The Bills and Patriots are both 10-6, fighting for the AFC East. The Colts and Chargers take the sixth and seventh spots in the AFC and have everything to lose.

These spots are the spots that the Ravens and Steelers are playing for. The Raiders are also on the outside, looking in ahead of both the Ravens and Steelers with a record of 9-7.

The Chargers will play the Raiders, so it looks like the Ravens and Steelers will need Jacksonville to beat the Colts to give them a chance to make the playoffs, which will be a tall task to ask of the struggling Jaguars.

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